Black-capped Chickadee, White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco. (c)Anthony Kaduck
by Sharon David and John McLaughlin
Part 1: Attracting Winter Birds and Bird Feeding PDF
In this article we discuss the different methods for attracting and keeping birds around during the fall and winter months.
The three main things one needs to provide to keep birds during the winter are food, shelter and water. But why feed birds during the winter? Winter brings a change in the availability of natural food. Insects become dormant and are unavailable to most bird species. While woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other insect eaters can pry grubs and hibernating beetles from under tree bark, some others are more dependent on the availability of seeds, fruits and nuts, such as grosbeaks, cardinals, and finches. Most birds supplement the natural foods that are available by visiting bird feeders for seeds and suet. This is especially true when a storm hits and their natural food becomes buried beneath the snow. As well, the days are becoming shorter and this reduces the amount of available time that the birds can forage for food, severely limiting the overall food intake per day.