Prime Time for Winter Birding
Look out the window. What do you see?
With the way this winter has been going for some Canadians, seeing grass isn’t out of the question!
But look closer. Do you see little footprints in the snow? Look between the boughs of the evergreens, is anything in there, rustling around?
All sorts of birds stick around for the winter (even when it isn’t this mild). Right now, they may still have access to berries from trees and seeds from flowers. In a little while, though, these resources will run out or become difficult to find.
Choosing a Feeder
Now is the time to get yourself set up to help out! If you don’t have a bird feeder already, might I recommend my favourite feeder: the Mixed Seed Feeder with Suet Cages. I love this feeder for two reasons: it’s great for all sorts of birds (as you can put suet and loose seed in it) and it drains (reduces build up of ice and bacteria in the feeder).
If squirrels are a big issue at your place, try the Squirrel Resistant Feeder. I want to emphasize the word resistant – that’s not squirrel-proof. It will certainly deter them though and they will have a much more difficult time getting anything out of this feeder than your average feeder.
What to Feed
If you’re looking for seed, know that you need to cater to the birds you have in the area. Don’t try to attract hummingbirds now…trust me, no amount of sugary water will bring them to your yard these days.
The Cornell Lab (in association with Bird Studies Canada) website has, in my opinion, one of the best resources for choosing bird seed. I encourage you to check out the Project FeederWatch website to help you narrow down just what birds you’re seeing and what to feed them.
Get Out Into the Community
We are quickly approaching the Christmas Bird Count put on by Bird Studies Canada. This event has been taking place since 1900. Be a part of history. Find a Christmas Bird Count near you and participate! It’s a fun learning experience for long-time birders and those who are new to the hobby.