We have enjoyed all the birds coming to our backyard year-round for many years. We started with one feeder and now we have several. I like to blog about this every year as it’s a great pastime for young and old alike. It’s also a great way to be a conservationist! It’s important to keep our bird populations going in hard times.
First, look at your landscape. It’s good to have bushes and trees near your feeders where birds can quickly find shelter if predators are about. Include evergreen plantings so there will be winter shelter also. Always provide fresh water. We have two birdbaths by our garage flanked by two decent sized bushes. In the winter use a trough heater— available online. These use little current and keep the water just above freezing. Water is especially necessary in winter when many sources open to the birds are frozen. Change the water frequently and wash the birdbaths every ten days or so. It’s also nice to provide access for small animals, so we have a little stone bench in front of our heater.
As for seed, it’s available many places physically and online. We buy ours at Menards; it has the best prices we’ve found. Spend a little more money and get a better blend; like one labeled to attract songbirds. This one will have a larger amount of good seed like sunflower and safflower and less garbage seed like millet. Throw a few handfuls of finch food in the mix for these delightful little birds. You can buy a feeder constructed specifically for this tiny seed, but we just throw it in with the regular mix. We have tube feeders of various sizes. We also do some ground feeding for non- perching birds, like mourning doves. They love to visit during the winter and we often have a dozen or more all winter long.
So, for a small amount of money, you can make your yard a backyard oasis for all the beautiful birds in your neighborhood.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO