Many gardeners love to feed birds in their homes and gardens. Many people maintain natural areas and specific plantings for birds.

Bird feeding is important especially during the winters when migrants as well as local birds readily flock to feeders and provide many hours of watching pleasure for backyard birders.

Bird feeding is generally believed to be a winter activity, but it can be a year-round hobby. Fewer birds will use feeders in the summer, but those species that do will reward their human hosts by bringing their new offspring to the feeders, too.

American goldfinches, blue jays, Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, brown-headed cowbirds, Northern cardinals, chipping sparrows, house sparrows and mourning doves , and pigeons are some of the birds that visit feeders and garden regularly.

Fall and winter months are good times to watch house finches, purple finches, pine siskins, nuthatches, rufous-sided towhees, dark-eyed juncos, song sparrows and white-throated sparrows.

Insect-eating and/or fruit-eating birds are occasionally seen feeding in backyard bird- feeders. These birds might include mockingbirds, brown thrashers, red-bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, Northern flickers, Carolina wrens and Eastern bluebirds.

You could be lucky enough to watch birds of other migrating species at bird feeders as well. The birds generally appreciate winter feeding more than summer feeding. This is especially true of those species that would normally migrate further south, but instead stop briefly here in areas with feeding stations.

You should Fall and winter feeding, once begun, should not end until well into the spring months, when other food sources are plentiful, or until the birds have begun to migrate to northern breeding areas.

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