Feeding Birds in the Winter

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Posynut_NY_zone4 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #4783485 Report Abuse

    trudy1180
    Participant

    Although birds will not starve if not fed during the winter, they will have a hard time for a while, until they locate other food sources. I feed them year round. Keeping my feeders well stocked, as I do not live near any neighbors what also feed birds. Low temps as most of us are experiencing, and a scarcity of natural food take a hard toll on birds, and a full feeder can mean the difference between life and death.


    #4786456 Report Abuse
    CatsBirds
    CatsBirds
    Participant

    Hi Trudy… my feeders are full all the time.  I might have to go back to work to pay for the seed…lol.  I know that in the winter especially there is very few seeds and with the snow as deep as it is this year, there is even less.  Hubby went out yesterday and filled for me as it was -15 wind chill.  I have a heated water dish for them too.  It is so cold this morning that the dish has ice around the rim. We had popcorn last night for a snack I will throw the rest of it out for the birdies.  And I put some apple peelings and veggies peelings out and they ate them too.. They are just hungry.


    Sharon, Catsbirds, Community Team Member
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    #4786610 Report Abuse

    OhioLilacLady
    Participant

    Hi Everyone ~~~~

     

    Our feeders are full all the time also as we have soooo many more birds this year than we ve ever had in the winter.  The back feeders are always busy with (5) pairs of cardinals; bluejays, juncos, sparrows, an infrequent dove or two, a couple of house finches and the occasional pest (black bird but we only have 2 of them).

     

    I have also been throwing old bread and bagels out for them and we laugh at one particular bluejay .  He will stand on 1/2 a slice of bread and peck until he gets it a certain size and then he flies off over the house (always to the North) to the woods with it.

     

    We have a “”stray”” wild rabbit that I sometimes worry about as I don t think he s finding enough to eat right now.  Oddly, enough hubby spotted him just at dark the other night, eating the sunflower seeds the birds roust out of the feeder.  He doesn t seem to care for breads of any kind so maybe I ll try potato and apple peelings this afternoon.

     

    Marilyn


    #4786802 Report Abuse

    Hiker07_IL_5
    Participant

    Have lots of feeders I keep going in the winter but I cut back to just a couple during the summer. Hope to keep feeding them but with everything going up, like my insurance, I may have to quit one of these days. That would kill me, I have to see something moving in the winter!


    #4786808 Report Abuse
    birdbug
    birdbug
    Participant

    Hi Everyone !

    I too feed the birds year round..much to the dismay of DH ! LOL

    I feel that the poor birds and other small critters have enough to worry about this winter with the severe cold that they shouldn’t have to worry about their food supply too.

    Marilyn, we have at least 3 wild rabbits that come to our backyard..sometimes during the day but also in the evening.  I try to make sure that there is some seed or cracked corn on the ground for them later in the day..but not too much. Don’t want to attract other stuff …like rats. I know that the rabbits love the raisins that I’d feed them in the summer time too.

    Trudy, I know that none of our neighbors feed the birds so all the birds in the neighborhood are in our backyard ! LOL  I’ve also heard negative comments from a few of them complaining about all the birds around our house, which I just ignore.

    I’m sure that all our cold feathered friends appreciate what we do for them….they’d better ! LOL

     


    Mary Ann (Birdbug)

    #4794606 Report Abuse
    steve232__nc
    steve232__nc
    Participant

    I try to keep seeds out all the time too but when grackle season (February – June) gets here I have to cut back and only put some seeds out really late in the afternoon since the cardinals come just at dark so they at least get some seeds then. Those grackles can empty an entire feeder in minutes.


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    #4795723 Report Abuse
    dena1123
    dena1123
    Participant

    I feed all year round.  It seems like I am topping the feeder off every other day during the winter.  Thats okay, just one of the simple pleasures of life for me.

    A few years ago, I happened to be at a local Metro Park while a guy was banding birds.  Course my nosy self went over there.  One of the things he was doing, was checking their fat with relation to how hard of a winter it was for the bird.  It was very interesting.  He actually let me hold and release a Chickadee.

     


    #4795960 Report Abuse

    Hiker07_IL_5
    Participant

    I usually fill my feeders late in the evening unless it’s really bad and they empty them early, this way they are full in the morning.


    #4796063 Report Abuse

    Poppy
    Participant

    I was looking online about what to feed bluebirds in the winter ( other than meal worms) and found this site and joined immediately!  I’m so excited!  With the cold winter I’ve been feeding my five little bluebird friends often.  It amazes me how they will fly down to my back porch and peek in the door looking for me as if to say…”we’re hungry”!  I tried putting cut up raisins out today and they didn’t want anything to do with them.    Today was also the first time I ever saw them fly to my suet cakes and sunflower seed feeders.  They have NEVER done that before!  It may be because it’s been so cold and snowy today?  Anyone else ever see this?


    #4796727 Report Abuse

    Hiker07_IL_5
    Participant

    Poppy, do you live in the country? I live in town and arn’t lucky enough to have them but son has 11 acres and he gets them. The only time I get strangers in my yard is during migration, usually on a pretty cool day.


    #4798051 Report Abuse
    dena1123
    dena1123
    Participant

    Poppy

    I have never seen it, I am not lucky enough to have them near the house, they are way out back.  However, I have read that it is not uncommon for them to do that..  Yoh are very lucky!!!


    #4810735 Report Abuse

    Poppy
    Participant

    Hiker…  Yes, I do live in the country…and there are many bluebirds around.  My five little friends are a family that nested in my bluebird box last summer.  I started putting meal worms in a tin can in my yard last spring to see if I could get them to come to it.  I’d tap-tap-tap the can loudly before placing the meal worms into it and dart for my back porch.  Sure enough it wasn’t long before they knew what that sound was and would fly into the branches above the spot where I put the worms and wait patiently for me to move out of the way.   Then they started flying to the tree branches as soon as I came out of the house in the morning and wait for me to feed them.  When I came home in the afternoon…they were waiting!  It really surprised me, though, yesterday when they came right to the back porch to gobble the worms up.  I put them right outside the door on a little bench.  They are doing the same today.  I just love them!

     

    Dena1123 -

    Yes, I do consider myself very lucky!  Nice talking to you both!


    #4815879 Report Abuse
    SunshineNY6
    SunshineNY6
    Participant

    Poppy, that is so cool! The closest I’ve come to that that I ‘ve come is putting peanuts in the shell on the low wall that surrounds my patio for some blue jays who have come to expect them. The low wall also has given me some great photo ops.


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    #4815880 Report Abuse
    SunshineNY6
    SunshineNY6
    Participant

    Welcome Poppy to the forum.


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    • This reply was modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago by SunshineNY6 SunshineNY6.
    #4816886 Report Abuse
    steve232__nc
    steve232__nc
    Participant

    Poppy welcome to Bird and Blooms. Hope you’ll stick around and become a regular. I have bluebirds here as well. They even come to my feeders where I have seeds mixed with raisins and peanuts. Not sure if they eat the peanuts or just the raisins but I do know I love seeing them.


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