Bird Feeding in Winter: All You Need to Know
Bird feeders come in lots of shapes and sizes and are designed to supply foods that attract particular groups of birds. That's why we think is important to know the difference between the types of feeders and the bird species they attract.
Winter: A Time for The Hardy
Keep feeders full all winter long. Sunflower seeds, suet, and millet are popular choices.
Keep birdbaths from freezing with a small water heater.
Place feeders on the east or south side of the house, out of the wind.
Black oil sunflower is a great overall seed to offer in the winter. It has a high calorie/ounce ratio due to its high fat and protein content and its relatively thin shell.
How to Choose The Right Type of Bird Feeder
Hopper Feeders: Typically designed to look like houses with four walls and a roof which helps keep seed clean and dry. Hopper feeders are designed to hold larger seeds and can be mounted on a pole or suspended.
Attracts: Blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers, finches, sparrows, bunting, northern mockingbirds, and rose-breasted grosbeak
Platform Feeders: Attract the widest variety of seed-eating birds. However, they offer no protection against the rain and snow. The best tray feeders have a screened bottom for easy cleaning. Only offer enough seed in tray feeders for birds to finish in a day or two.
Attracts: Cardinals, blue jays, juncos, sparrows, mourning dove, towhees, and rose-breasted grosbeak
Tube Feeders: Especially attractive to smaller birds. The tube design helps to keep the seed clean and dry. Metal feeding ports are better for areas with more squirrel traffic.
Attracts: Chickadees, nuthatches, grosbeaks, woodpeckers, goldfinches, titmice, house finches, sparrows, and warblers
Thistle Feeders: Specially designed to dispense Nyjer seed also known as thistle. The feeders are designed with tiny holes that make the seed only available to small-beaked finches.
Attracts: Goldfinches, house finches, pine siskins, and redpolls.
Suet Feeders: Constructed of either wire mesh or plastic-coated wire mesh. These feeders can be nailed or tied to a tree trunk. They can also be suspended.
Attracts: Woodpeckers, nuthatches, jays, chickadees, wrens, warblers, and titmice.