An Introductory Guide To Winter Bird Feeding
Feeding winter birds is a fun and enjoyable hobby that can brighten even the most chilly winter day. Winter can be a difficult time for birds since water and suitable shelter can be hard to find, and the food needed to provide the energy to stay warm might be scarce.
Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions if you’re interested in setting up a bird feeder at your home. Hopper feeders are a good choice as they allow the greatest variety of type and size of birds to feed in one spot. Hopper feeders often hold a lot of seed so you may not have to venture out into the cold to refill it as often. This type of feeder is often installed on a post as they tend to be heavier due to the larger capacity. Hoppers work well with a seed mix that contains at least half black oil sunflower seed for the birds that come up to the feeder and some white millet, which will be kicked to the ground and eaten by ground-feeding birds.
Another thing you may want to consider is providing drinking water for our feathered friends. You may not realize it, but an open, clean source of water is a valuable resource for winter birds. A birdbath with a heating element to keep the water from freezing is a great addition to any bird feeding station.
It’s good practice to clean your feeders regularly to prevent mold growth. Clean off feeders, platforms and perches after each storm so seed is easily accessible. Seed should be stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place that it is protected from insect pests and rodents.
Want to learn more about bird feeders and feeding winter birds? Over the next few weeks, we’ll be diving further into different feeder types, feeder-fillers, local winter birds and sharing helpful resources for winter bird feeding and watching.