As old man winter starts bringing in the cold weather, we sit inside our warm and cozy homes. If you want something to eat, it’s done in the comforts of a heated home. Now look out the window at the birds flying around. Did you do anything to make their homes nice and cozy also? It’s not as difficult as you think.
Housing: You can easily purchase or even make a bird house which provides a safe haven when the snow is falling and the wind is blowing. Add some dry grass or wood shavings (do not use saw dust) to the bottom of the box to add some insulation.
Shelter: Making a shelter is even easier than a bird house. Simply take a nesting box, add new grass or stuffing to the box. Take any fallen branches and make a pile in the corner of the yard. You can even use your old Christmas tree for an instant shelter. The greenery of the tree gives the birds protection from the wind and snow. You can even place these shelters by your bird feeders, giving the birds a place to perch while eating.
Food: Stock the fridge for the birds by giving them high energy food like suet or peanut butter. The fat gives winter birds the biggest energy boost. There are multiple types of suet cakes and hangers. For the peanut butter, a DIY project is the easiest. Find a small log and mount an eye screw to the top. Drill one inch holes along the length, but keep room for the bird to land on the log. Smear peanut butter in the holes and hang in a nearby tree. FYI – peanut butter will not stick to the roof of their beaks. You can always fall back on the classic feeders but make sure you clean the snow off the trays so the food can continuously flow and you always want to keep the seed dry. Clean the area under the feeder to allow the birds to pick fallen seeds off the grass instead of the snow. You can even scatter the seed in the sheltered place you made. This gives more birds the option to grab a meal.
Water: Grab a glass for yourself and make sure they have some. In the extreme cold, you can add a bird bath heater to an existing bird bath or place a heated dog bowl on top. If you use a heated bird bath, add some rock to prevent the birds from bathing in the open water just enough room for a drink.
Remember, that the birds are counting on you to keep their food supply up. If it’s too hard to fill the feeder when needed, look into a second one or a larger capacity.
Hopefully these tips will help the birds in your back yard enjoy their winter too. We just love watching the different birds in our backyard. They bring color to the white world and all we have to do is provide them some necessities.