Feeding Our Winter Friends
Cold days, icy walks and hazardous driving conditions, tired of indoor activities, turn your eyes towards the outdoors. Cold flurry days and the long bleak nights can confine most birds, but some take pleasure in this time of the year. One way to attract these feathered friends is through a natural food selection supplied by a bottomless feeder or suet feeder. The bird species that attend your feeders in the winter are different from those that attend your feeder in the summer. Some species you can see year round are Cardinals, Chickadees and Sparrows. During the cold weather we see the Blue Jay, the White-Breasted Nuthatch and the American Goldfinch.
There are three main choices of food for winter-feeding, large seeds, small seeds, and suet. Large seeds include black-oil sunflower, safflower, peanuts, shelled corn and cardinal mixes. The birds that favor these large seeds are Northern Cardinal, Blue Jays, Chickadees, Goldfinches and Nuthatches. Small seeds include niger, thistle, seed and millet. This is an excellent food source for Black-Capped Chickadees, Goldfinches, Purple Finches and Red Polls. Suet and fruit mixes are an excellent source of fat for birds in winter. This is necessary for them to maintain consistent body temperature and store energy. This type of food is attractive to Woodpeckers, Black-Capped Chickadees and Nuthatches.