Essential Wild Bird Supplies for Cool Weather
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Seasonal Essentials for Winter
With the change of seasons comes a change in the needs of our feathered friends. Due to the lack of resources in cooler months, wild birds often depend on us to provide them with the items they need to survive this difficult time of year. Here are just a few things you can place in your backyard to help wild birds during the fall and winter months:

Heated Birdbath
For wild birds, open water is difficult to find during the winter season. When you place a heated birdbath in your backyard, you provide essential drinking and bathing water for backyard wildlife. Bathing can keep feathers clean and flexible, and skin and plumage in good shape. Plus, when you offer a reliable place for wild birds to bathe in the winter, you increase your chances of attracting a variety of wild birds to your yard come spring and summer.

Upside Down Suet FeederSuet
For humans, a diet high in fat can be very detrimental to our health. However, this is not the case for wild birds. Suet supplements the diet of wintering birds, helps to keep them warm, and encourages overall health while providing crucial energy needed to migrate in the fall and survive the long, cold winter. Suet makes an ideal cool weather food because it is easy to serve, affordable, and offers wild birds the nutrition they need.

High Capacity Feeders
For a large portion of the country, the cooler months mean cold, gusty winds, rain, and snow. With these weather conditions, many of us would rather stay indoors where it is dry and warm, rather than brave the elements simply to fill our birdfeeders. This is where high capacity feeders are particularly useful. With bigger, larger capacity feeders, you have to go outside to fill your feeders less often. High capacity feeders give you the ability to keep your wild birds well fed and healthy, so you can stay indoors and enjoy watching feeding birds.

Winter Roost Bird HouseWinter Roost
Protection from the weather is hard to find during winter. Trees have lost their leaves, and many homeowners have cleaned their yards of brush and branches. This winter, give your wild birds protection and safety from the elements and a place they can rest to conserve their energy. When you offer wild birds a home in the winter, you help give them a place to retreat to during storms, cold winds, and frigid temperatures. Plus, with a birdhouse of their own, they are more likely to build a nest and raise their family in the spring, which makes for exciting birdwatching!

When you offer these essential items for wild birds, you help them stay strong and healthy, as well as increase their chances of survival during the most difficult time of year.

Winter Birding - Don't Miss Out!

Not all birds leave their summer breeding territories in autumn. Rather than flying off to warmer lands abundant with food, these birds remain behind and scavenge throughout the food-scarce months of northern winters.

There is no better time to view wild birds than winter. The bare trees and snow-covered surrounding provide very little camouflage, which makes bird activities more visible. How will you decide to observe these wild creatures of the air?

Here are Three Suggestions:

  1. If your idea of winter bird watching includes staying toasty inside and watching your feeders for visitors, make sure the feeders you offer are appropriate to the type of backyard guests you'll have. Place feeders at different heights to accommodate all tastes: a ground feeder or a platform feeder are favorites for some wintering birds. Be sure to keep your feeders filled at all times.

  2. Bundle up in weather-appropriate gear, bring your binoculars and camera and get out to where the birds are. You'll be sure to see something you would not see inside, and you can enjoy the great outdoors in the process.

The winter does not have to halt your bird watching pleasure. These tips will help you choose which way is best for you. And who knows? Winter may just bring out avian species you didn't know you had in the area!

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