In the early Autumn months, Mother Nature offers an abundant feast of insects, fruits, seeds, nuts, and berries for backyard birds to enjoy. Nevertheless, fall is the perfect time of year to set out bird feeders to supplement their diet. The natural food and water sources which your birds rely on all spring, summer, and fall will soon diminish when the temperatures drop and the snow flies. Now is the time when birds are actively scouting and searching out reliable, consistent resources that they can resort to when their natural supply runs out. Once Winter arrives, birds will seek to conserve as much energy as possible and will only visit the trusted locations they have previously scouted out. Offering food and water at a time of abundance provides many benefits for your feathered friends:
Builds trust with your bird populations so they know well in advance where to go when the cold weather sets in
Provides reliable and consistent nourishment at a time when natural food sources are slowly dwindling
Helps native migrating birds increase fat reserves to sustain their long journey South
Serves as a quick meal for migrating birds just passing through
There are several considerations to keep in mind when choosing a location for your feeder. Place your feeder where you can easily watch and enjoy the activity from the comfort of your home. Don’t place it so close to your house, however, that the birds will be startled by any movements from within the house. Birds are shy creatures and will escape to cover at the slightest hint of danger; they will not feed if they perceive insecurity in their environment. Hang your feeder from a tree or place it near shrubs to provide a sheltered perch for your flock. They will appreciate the security of a safe place to scope out potential dangers before they feed.
Seed Selection, Storage, & Filling Your Feeder
Attracting specific bird varieties to your feeder may take some time and patience. Choosing seeds specific to the birds you wish to attract is one way to help this process along. Some species prefer a single seed type while others benefit from a mixed blend. Offering a blend of different seeds will attract a more diverse flock. In general, choose seeds with high fat and protein content, such as sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, or white millet.
Store your birdseed in an airtight container in a cool, dry place where rodents can’t reach it. It is important to keep seed in your feeder consistently; you may need to add seed as often as once per day. When refilling your feeder, dispose of any wet, soggy seeds as these will rot and attract mold. Clean your feeder regularly and scrape any bird droppings off as needed in order to diminish the possibility of spreading diseases among your flock. Many birds prefer to eat from the ground, so be sure to scatter a handful of seed beneath the feeder. Suet, which is high in energy and valuable for building fat stores , is also a good option for feeding birds in the winter months.
Village Green carries several different types of bird seed blends which attract cardinals, jays, finches, chickadees, titmice, grosbeaks, thrushes, buntings, and woodpeckers:
Though it is not necessary, offering a water source such as a bird bath or dish will help attract birds to your feeder. Staying hydrated is important for birds any month of the year but can be especially difficult in the Winter when most water sources are frozen. Your backyard flock will appreciate a two-in-one spot for dinner and drinks. Be sure to prevent ice formation in your birdbath by installing a simple heater, or purchase a pre-heated basin.