Autumn Birding Guide
Myth: If you feed birds in the fall, they won’t migrate.
Myth Buster: Feeding birds in fall does not prevent migration, it may help. Migrating birds will be looking for food and drink to keep them nourished to help survive weather changes, fight off predators and as an energy boost to help them reach their migratory destination.
Fall is a rewarding time to feed the birds. Their distinct coloration and individual songs delight and captivate bird watchers of all ages. Birding habitats that are well stocked with a variety of food, water and an assortment of shelters lure migrating birds and keep resident birds returning year round.
Now is the time to plant perennials, trees and shrubs that offer fruit for birds and provide shelter and protection as well as a beautiful yard for you to enjoy.
- Perennials, like coneflowers and black-eyed susans have given up their blooms leaving a delicacy of seed heads for finches, titmice, sparrows, chickadees and cardinals to enjoy. Ornamental grasses are also a good source of natural seeds and cover.
- Shrubs and trees, including the mahonia, pyracantha, viburnum, cotoneaster, dogwood, and hollies are laden with birds’ favorite berries.
- Arborvitae, magnolia and Leyland cypress are some of the densely formed trees and shrubs that offer cover from predators and the weather.
Quality seed, nectar and suet cakes provide energy and nourishment for a wide range of birds.
- Keep the nectar feeders filled for hummingbirds migrating south
- Refresh finch feeders with thistle seed for colorful finches and chickadees
- Fill platform feeders with Pike Premium Bird Seed to watch cardinals, brown thrashers, towhees, sparrows, tufted titmice, chickadees, blue jays, woodpeckers, nuthatches and wrens.
- Hang suet cakes in multiple locations to provide birds the necessary calories to help them stay warm and healthy. Many species of woodpeckers prefer suet cakes but you will also see mockingbirds, wrens, catbirds and brown thrashers enjoying the cakes.
Birds require a fresh, clean water source, year round, for bathing in and for drinking. The sound of running water is a calling card to birds. Add the Water Wiggler to a bird bath to keep the water moving. A bird bath heater can be added to prevent water from freezing this fall and winter.
Watch and Listen. The beauty of nature is just outside your window.