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Feeding Birds in the Winter

January 8, 2023

Feeding Birds in the Winter

Attracting birds to your back yard is easy when you supply the right food. But in the winter, it’s important to use the right feeders to help your feathered friends stay safe from predators while reducing spills that can attract rodents. Here are some how-tos for feeding birds this winter.

Feeder Choices and Placement

Choose caged feeders to keep out squirrels and other pests. But be sure birds can get access to the feed. Additionally, pay attention to where you place your feeders. There should be nearby steppingstones/pitstops to give the birds cover as they make their way to the feeder. These include trees, fences, sheds, shrubs, and other plants that birds can land on as they check for predators.

Pay attention to predators as well. If there are cats that visit your back yard, try to plant shrubs with higher vegetation so that there are not as many places for felines to hide.

Coastal tip: offer squirrels food at a location opposite your bird feeders. This can often keep them occupied.

Keep Rats and Mice Away

Pests are everywhere this time of year. But with a few simple tactics, you can avoid attracting them to your house and property while you feed plenty of birds.

  • Pick up spilled birdseed before rats and mice have a chance to find it. Some birdhouses are designed to minimize seed overflow.
  • Try catching seeds with a small can or plate placed under each feeder. This can make cleanup a bit easier.
  • Use scent-based repellents to make critters think there is a predator nearby. But be careful. This can also scare birds.
  • Add cayenne pepper to your birdseed. It won’t hurt the birds, but mice and squirrels hate it.
  • Store extra birdseed in airtight containers.

Choose the Cold-Weather Feed

The right feeder is essential, but so is the seed you choose to feed birds during the winter. As the temperatures drop, they’ll need more energy. The top choices include:

  • Black-oil sunflower seeds
  • Suet
  • Peanuts
  • Nyjer/Thistle Seeds
  • Safflower
  • Cracked Corn
  • Mealworms
  • Fruit

Don't Forget the Water

In the warmer months, it’s easy to supply some water for the birds. But when everything is frozen over, it can get a bit more complicated. If you have a nearby, heated stock tank for your other livestock, you’re all set.

Coastal Has Your Bird Feeding Supplies

That includes birdhouses, nesting boxes, birdseed, as well as pest repellents. Just stop by your West Coast-owned and operated Coastal for face-to-face advice and a huge selection of everything you need to live the ideal country lifestyle.