Gardens are an important source of food and survival for wild birds. During the winter months, with the garden covered in blankets of snow, it is easy to forget that not all of your winged neighbors have flown south for warmer climates. Chickadees, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Mourning Doves and other small birds continue to live in the upstate NY region. Here are a few tips to that will make your backyard spring to life with these colorful visitors.
In order to attract a variety of birds a selection of food and feeders must be available to meet the needs and tastes of different types. Goldfinches, for example, are best fed with Sunflower mixes while fruit and nut mixes attract birds that regularly need these foods as a part of their diet. During the cold winter month’s suet is an excellent source of fat and nutrients that help to keep birds warm and healthy.
When choosing the perfect feeder look for one that is easy to clean, durable, and has adequate holding capacity. Where you put your feeder is as important as what you put in it. Look for a spot near cover, such as a tree, brush, or shrubs, this allows birds a secure place to hide when other animals or people startle them. With water sources turned to ice or snow it is difficult for birds to find adequate hydration. Providing a birdbath with a heater gives them a place to drink and bathe.