Monday, September 22, 2008

Colorful Birds

Birds feeding in Winter

If you plan on feeding wild birds this winter, here's a few tips you'll want to keep in mind. The main one being, if you do start feeding wild birds in your backyard this winter, don't stop until Spring arrives. It wouldn't be nice if we traveled many hungry miles for a good meal at our favorite restaurant only to find out that there was no food available to eat when we got there. Always have plenty of seed and water available for the birds. Birds will burn many calories over the winter months and need high fat foods to help them sustain their high body temperatures. Wild birds can be fed suet and peanut butter to supplement their fat intake that they don't receive from seeds.
Black sunflower seed is higher in fat content than striped sunflower seed and should always be available for the many varieties of birds passing through your backyard. If you had a plot of wildflowers growing this year, cut back the seed heads and store these in a dry place for offering to the birds in the dead of winter. Other common seeds, besides sunflower seed, for feeding wild birds in the winter include millet, niger, thistle, safflower and cracked corn. Save yourself some money and buy only seeds and grain that you know your birds will eat. Most mixed feeds contain filler seed that the majority of birds will not eat. If you wish to keep the squirrels away from your bird feeders, keep a squirrel feeder filled with corn and unsalted peanuts for these little guys. Make sure the squirrel feeder is located well away from the bird feeders, but still in view so you can watch them play in the snow this winter.