Backyard Chirper

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4 Accessories to Winterize Your Feeders

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: winter is a rough time for birds. Food is scarce, all the drinkable water freezes, and safe spots to roost are rare.

There are many things you can do to help birds navigate harsh winters, but if you’re reading this, you probably already have a feeder (or two) in your backyard. Since providing food to birds is a great way to help, all you have to do is make sure your feeders are capable of making it through the winter too.

So we created this list of four accessories that’ll winterize your feeders and make them safe havens for your birds.

1. Weather guard

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The biggest threat to bird feeders in the winter is moisture. Whether it’s rain or snow, wet weather will decrease the lifespan of birdseed because the seed is likely to grow mold quicker, leaving your birds susceptible to illnesses. An easy solution is to get a weather guard like Aspects Super Dome. This large clear dome covers the top of the feeder and protects it from the elements. This particular model is fantastic because it’s large enough to cover most feeders with room to shelter the birds on the perches.

2. Squirrel cage

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If wet weather is the biggest threat, squirrels are the second biggest. We know squirrels need to eat as well, but birds are just as strapped for food. (If you really are concerned about squirrels, consider a squirrel feeder.) The solution is a squirrel cage for your tube feeders.

The Pinebush Squirrel Blocking Cage is a great accessory because it can be used in conjunction with a variety of feeders, including hanging feeders and suet feeders.

3. Seed catcher platform

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One of the biggest losers during winter bird feeding are ground feeding birds. These birds suffer the most because it’s harder to scavenge off the ground when snow is covering it. A seed catcher platform like this one from Birds Choice not only catches seed from feeders above it, which saves you money and cleaning, but also allows a feeding space for birds like doves.

4. Feeder Fresh

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This final item on the list goes back to the first thing we discussed: moisture. Sometimes if it’s really rainy, moisture will get into your feeder no matter how big of a weather guard you have. Fortunately, there’s something called Feeder Fresh that will help you maintain a dry, healthy, mold-free feeder. Made from non-toxic absorbent sand, Feeder Fresh absorbs moisture from the feeder and is safe for birds. By adding this to your feeder, you’ll ensure the birds have a safe and healthy place to eat all winter long.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.