Tips for Feeding the Birds this Winter
Feeding birds can be a fun hobby in the winter months! Winter-loving species such as finches, sparrows, titmice, blue jays, woodpeckers, chickadees, and cardinals will become “locals” in your backyard during the winter, so taking the time to set up bird feeders in your yard could help them survive the harsh weather. Follow these tips to help wild birds survive and thrive in your backyard this winter.
The more space to feed, the better
Hanging multiple feeders will attract many different species. Set them up approximately 10 to 15 feet away from your house to avoid window collisions or near protective cover such as hedges or a brush pile to offer safety from predators. Using large capacity feeders with multiple dispensing trays and overhead cover are best. Stamp down snowy areas below the feeders to make any fallen seed easily accessible to smaller, ground-feeding birds.
Offer high fat, high energy feed
Birds and other wildlife burn more calories in the winter just to stay warm. When purchasing bird seed from a hardware store or department store, buy a blend with primary ingredients such as black sunflower seed, nuts, cracked corn and other types of mixed seed. Lard, suet and peanut butter are also high-fat foods that birds will love.
Keep a routine
Birds will come to rely on your backyard set up to survive the winter. Be sure to regularly fill, clean and maintain your bird feeders, and offer water in an aluminum pan (and regularly switch it out) or set up a heated bird bath. If you leave for vacation, ask a neighbour or close friend to keep the feeders full.