Now's the Time To... Remember the Birds

The weather this week has proven that winter storms are still something to brace for, even if Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow. We're reminding all birders, from in-experienced to the pro backyard feeders, that winter can be hard for birds since there aren't many food sources during this time. We've put together this short article with some tips on how to help our feathered friends endure the cold temperatures, and what you show know.

Not all birds migrate, and the birds that do stick around sustain themselves on seeds, since natural food sources, like insects and fruit, prove to be more difficult to find in winter. Some of the most common birds in our area during this season include robins, finches, sparrows, cardinals, jays, chickadees, juncos, nuthatches, wrens, woodpeckers, and more. Having a feeder is important as our beloved backyard birds would not be here at all if not for the bird feeding hobby.

How You Can Help

1. Choose a feeder
The most useful feeders to combat the winter weather are larger options with covers over the feeding ports, perches, and dispensing trays.

  • prevents seeds from being buried when snow falls

  • add wide baffles to feeders without covers (in winter) to prevent snow from reaching seeds

  • larger feeders will not need to be refilled as often

  • keeps seeds protected from moisture to prevent mold or fungus

  • Open platform feeders need to be emptied daily to prevent mildew and spoilage

Extra Tip

  • Clean off feeders, platforms, and perches after each storm so seed is easily accessible

2. Where to Place Feeder
Placing feeders closer to the house, no more than five feet from a wall or window to prevent window collisions, and near hedges or bushes to offer safety for birds while feeding.

Extra Tips

  • Stamp or shovel snow around feeders to provide ground-feeding birds easier access to spilled seed

  • Offer other food, such as cobs of corn for squirrels, in a different location to prevent pest raids

  • Leave nesting boxes and birdhouses up all year round to provide roosting sites

3) Choose Your Seeds
It's important to keep seeds in a cool, dry place protected from bugs and rodents, like a storage bin. To prevent excess wasted seed consider the bird species with some of these common winter seeds:

  • Black oil sunflower seed (for chickadees and finches)

  • Safflower or sunflower (for cardinals)

  • Hulled peanuts or peanut hearts

  • Nyjer (thistle) seed

  • Suet mixes with seeds or fruit (for woodpeckers)

  • Peanut butter

  • White millet seed

Extra Tip

  • Keep a large scoop with the stored seeds to easily refill feeders

By simply hanging a feeder, whether you are a veteran backyard birder or just thinking about starting this gratifying hobby, the birds will benefit from your buffet. You'll provide a safe place for the birds in your neighborhood to eat and you'll have a front-row seat to see the birds who stop by.

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Rollier's Hardware

Phone: 412-561-0922

Email: info@rolliers.com 

Address: 600 Washington Road
Mt. Lebanon, PA 15228

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