DIY - Winter Birding Guide
During the winter, there are several things you can do to attract some feathered friends over the cold months of winter! Welcome winged wildlife to your backyard with food, shelter and water - the birds will appreciate a safe refuge from the cold, and you will be rewarded with a colorful flurry of activity right at your doorstep!
Food & Water
- As temperatures fall, high-fat, high-calorie suet is perfect food to help get through the cold nights.
- This is like an energy bar for birds and perfect for the winter months. It comes in a cake or logs for woodpeckers.
- Attracts colorful Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Wrens, Bluebirds, Brown Thrasher, Blue Jays and Mockingbirds.
- Different birds prefer different types of seed depending on the size of their beak.
- To attract the broadcast spectrum of birds use Pike Special Blend. This includes sunflower, millet and peanuts which appeals to a wide variety of songbirds.
- Filling later in the day ensures evening and early morning.
- Keep low level of fresh water in birdbath; be sure to change it out regularly to keep them coming back.
- Birds won't bathe in coldest temperatures but will drink the water.
Rather than taking your birdhouses down in the winter, keep them up! Birdhouses provide provide shelter from the weather and other night predators. Song birds frequently group together overnight in a birdhouse, or roosting packets, to keep warm.
A Place to Raise Their Young
Birds that are attracted to nesting boxes or bird houses.
Tree and Shrub Nesters:
- Eastern Bluebird
Nest anywhere from 3 feet to 20 feet off the ground. Some birds prefer dense shrubs, others choose the forks in tall deciduous trees. Some like to be near the trunk, others out further.
- Brown Thrashers
- Blue Jays
Makes them more vulnerable in an urban environment.
Winter Plants That Attract Birds
Deciduous shrubs and trees have lost their leaves, offering better visibility for bird watching. While long ornamental grasses provide a more natural shelter for birds.
- Attracts woodpeckers, jays, Wild Turkey, grouse, Wood Ducks.
- Attracts robins, bluebirds, waxwings.