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Our Free Newsletter: The Birder Alert!
Winter Bird Feeding: The Best High Energy Bird Food to Give Birds During Cold Weather.
Winter bird feeding differs from summertime feeding because much of the natural foods birds eat during the warmer months such as
insects, berries, and seeds are gone or hidden by snow until spring.
Their diet and feeding habits change during the winter. Their high metabolic rate and the need to maintain body temperatures of over 100 degrees F requires high calorie and high fat foods.
This is where you come in. Just think if you were outside on a cold, wintry day; snow blowing, temperature dropping, stomach growling...then through the falling snow you spot a buffet table!
Some Winter Bird Feeding Tips:
Below are some good winter bird feeding options that will give birds the energy they need to get through yet another cold night.
Especially in cold weather birds need constant refueling, and suet (raw beef fat) is an ideal food. It's packed with calories that convert quickly to much-needed warmth and energy. If you have problems with squirrels stealing the
suet, then check out the squirrel proof suet feeder listed in the products below.
Types of birds attracted to suet:
Black-capped and other Chickadees, White-breasted & Red-breasted Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and Wrens
Black Oil Sunflower Seed
Black oil sunflower seed is a great seed to offer in the winter. It is a #1 favorite among many songbird species.
The high protein in combination with the high fat content from the oil produces an energy-packed morsel. Black oil sunflower has twice the calories per pound than striped sunflower and its smaller, thinner shells make it easier for smaller
birds to open and creates less mess when discarded by the birds.
The Stokes Premium black oil sunflower seed is a good choice because the seeds are freshly produced from the Red River Valley and have not been sitting on a warehouse shelf for who knows how long. Also a portion of the proceeds will be
donated to wildlife habitat and conservation.
Or if your rather build your own feeder, here are some free bird feeder plans of different types for a great family project.
Types of birds attracted to black oil sunflower:
Chickadees, Titmice, Nuthatches, House Finches, Purple Finches, Cardinals, Towhees, Goldfinches, Rosy-Finches, Redpolls, Pine Siskins, Woodpeckers, Grosbeaks, Sparrows, and Jays
Offering Birds Peanuts
Peanuts are high in protein, oil, and fat, which makes them a perfect addition to the foods you offer the birds in your backyard, especially during the winter when shorter days require birds to eat as much
high-energy food as possible in less time.
You can offer whole peanuts in the shell, but be sure to useunsalted, not
the ones you get from the grocery stores that are usually already salted.
You can also use unsalted shelled peanuts and put them in a peanut bird feeder for clinging birds or in any feeder that will dispense the
larger peanut pieces.
It's important to clean your feeders often to prevent mold build-up and food spoilage. It also helps to reduce the transfer of diseases between birds. Enjoy feeding and watching your backyard birds, but remember to also take care our
feathered family friends.
Here are some precautions you can take to provide a safe and healthy bird-feeding environment:
Providing water for birds is also very helpful during the winter months when other sources are lacking or frozen.
Just remember to change the water often and if you are having trouble with it freezing, try a bird bath heater to place in your existing bird bath or try an all-in-one heated bird bath.
Even if you live in very cold areas, there are bird baths that will stay warm down to -20 degrees F.
Winter Roost Box Plans
Go to our Winter Bird House Plans for a winter roost box plan to shelter the birds through the long, cold days and nights of the winter season. This is certainly
an added survival bonus to feeding them the high-calorie seeds.
Hope your have fun with winter bird feeding and now have some good wild bird food choices.