Feeding Birds In Winter

I have a lot of birds in my yard.  With the temperatures getting colder, I really want to keep Feeding Birds In Winter.  I increase the feeders I have in my yard to give them plenty to eat.
Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker

So what are the Best Birdseed Mixtures to buy?  The answer depends on the Types of Birds you have coming to your yard.  I live in Oregon and have lots of Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Finches, Nuthatches, Towhees and Juncos in winter, as well as Anna’s Hummingbirds which overwinter here.  They all know there is food in my yard.

It is a good idea to Buy seed that is eaten by the Widest Variety of Birds in your area.  Alternatively, you can buy seed for specific kinds of birds to avoid waste if you know which specific birds you have.  The benefits of using a seed mixture is that you may attract a wider variety of birds.  The disadvantage is that some of the seed may not get eaten.
It is best to Avoid buying Cheap Seed Mixes as it often has fillers (like Red or Yellow Millet or Flax, which no one eats and is just left to grow Mold or Other Toxins, Making Birds Sick.).   It is a good idea to buy seed from specialty stores that have mixes which birds in your area like.  It may be a little more expensive, but you are likely to have less waste which makes it more economical in the long run.  We have Wild Birds Unlimited in our area, which I like very much.  (No, I don’t get paid for saying this.)
One Good Seed Mixture is one which contains Sunflowers, Safflower, Milo, Nyjer (Thistle), White Millet and Peanuts.  These are seeds which are eaten by a wide variety of birds.   Many birds also like Suet or pieces of Fruit.
Junco, Sparrow & Towhee In Snow
Junco, Sparrow & Towhee In Snow

Foods like Sunflowers and Suet are High In Oil, which provides lots of calories for hungry birds in winter. Sunflower is an attractive food for a very wide variety of birds, including Chickadees, Nuthatches, Finches, Sparrows, Woodpeckers, Jays, Grosbeak, Blackbirds, Cardinals and Titmice.  Many people even have separate feeders for sunflowers.

Safflower is also eaten by a wide variety of birds, like Nuthatches, Cardinals, Grosbeaks and Titmice.
White millet is eaten by Sparrows, Finches, Blackbirds and Pigeons or Doves.
Milo attracts, Jays, Pigeons or Doves.  While Finches love Nyjer (Thistle).
Stellar's Jay
Stellar’s Jay

Jays, Sparrows, Blackbirds, Doves and Pigeons like corn.  However it should be fed separately and not in a seed mixture due to the risk of corn molding.  And it should be changed frequently.

Suet is loved by birds in winter and attracts Woodpeckers, Jays, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Titmice and Bushtits.  I get lots of these in my yard in winter….at least four kinds of Woodpeckers, two kinds of Jays, two or three kinds of Chickadees and Bushtits.  Bushtits are the cutest, tiny birds that will swarm all over the suet feeders.  I usually get a suet mixture with some peanuts and fruit mixed in, which my birds love.
Fruit like oranges or apples are loved by Grosbeak, Woodpeckers, Finches and Cardinals.
These foods are also enjoyed by many other birds and these are just a few.  Here is a link to three great sites with lists of birds that enjoy various foods.  Choosing Bird Seed, Best Types Of Bird Seed To Attract Birds and What To Feed Birds.
It is Very Important to Clean your Bird Feeders frequently in all seasons, but especially in Winter when Rain or Snow can cause Mold to grow in the seed.  It is also important to clean up spilled seed for the same reason.
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird

Now lets not forget our Hummingbirds for those who live in mild climates, like the Pacific Northwest.

It is easy to make your own Hummingbird Nectar by boiling a 1 part sugar to 4 parts water for two minutes.  Then just let the nectar cool and fill your Hummingbird Feeders.
You can Keep Hummingbird Nectar from Freezing by insulating the feeder or swapping out the feeder if it does freeze.  I wrote some posts on this with quite a few other ideas previously.  How to Keep Hummingbird Feeders From Freezing and More Ideas How To Keep Hummingbird Feeders Freezing.
I hope that you have found this post useful for keeping your birds fed this winter.    Why no share some of the things you do to keep the birds happy in winter.
Advertisements

20 Replies to “Feeding Birds In Winter”

    1. Hi Pam,

      Thanks for coming by. I haven’t tried feeding only sunflowers, but my seed mix has a lot in it. Our suet is always there and the birds just love it.

      Yael

      Like

  1. What a great layout for all of your avian visitors. I swear by goin to the bird feed store too in order to ensure they have quality feed. Please feel free to swing by and link up with my Tuesday Greens linky for gardening, green living and eco-friendly posts. I’d love to have you. Enjoy the birds this winter!!!

    Like

    1. Hi Becky,

      Thanks for coming by. Just trying to keep my birds happy and healthy. This morning, juncos were all over the ground, feeders and even the suet feeders. Thanks for the invitation.

      Yael

      Like

  2. I love to feed birds in our front yard. I have a feeder in our front tree. I used to worry about our cat getting them but now he is so old he isn’t a hunter any longer. I can see them while I am at the kitchen sink. Soothing for the soul to watch them.

    Like

    1. Hi Elaine

      Thanks for coming by. I do have a problem with my cats, but take steps to prevent them from reaching the birds which is pretty successful. Hope you are having a great week.

      Yael

      Like

  3. Fantastic that you leave feed for the birds in winter. I’m sure they appreciate it and always know where to go to get some winter sustinance. Great for you too to have all those visitors.

    Like

  4. Thanks for sharing all of these bird tips. I too love birds in my yard in the winter. At my previous home I would cover pinecones with peanut butter and then roll it in birdseed. I had a window over my sink ant a tree limb that I could hang it from. It was so fun seeing the variety of birds that came to eat. Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.
    Hugs,
    Jann

    Like

  5. I like your hummingbird feeder with the cover on it–very neat! So nice to hear from you, thank you for the Thanksgiving wishes, and maybe we’ll both get some garden time in this weekend–it’s supposed to be a little drier outside.

    Like

Comments are closed.