If your thinking you’d like to feed the birds this winter, now is the time to begin. Beginning before the winter months have arrived will get your feathered friends used to the fact that you have put out seed, suet, fruit and other wonderful treats.
In the Spring, Summer & Fall, there is plenty of food available for birds….seeds, berries, insects, etc. But in the dead of winter, when the ground is frozen and often covered with snow, its very difficult, if not impossible for the birds to find the food they need. When things get really frozen out there, the pickings are slim….and you’ll probably save some of these wonderful creatures from starving.
Pictured below are two different types of bird feeders. The one on the left is for holding (packets of suet) a high fat & protein food source. The feeder on the right is for seed. This feeder is stocked with the small seed preferred by finches and other small birds. (The clear plastic caps are ingenious items, purchased separately, which keep the squirrels from coming to dinner).
Suet (originally beef fat, has now become more generic and) means any type of nutritious fat, mixed with seeds, berries, nuts, fruits….all things a bird will love. Suet packets are sold individually in local pet stores as well as the big home improvement stores, (or you can buy a big box of them and save)! Even if you’re not a “birder” you’ll be delighted at the wide diversity of birds which will come to dine!
Most important: if you’re going to start feeding the birds, then you must decide that you’ll keep stocking the feeders. If you don’t….and the food isn’t there for a few days or weeks, “your” birds will fly away and find another, more reliable food source. Just feed them regularly and those birds which don’t “fly south” for the winter will stick around, enjoying your generosity.
Then next year, you’ll have that many more loyal friends….. sticking around to help eat the insects in your yard. It’s a green and natural way to control insects without pesticides and the resulting damage to our soil and water resources!