Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Simple Living :: Winter Bird Feeding


In the mornings (when it is warm enough), I sit on my patio sipping cocoa and watch birds flock to my feeders for a Winter meal. The doves, wrens, sparrows, titmouse, and even the wily woodpecker visit each day. Their melodies turning into a lovely song make the mornings pleasant. The cardinals and jays battle over the feeders mid-afternoon and by dark, all is quiet. {To keep the squirrels at bay, I leave corn cobs below my feeders for them to snack upon.}

In the Winter months, birds will gather for any free buffet of high protein seeds, suet, or peanuts. This time of year can be difficult for birds to find food; oftentimes, insects are dormant or dead and berries or seeds are buried under snow. If you hang feeders, be sure to keep them out of the wind and be prepared to fill them often.

This week, more birds have visited the feeders than usual; I've filled them each morning. To help offset the cost of seed (which can get quite costly), I look for seed to go on sale in October. The last seed I purchased cost $1 per 10 pounds. I bought all the store had!

All About Birds has a useful post discussing How to Choose Bird Seed. I highly recommend reading it before you begin Winter feeding.

I plan on participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count again this year. The count takes place February 15th through the 18th and anyone can take part in it. By providing a local bird count, researchers can track migrations, keep up with the effects of West Nile, and check biodiversity throughout the country. This is a fantastic way to introduce your children or yourself to bird watching. If you plan on participating, visit the website, have a field guide and binoculars handy, and don't forget the cocoa!

What type of seed do you prefer to feed to your local birds? Have you ever participated in a bird count?

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