January 2017 Newsletter (vol.45) >> Feeding your Wild Birds through Winter
As winter sets in, your lawn and garden may be looking gray. A nice and simple way to bring color back to your yard is to set bird food out! In winter, birds change their eating habits from munching on insects and berries over to seeds and nuts. They begin searching for a winter food and water source for wintertime survival. A well-mixed premium bird food will do the trick and serve many different species of birds. Sunflower seed is a great base for any mix due to its high calorie, fat, and protein content. Sunflower kernels provide the same nutrition, with less mess due to being shelled. Sunflowers seed will attract a large variety of birds to your feeders including cardinals, nuthatches, finches, and others. Millet is another key ingredient for bird food. Millet is a favorite of ground-feeding birds such as juncos, doves, and sparrows. Safflower is an ingredient that works well as a fail-safe food supply. Most birds love safflower while blackbirds and squirrels typically do not. If you want to have the most popular feeder in the neighborhood, add nuts! Peanuts, cashews, and pistachios are all great choices.
Besides the mix of bird food, the location of your feeder is important. Place the feeder in a sheltered location, near a perching spot or trees. Birds need shelter and protection from predators. Adding a water source will also help attract more birds. Using a heated bird bath or heated watering dish will prevent freezing in the cold months. Remember to clean the feeder and watering dish at least every other week to prevent the spread of infectious bird diseases.
Stay clear of bird feed that contains corn and milo. Corn attracts unwanted visitors such as cowbirds, geese, raccoons, and deer. Corn also can cause problems by harboring moisture which causes it to spoil quickly. Milo is a large seed also known as sorghum. It is inexpensive and often is used as filler in commercial mixed bird food. Very few birds will eat milo and most birds waste the seed on the ground trying to get to the more desired ingredients. Choose a bird food mix that contains millet instead of milo. Both of the seeds will get kicked to the ground, but millet would be eaten, and the milo would be wasted.
For the best option in feeding your wild birds this winter, grab a bag of Dyna Green Premium Wild Bird Food. We offer 5lb and 20lb bags. You can expect to see cardinals, buntings, nuthatches, woodpeckers, finches, grosbeaks, and many other desired songbirds.