bird feedingWhile feeding birds during wintertime you must keep on providing food and water during nesting season. Natural food sources may not be readily available during spring season, and time spent on the nest or tending to new hatchlings leaves fewer hours for birds to hunt food. Cold can put a damper on spring blossoms which leaves birds and butterflies looking hard and long for nectar and pollen. Most plants have not yet produced a crop of seeds or nuts this season, and freezing nighttime temps can lessen the number of insects available to birds foraging for meals.

Residents who keep bird feeders, bird baths and / or nesting boxes in place while birds raise their spring broods not only help their feathered friends provide for their young, they can also enjoy watching the bird’s comings and goings.

If you also place bird-feeders near the kitchen and sunroom windows you will sure enjoy bird watching from those vantage points. It would be great to see goldfinches, purple finches, white breasted nuthatches, chickadees, tufted titmice and bluebirds during winter months. You may also happen to watch red-headed woodpeckers, cardinals, carolina wrens, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers as well as an occasional crow-sized pileated woodpecker. And as winter melts into spring, a variety of migrating birds come to feed, as well.

Feed for the birds should also include black-oil sunflower seeds and suet as well as sugar water for hummingbirds. Some types of feeders are more suitable to perching birds that can sit on a peg or cling with their feet to a wire cage. Other feeders with trays allow birds like cardinals and robins to stand on a flat surface while eating.

A tube-type feeder would also be appropriate for your home and garden. It is a clear plastic box-style feeder that hangs from a window with suction cups, as well as a hopper–type feeder with a catch tray and suet baskets at either end. There are also various wire baskets where we feed home-made suet. You can also purchase commercially made suet. Whether sore-bought or home-made, be aware that seeds with their natural coverings should not be combined with suet. Birds cannot grip seeds with their bills to crack them open if the seeds are slippery with a covering of fat. Seeds mixed into suet are mostly wasted.

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