cardinal feeders | Winter Bird Feeders

The South Polar Skua (left) is a generalist pr...Image via Wikipedia

Winter Bird Feeders - Helping Birds Through The Winter

Millions of people love to attract birds in the summer time or spring. We all love to have the sights and sounds of an active bird feeder, or the frenetic activity that often surrounds a bird bath.

But come winter time, many of our avian friends don't migrate, and so we may want to do what we can to make sure they have plenty to eat and drink during the harsh winter months. Winter time is harsh because the food supply is not only limited, but is often covered by ice or snow, compounding the problem.

One of the easiest things we can do is to put out a suet feeder. Suet is a high energy food that is basically made from rendered fat products, and is often combined with other high energy foods like cracked peanuts or corn and other grains. It is most often sold in a cake that almost looks like a sandwich in size and shape. These can be simply set out, or most often they are put in feeders which have cages to hold the suet cakes and protect them from squirrels

and other pests. These can be a simple cage, or often they are combined with a hopper feeder to create a total feeding solutions.

Suet cakes will last quite a while, but after the temperatures rise above seventy degrees you will find that they can start to go rancid, so don't leave them out year round. And there are other types of suet that may be better suited to your needs that keep better or repel pests.

Another thing you may want to do is to make sure the birds have a ready supply of water. Bird baths are designed to be shallow and open so they birds can access them without fear of falling in. However, that design is also great if you want the water to freeze quickly.

You can solve this problem by buying a bird bath with a heater built into it, but if you already have a bird bath, a simple heater will easily melt enough ice to keep your birds happy with a fresh water supply. But you should be sure to use the right heater for your bird bath.

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