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Tips for feeding birds in the winter

Now that the brunt of winter is upon us, many bird species have migrated south to warmer climates. However, there are still many birds remaining that could benefit from food or shelter during the winter.

Wade Kammin of Wild Birds Unlimited in Springfield, Illinois, recently gave a series of tips on feeding birds in the cold, for an article in the Springfield State-Journal Register.  Here are a few of his suggestions.


During winter, it’s a good idea to put out as many different food types at as many different heights as possible.  This strategy will help maximize the number of birds you can feed.  Safflower seed, sunflower seed, peanuts, whilte millet and suet are a few good choices for winter bird food.


Regadless of the temperature, birds always need a steady supply of water to stay alive.  If you’re in an area where the temperatures are dropping below freezing, you should store any stone or concrete bird baths under cover to prevent them for cracking.  If possible, replace them with a plastic or metal bath, or, even better, use a heated bird bath.

Cover and shelter

Birds need shelter during the winter, but it is often more challenging to find it once most of the trees lose their leaves.  For this reason, Kammin suggests “leaving yard work until spring and letting the garden stand in the winter, so the dried plant stalks and fallen leaves provide natural camouflage.”

Also, if you have birdhouses, fill them with roven grass rooting pockets, which will help cavity-dewlling birds find shelter for the wind, and add wood chips to better insulate the houses.

Want more tips about birdfeeding?  Check out the bird feeding learning section at The Backyard Chirper.

1 Comment

  1. […] of water can be placed in the yard and changed two or three times a day as it starts to freeze.After Halloween and with the approach of Thanksgiving the weather has a way of letting you know that…would be very good if you were to supplement there food supply by setting up some bird feeders in […]

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