A few ways to prepare your bird feeding stations for the winter months.
When the winter winds start to blow, the birds need your generosity to get through the colder months ahead. It usually helps to put out well-stocked bird feeders in the early fall, before they establish their winter-feeding routines, but they will find your feeders quickly when their natural food supply goes away. Also, bird feeders are most efficient when placed at sites where birds are known to visit and places where birds seek shelter such as in evergreens. And, in all seasons, birds are attracted to water for drinking and bathing. Add a small heater to a bird bath to keep water available to them all winter.
How to attract the largest variety of birds this winter.
- Use black oil sunflower seeds in a hopper-style bird feeder or tube feeder to attract cardinals, finches, blue jays and Sparrows of various types.
- Fruits on a platform will attract woodpeckers, cedar waxwings and blue jays.
- Fill a platform feeder with cracked corn, sunflower hearts and whole peanuts to encourage ground-feeding pheasant, quail and doves, as well as sparrows and cardinals.
- A suet cake feeder provides quick energy and is simply irresistible to flickers, woodpeckers, goldfinches, blue jays, juncos, chickadees and wrens.
- A tube feeder with peanuts or a nut mix will certainly attract cardinals, sparrows, starlings, chickadees, juncos, finches, woodpeckers, grackles, doves and blue jays.
- Fill a Nyjer tube feeder with Nyjer seed to feed American goldfinch, House finch, Purple finch and other small wild birds.
- If you don’t want squirrels dining at your bird buffet, try one of the squirrel busting wild bird feeders by Brome* or Droll Yankee's Whipper or Flipper. Birds* can dine there but squirrels will be literally locked out. (It’s fun to watch them try to figure this feeder out!) *Feeder is also weight-adjustable to keep out larger, unwanted birds.
- Try to include native plants in your garden design because they will attract specific birds to your landscape. As you prep the garden for winter, don’t tidy up too much. Allow the perennial seed heads to dry and remain standing over winter. The finches will visit in fall and winter as they love to eat the tiny seeds of the native Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Leftover dried plant stems and seed heads also make good nesting material for birds in the spring. Woodpeckers and bluebirds will enjoy the berries of the American cranberry bush (Viburnum trilobum) in fall and winter, if they last this long!
- Be consistent. Try to follow a routine to keep feeders filled with seed or suet—whichever is the favorite of the birds you wish to attract. Birds will return to the same feeders, if they are rewarded with food every time.
For more information on bird feeding, birdhouses, squirrel-proof feeders or other bird-related items, please speak with our sales associates at our Lake Bluff store. Or visit us at www.pasquesi.com. We would like to help you to create a bird-friendly habitat for your favorite, backyard birds.