Top Tips for Winter Bird Feeding

Cold weather and lots of snow can be very tough on birds but you can help by following these winter bird feeding tips.

As you likely already know, the winter months can be very difficult for our birds. The cold weather requires them to eat much more to stay warm and the snow makes it more difficult for them to actually find the food they need. This means that winter bird feeding is important for many bird’s survival. By following these tips, you’ll be helping your backyard birds survive this winter.

1. Use High Energy Foods

When feeding your birds in winter, some foods are better than others. It’s very important for the birds to be able to quickly refuel in the morning after a cold night. With this in mind, I suggest offering foods like peanut pieces and sunflower chips. These foods are high in the fats the birds need and are very easy for a bird to quickly eat with little effort.

Top Tips for Winter Bird Feeding©Rob Ripma
©Rob Ripma Feeding suet doesn’t have to be complicated. You can use a small wire feeder and the birds will still love it!

2. Still Feed if you Can’t Get to Feeders

Just because the snow and ice is keeping you from getting to the feeders in your yard doesn’t mean you have to stop feeding. Consider just tossing some seed out on your deck, patio, or in your yard. The birds don’t mind and some species like cardinals will be very appreciate of being able to feed on the ground.

Top Tips for Winter Bird Feeding©Rob Ripma
©Rob Ripma Sparrows, like this American Tree Sparrow, will love feeding on the ground.

3. Provide Water

As important as food is to birds, water is even more important. Once lakes, ponds, and rivers freeze, it becomes very difficult for birds to find water. By putting a heater in your current birdbath or buying a heated one, you can help birds find water more easily. This is a great addition to your bird feeding no matter what time of year it is!

What other tips do you have for helping our feathered friends this winter season?

Rob Ripma
Rob Ripma, a lifelong Indiana resident, has traveled and birded extensively throughout the Americas.