It’s Mid-November, and although it’s been relatively warm to this point in zone 5, I can already see the birds that will be settling into my landscape for the winter. So with that I took a quick ride to my local Lowe’s to see what they had for bird food & accessories, and man was I overwhelmed. That said I walked out with nothing to go home and research how to keep the birds I have happy, and attract some that maybe I don’t have. I put this list together in hopes that I can maybe help you draw some feathery friends to your backyard!
- Suet provides the calories needed to keep birds warm in the winter. There are multiple ways to hang, but the most popular would be a suet feeder seen here from Bestnest.com. There are other suet feeders, but I found this to be the most popular.
- You can make your own suet with this recipe from garden gate magazine. There are many more recipes out there, I just liked this one.
- Another great winter food is Oil Sunflower. This food is also high in calories, but make sure it’s Oiled Sunflower and not stripped sunflower. Oiled sunflower offers twice the calories as stripped sunflower.
- Don’t like the “heel” or ends of a loaf of bread, then throw it in the yard. Birds love bread and this is a great way to attract new birds. I remember when I was young my grandparents always bought a loaf of “day old” for the birds.
- This one’s easy, put out a bird bath. If you live in a cold climate like I do you might want to buy a heated bath or a heater to keep the water from freezing. I’ve found that if you keep up on putting fresh water in the bath the water won’t freeze but that’s me I’m out almost every day to check.
- You can also put out bowls or the like filled with water, the birds will use them trust me!
- Don’t cut your ornamental grass as it provides great shelter during storms, and chilly nights.
- Don’t take down bird houses. Be sure to clean out old nests to get rid of parasites, but try to leave them up for the winter you’re sure to attract birds with the real estate!
- I’ll even try to leave large branches from my late season trimming projects. I’ll actually lay these over my borders, the birds use them and they keep the deer out of my beds.
So there you have it, just a few tips on attracting birds to your landscape for winter bird watching. I guess all you have to do is think about what you need in the winter, food, water, & shelter…
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