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Winter Bird Feeder Adventures

I love watching the birds. My dad built a nice big bird feeder for the family to enjoy bird watching from the kitchen window. It was big enough to hold all sizes from small chickadees to blue jays and even owls! It’s amazing all the wild life that would flock to the feeder. Even black bears!

My little red bird feeder
My little red bird feeder

I missed watching the birds hop around the feeder so recently I decided why don’t I feed the birds in my neighborhood? With this idea in my head I purchased a small “beginner” feeder to hang up in my backyard and a nice big bag of seed. Due to the frigid cold we’ve had lately there was zero bird activity. This was disappointing because I guess I expected to instantly see birds when I hung up the feeder. Not so much. I also realized that since I’ve put seed out later in the winter the birds probably didn’t know it’s available at my place. There’s always birds swooping through the back yard so eventually the word will get out. While I patiently wait for them to emerge I’ve been reading up on the types of birds that I can expect to see at my feeder.

Bird watching

Owl at the bird feeder
Owl at the bird feeder

So far I’ve seen chickadees, house finches, sparrows, juncos, nuthatches and a rather obnoxious magpie that landed in the evergreen tree. Not too bad. I’ve been trying to snap a photo of them and it’s been pretty difficult. All I have to prove the birds have been visiting my feeder is that there are less seeds.

I’m used to seeing the neighborhood birds often but I’ve never really known their proper names. I downloaded an app called “Merlin” by The Cornell Lab. It helps me identify 400 North American birds just by entering a few details about their location, size, colour and what they’re doing. It even shows you variations of colour and you can listen to their song/call. It’s pretty handy when you want to learn more about a bird or just really curious about what they’re called. Give it a try if you’re interested in learning more about the birds in your area.

One day I’d love to see an owl coming to visit my feeder like they do at my parents place. I’ll need something a lot more sturdy if I want larger birds to land for a bite to eat. Here’s a photo of the owl that used to frequently stop in at my parents feeder. Super cute!

Sparrow in my window
Sparrow in my window

How to feed the birds during winter:

  • Offer high calorie and high fat foods
  • Provide different feeder options for single birds or flocks
  • Place feeders out of the wind
  • Position feeder near cover but in the open to allow birds to watch for predators
  • Offering suet is a great source of energy and fat
  • Suet cages are a nice option for birds to hang on
  • A source of water is always appreciated since it’s very hard to find during winter
  • Clear feeders after it snows to make seed easily accessible
  • Leave fruit and berries on trees to provide a natural food source in your yard
  • Leave bird houses up year round to provide a safe place to roost

Hopefully by following some of these tips you’ll have little birdies visiting you at home! Stay tuned for Bird Feeder Adventures in Spring when I give you an update on the new birds that will be stopping by when the weather gets warmer!

QUESTION: What types of birds do you find in your area during the winter?

Let me know in the comments or post a photo to the Forest Fairy Facebook page. Thanks!

 

Sprinkle some fairy dust!
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