It’s reported that nature provides birds with 75 percent of their nourishment, but if Old Man Winter is harsh and food supplies are covered with snow, the birds will appreciate any handouts you can give them.
The ideal location for a feeder is on the south side of the house and out of the wind. Nearby evergreens will offer extra perches for those waiting in the food line. Keep the food fresh by storing it in an air-tight container in a cool place, which keeps grain moths and other insects from hatching. Try to be tidy as dropped seeds attract mice.
I have a metal feeder that closes when a squirrel or deer applies pressure on the feeder’s perch. A plastic tube feeder with small perches takes care of the bullies that hog regular feeders and gives the smaller birds a chance to have dinner.
Safflower seeds are the favorites of cardinals, chickadees and downy woodpeckers. Black sunflower seeds attract cardinals, blue jays, finches, woodpeckers and nuthatches.
A mixture of corn, milo and millet entices grackles, sparrows, starlings and mourning doves, all of which are viewed as undesirables by some people. A suet cage is preferred by birds that usually feast on insects. A cage can be purchased at a garden center, or you can buy beef fat from a butcher.
Bird feeders need to be cleaned regularly. A solution of one part bleach and nine parts warm water is sufficient to keep the feeder sanitized.
Packages of suet and bird seed are great gifts for your bird-loving friends.
“Winter is the time for comfort, good food, warmth from the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside the fire; it is a time for home.”
– Author unknown.