Just because everything looks frozen in the winter, it doesn’t mean all the wildlife is asleep. Winter is one of the busiest times for some birds. Not all birds migrate. Chickadees, nuthatches, downy and hairy woodpeckers, blue jays, starlings, all stay for the winter. They will be searching for food. To help these birds out and bring them to your backyard there are a few things you can do.

For starters, put up a sturdy bird feeder that can withstand the cold weather. Place the feeder in a quiet area, where it’s easy to see and convenient to refill. Find a spot close to natural shelter such as evergreen trees. Make sure the seed isn’t blowing out or getting wet. Think about safety. Make sure the feeder is in a location where predators such as cats can be detected and avoided. Keep the feeder some distance from reflective glass to avoid window strikes by the birds.

Habitat loss is the leading cause of population declines in many bird species, so having a place for them to stay is one of the best ways you can help the birds that visit you this winter. An example of this would be planting a native tree or hanging a bird house. Check out our craft page to learn how to build your own bird house. In most locations the best all-around attractant is black oil sunflower seed. Please remember that if you start feeding birds in the winter, you have to continue doing so throughout the whole winter, because they will begin to count on you. Suets are also a really good thing to have in the winter. Check out our blog about bird seed to find out more. After trying all these things, have your binoculars and camera ready to find out what birds are in your backyard.