Birds in Winter
Every winter, I put out plenty of suet and birdseed. A few birds visit my backyard, but not like they do in summer. Can you solve this mystery?
—Margo Magwood, Kitchener, Ontario
George: Most people who feed backyard birds find that winter is the busiest time of the year. The fact that you don't have more activity in the winter may have something to do with the amount of evergreen habitat in your yard. When the leaves of deciduous trees disappear in the fall, a yard without evergreens provides no adequate cover for birds to use when threatened by predators or weather. You can correct this by planting some pines, spruces or firs near the feeders to reestablish a comfort level for the birds that visit in winter. A quick fix would be to stand an old Christmas tree near your feeder.