In winter, you’re providing much needed calories for cold birds by setting out food (no secret here). In return, you’ll get a great deal of enjoyment from watching them and all the different varieties of birds that come to your feeders, adding color and life to a drab winter landscape, and helping those seemingly endless months pass a bit more quickly.
Spring may be the most important time to feed our fine feathered friends. Many people put their feeders away, or simply stop filling them with much needed nourishment, as the weather gets warmer and the grass turns green. However, the insects many birds rely upon as a primary source of food in warm weather take awhile to populate and emerge to sustain them. Meanwhile, birds are establishing their territories, building nests, courting, and preparing to raise their young…all activities that require a lot of nutrition! Keeping your feeders active in the spring ensures that you will have a vibrant, diverse population of birds in your yard and that you’re doing your part for the next generation of “tweeties“.
Summer feeding will benefit you more than your backyard birds! Here’s why: With summer’s dense foliage and more than plentiful insects, birds will feast in hiding where you can’t see them. And if you continually bring out food, you’ll bring birds and keep them there (it’s kind of like a smorgas-board effect) in their glorious summer plumage…up close where you can see and enjoy them. Summers’ a great time to supplement your flowers with nectar, fruit, and jelly feeders to lure in orioles (Eastern U.S.) and hummingbirds. Fruits like apple halves and chunks of cantaloupe will also bring in jays, cardinals, tanagers, and a host of other feathered visitors.
As flowers, fruit, insects, and weed (that’s right…weeds) seeds begin to become scarce with the onset of colder weather, it’s important to supplement your back yard birds’ diet with seeds, suet, and other favorites. You’ll find more birds arriving and staying at your feeders as the fall migrations bring more birds down from the North. Feeders that are already buzzing with activity will act like a beacon or billboard signaling the new arrivals that dinner is on…and it’s free!
The biggest benefits of feeding birds year ’round is that you’ll always have plenty of birds to enjoy, and you’ll never have that agonizing wait every winter for them to “discover” your feeders. You’ll also have the personal satisfaction of knowing that you’re not only helping bird populations, but the environment, too!
When you feed birds, it’s like a continuous circle. More baby birds survive, more birds eat more bugs so you’ll need less chemicals to control them. We all know that using fewer chemicals makes sense. Enjoy!
Meanwhile, back at the farm…