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Winter Feeding Tips: What to Offer


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Keep Birds Coming During the Cooler Months

Feeding wild birds in the fall and winter ensures you entertainment, and offers your non-migrating backyard birds cold weather sustenance when fresh food is less abundant. Feeding your backyard birds in the winter may also bring the added bonus of nestlings in the spring. The breeding parents will be assured that your yard is the place to be for food.

When to start feeding
Squirrelproof Cage Seed Feeder If possible, start feeding in the early fall, because that is when the bird population will be the most numerous, including the fledglings of year-round inhabitants and migrating birds. Migrators especially need the fat that seed provides for their journeys south. Autumn is also the season that many birds are replacing their feathers and need extra nutrition.

Be patient
Birds don't always know where a new source of food is located. You may wish to scatter bread or cracker crumbs on the ground in the immediate area of the new feeder. Birds will soon find the source of the really good eats!

What to feed
Because winter is the season when food is least abundant and birds need extra calories to survive the weather, make sure the food you feed gives the most energy for the quantity. This means leaving food with a large percentage of energy, such as sunflower seed, corn, and even suet - for insect-eating birds. The following is a chart of foods you should consider having available if you want to attract particular wild birds to your yard.

Look through our unique, top quality feeders - and birdbaths - that will fit your yard's atmosphere. And don't forget to check out our line of premium seeds and nuts. Your backyard visitors will taste the difference and you're sure to have a more diverse variety of avian wildlife.

FEED TYPE BIRD SPECIES
Blue
Bird
Blue
Jay
Cardinal Chickadee Evening
Grosbeak
Gold
Finch
House
Finch
House
Sparrow
Mourning
Dove
Purple
Finch
Tufted
Titmouse
White
Throated
Sparrow
Gray Striped Sunflower   yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Nyjer Thistle           yes yes   yes yes   yes
Black Oil
Sunflower
  yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Red Millet     yes         yes yes     yes
White Millet   yes yes         yes yes     yes
Cracked Corn   yes           yes yes     yes
Peanuts
(Shelled)
  yes yes yes     yes yes yes   yes yes
Peanuts
(in the Shell*)
  yes                 yes  
Safflower     yes           yes     yes
Sunflower
Chips
  yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Mealworms yes                      
Suet yes yes   yes             yes  

*Peanuts in the shell are also favored by nuthatches and woodpeckers.

 

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