How to Attract Winter Birds
There is something special about a quiet winter morning when you are the only one awake in the house. I pad down the stairs, make a cup of coffee and warm up a muffin or scone. Sitting close to my dining room window, I make friends with the song birds who overwinter in the large evergreen tree in the backyard. They flit to and fro, and I am always amused by their antics.
There is one morning dove who declares himself king of the window bird feeder. He spreads himself out for a sit and guards the seeds, while the quick-winged chickadees make mad dashes for stray bits of breakfast.
Then there are the brilliant cardinals that seem to know how well their red coats look against the snow capped pine needles, as they preen.
Winter birds are certainly a joy to watch. Attract them to your home, and you will get the pleasure of their presence from season to season.
Here are eight tips to help you attract the birds to your home.
- Choose the best viewing spot in your home, then place your feeders strategically near those windows. Avoid heavily trafficked areas, as loud noises may at first startle the birds. Over time, some varieties of birds will get used to the regular household noises.
- Consider attaching a small platform right outside an upper story window. Now only will you get close up views, but squirrels and other pests will not be able to climb to get the seed.
- Do a little research and choose high-quality bird feed that will attract the type of birds you would like to see.
- Be consistent in your feeding. In the winter months, your birds will come to rely on the food source.
- Clean the feeders often, to prevent mold and bacteria, which can cause illness to your birds.
- Be patient when you first put out your bird food. It takes a few days for “word of beak” to attract a healthy community of birds.
- If your backyard does not have a natural shelter, such as my large pine tree, create some of your own. You can install traditional bird houses and bird roost boxes, or build brush piles. Choose locations that are protected from harsh winter winds.
- If you can, start your preparations in the fall, as the normal bounty of nature begins to wane. Delight in your new friends, and don’t be surprised if human visitors start showing up at your door to also enjoy the winter birds in your backyard.
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winter birds, bird feeders, backyard ideas