Have you seen some hungry looking birds this winter? It’s hard for them to find adequate food this time of year. Feeding and housing them now will be beneficial in the spring and summer because they’ll need to feed their babies grubs and caterpillars and will already be comfortable in your yard, knowing that you’re a good provider.
High fat foods such as sunflower seeds are ideal for giving birds the energy they need to survive the cold nights. Birds don’t mind shelling their own seeds but you can buy already shelled seeds if you don’t like the mess. Suet cakes are readily available and inexpensive. Suet provides much needed fat and nutrition for your birds during the winter. Birds will flock to your yard for this treat!
Birds such as bluebirds and wrens build their nests in bird houses. It’s best to put up your Bluebird house before March 1. Here are some great tips for attracting Bluebirds. To attract birds to your birdhouses, place them in a relatively sheltered area from predators and provide a food and water source nearby. Even in the winter, birds need fresh water. Instead of draining your bird feeders and fountains, add a de-icer or water wiggler to keep the water from freezing.
Squirrels – GRRR. This is a hard one! Many people like to watch the antics of squirrels but you also want your bird feed to feed the birds. There are a number of squirrel proof bird feeders and baffles made by Droll Yankee and Auduban. Some bird feed by Cole’s has hot pepper added, which seems to work pretty well; birds don’t mind it and squirrels don’t like it! You may also consider feeding squirrels in an area farther away from your feeders and houses.
Once the cold weather passes, your birds will gladly set up house in or around your yard. In the spring and summer they will be looking for grubs, beetles, mosquitoes and more undesirable pests to feed their families. This is quite an added benefit for your lawn and garden!
Visit The Family Tree for all your birding supplies; we have everything from mealworms to birdhouses and are happy to give help or advice as needed!