Attracting birds to your garden in Winter is an easy way to bring life and color to your landscape. By providing for the basic needs of our feathered friends, you can attract a diverse array of native birds to your own backyard.
Winter is a harsh time for native wildlife. Scarcity of food and water, cold temperatures, and Winter storms make it difficult to survive for even the hardiest species. Providing water, food, and shelter in your landscape will attract and provide for our colorful feathered friends, creating a birdwatcher’s delight in the garden.
When temperatures start to drop, birds require high fat foods like suet, sunflower seeds, nyger (thistle) seed, safflower, corn, and peanuts in order to maintain their metabolism in the colder temperatures. Finding a feeder and seed for your backyard flock may require some trial and error, especially if you are trying to attract (or repel) a particular species.
Providing a source of clean water is also a necessity for overwintering species, especially in years where snowfall is minimal. Adding a heated birdbath, or adding a submersible heater to an existing birdbath will keep your flock in fresh water, even when temperatures drop below freezing.
Finally, providing shelter will give birds a place to roost during inclement weather. Hanging roosting boxes or bird houses will give smaller birds a place to escape harsh temperatures and winds. For a natural shelter, a brush pile in an easy way to provide Winter shelter for birds. Adding evergreens to your landscape will also provide a sheltered place for birds during every season of the year.