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Feeding Wild Birds In Wintertime

Updated on December 27, 2015

If You Provide It, They Will Come

Wild birds have gathered to watch others at the feeders.
Wild birds have gathered to watch others at the feeders. | Source

Just A Little Help, Please!

This winter in particular, the weather has been brutal for the eastern part of the United States. Bitterly low day and nighttime temperatures have been the norm. The wind seems to always be blowing steadily. This then creates an even more harsh condition known as wind chill. You must add extra protective layers to brave the elements outside, if even for a limited amount of exposure.

A small group of Sparrows and a Junco
A small group of Sparrows and a Junco | Source

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It is for this reason I feel for the wild animals.I am compelled to offer the wild birds a safe place to feed. They have only whatever natural instincts and defenses in place to get them through these frigid days and nights. They spend their energy during the day searching for nourishment to sustain them, and I am only too willing to assist them in their struggle.

Wild Birds On Arrival And Departure

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Feed Your Guests

Every winter I fill my two bird feeders with plenty of wild bird seed. When I notice the levels in the feeders deplete, I usually do not delay in refilling them to the brim. I don’t consider this a laborious chore . . . but instead for me it is a simple joy. The absence of seed shows me that I did indeed have many hungry visitors, and I have succeeded in my endeavor to care for something others may take for granted ~ wild birds.

This Is For The Birds!

Do you maintain wild bird feeders on your property?

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Bon Appetit

When you set up your wild bird feeder in your backyard it is a good idea to place it where the birds have easy access to it. Proper placement assures wild bird safety, your access to it for replenishment purposes, and your viewing pleasure. Try to avoid areas where there are obstacles or hiding places for their enemies. Introducing a new wild bird feeder to your yard is like having a new restaurant in the neighborhood. It may take a while for the birds to locate it . . . but be patient. Soon it will be noticed and you will have many patrons to your eating establishment. Your feeder will be frequented, and you will enjoy the company of many returning guests! Bon appetite!

Three Wild Bird Feeders ~ No Waiting

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All Are Welcome

I gain so much pleasure from watching them gather, communicate and feed together. I can hear them from inside the house when the crowds gather to forage for food outside. A small group of birds arrive and they appear to attract another group, and so on. These wild birds that fly in are all shapes and sizes. Several different species mingle and join the group. Sparrow, Junco, Blackbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Crow, Grackle and Mourning Dove . . . all are welcome.

They soar in, hop along, chirp loudly, and sometimes bully a neighbor bird. For the most part, they seem to co-exist and get along. All are busy for they share a common goal. Eat, eat, and eat some more! Maybe I was a cat in a previous life! I do enjoy spying on them when they come for the feast I have provided on such a cold day. This is a very pleasant distraction for me (and my cats).

How To Choose The Right Feeder For Your Backyard

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

This has been the worst weather in February that I can remember. Relentless in snowfall, high winds and cold temperatures. So I did what any bird lover would do ~ I set up yet another bird feeder! I have one bird feeder that has six feeding stations in a tubular shape. One large house-shaped troth feeder on a pole and the newest feeder is a smaller roofed troth feeder that hangs between them both. Each feeder accommodates several birds at once. When there are multiple birds feeding at once, seed falls to the lawn, and the birds on the ground get their fair share as well. Seeds fall everywhere in fact. But these little birds make for efficient little vacuums, so hopefully I will be doing very little weeding this spring. But that’s fodder for another story.

Pretty Birds All In A Row

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Good Food Attracts Great Birds ~ Turn Your Backyard Into A Natural Habitat

I prefer to feed the wild birds a classic seed mix. It is a mixture of milo, white proso, millet, wheat and sunflower seed. There are wild bird seed mixtures that are comprised of unique blends to attract specific types of bird species, so the ingredients may vary. Observe what birds are at your site and select the blend that is formulated to best attract those wild birds.

Seed suppliers make mixes that are designed for instance, to attract primarily songbirds. Some mixtures have the shells removed so the birds do not have to expel their precious energy removing the outer seed casing. There are even mixes that are purposely blended to not include any food that would be attractive to squirrels!

It is best to store seed in a dry, cool area and keep the container sealed. This prolongs freshness and protects the seed from insect infestation that can occur with any whole grain seed product.

Who Comes To Visit You?

What wild bird species do you most often see at your feeder?

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Classic Wild Bird Seed Blend

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Seed & Ingredient Attraction Chart

Bird Species
Sunflower
Millet
Thistle
Dried Fruit
Blue Jay
*
*
 
 
Cardinal
*
*
 
*
Chickadee
*
 
*
 
Junco
*
*
*
 
Goldfinch
*
 
*
 
Mourning Dove
*
*
*
 
Purple Finch
*
*
*
*
Nuthatch
*
 
 
 
Sparrow
*
*
*
 
Woodpecker
*
 
 
*

The Dinner Bell

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Organized Chaos

At the feeders there is harmony. All is peaceful, all is perfect. Then, in an instant one bird startles and the whole flock takes off. Someone panics, and they all react. Organized chaos. The sound of a hundred animated wings at once is an amazing noise to hear. Like living wind! Just as quickly, they return and begin landing, resume eating and continue socializing. Tranquility restored.

Feathered Frenzy

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Bird Watching From The Comfort Of My Warm Perch

I delight in watching them from my kitchen window. I positioned the feeders just outside it for the best vantage point for me. My cats watch from whichever other window doesn’t have a cat already there. We all three of us seem to be concentrating, but contemplating different aspects of what we are viewing, I’m sure.

Avid Bird Watcher

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The Snow Falling Does Not Slow Them Down

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I Know They're Not Mine . . . I Just Borrow Them In Wintertime

There are six admiring eyes watching the wild birds. Three cold noses pressed up against warm windows, grateful (at least I am) for the comfort of heat that surrounds me from my perch. The birds are wild . . . but they are mine . . . if at least only for wintertime!

Comments

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    • NotTooTall profile imageAUTHOR

      NotTooTall 

      3 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      Thank you for your comments ~ I appreciate it!

      I do have a birdbath, and it was set up this weekend :)

      The overnight temps finally got into the upper 30's - low 40's so with the help of my neighbor, we lifted it into place. It is made of poured concrete, so I enlist his help each spring and winter . . . it's very heavy.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for doing your part in the winter. During spring and fall migrations, it is also a necessity, as birds expend so much energy in order to travel thousands of miles. It is true that songbirds travel at night to not be predated, and you could well wake up to quite new visitors in the morning. If you can, p[lease provide water, too. Running water will attract even more birds, so you could have quite a menagerie by the time you are done. Again, thanks for all you do for our avian friends.

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