Here are simple tips to keep the birds in your backyard this winter.
Fill bird feeders with food that has a higher fat content than the feed they consume in the spring/summer. Black oil sunflower seeds has 2x the amount of fat when compared to striped sunflower seeds. It also feeds a wide range of birds. Suet packs are another alternative food source that are high in saturated fats.
If you are placing feeders throughout your garden, be sure that they are placed away from any harsh winds with a bit of cover, but in an open enough area for birds to look out for predators. Use these guidelines for both hanging feeders as well as ground feeders. Make sure you keep feeders filled all winter long. If they come back to an empty feeder this will deter the flock and other potential birds that may be looking for food.
Birds need water in the winter time too. Make sure you have a open water source that is not frozen, invest in a de-icer for your bird bath.
Don’t forget to give them a home. Shelter is key. Place bird house in a sheltered location, this will help to keep them safe from any natural predators that may be around. If you have housing already in your garden make sure you clean it out from any previous tenants.
For more on this topic click here: Garden Minute for video of my quick tips on keeping the birds happy this winter.
Tina Sottolano-Cain is a horticulturist with 17 years experience in the gardening industry and owner of Gardens on the Go, a gardening and consultation firm.
She is host of Garden Minute for Calkins Media.