National Bird Feeding Month
written by Tricia of UpcycledStuff
Americans have celebrated National Bird Feeding Month every February since 1994. This grand scale effort aims to help our feathered neighbors get through one of the most difficult months of the year.
As most of the nation struggles to escape the grip of Old Man Winter, food sources for most wildlife become scarce. The seed and berries that many birds typically feed on have disappeared or become covered by a blanket of snow. Insects, too, disappear. Many wild birds have come to rely on backyard bird feeders to get them through the winter.
If you’re ready to jump in, here are some things to think about for a successful winter bird feeding season:
You’ll want to give some thought to where you put your feeding station. Providing some sort of shelter can protect your feeders and the birds from strong winds and weather. Wet seed can accumulate mold that can sicken the very birds that you are trying to help. If no shelter is available, placing feeders close to the house or hedges can help reduce the impact of weather.
The type of bird seed you choose will depend on the local bird species. However, keeping warm in the winter months requires far more calories than during the warmer months. Selecting seed with a higher fat content can help birds maintain increased metabolic rates. Try black oil sunflower seeds, hulled peanuts, suet, peanut butter, etc.
Size does matter! In the winter months, you may find it more difficult to gather up the motivation to fill your feeders on a regular basis and they will empty very quickly. So don’t shy away from larger bird feeders, you’ll be happier for it and so will your diners.
Cleaning your feeders is important all year long especially during the winter months with the increased traffic that you’re sure to see. Regular cleaning will minimize the growth of mold and disease.
Just a word of warning; when winter comes to an end you should scale back your feeding. It’s okay to leave your feeders empty for a couple of days in between feedings as spring approaches. This will ensure that the birds frequenting your feeders don’t become too dependent on you for their next meal.
What happens if you move? Or financial hardship forces you to cut bird seed out of the budget? To encourage those birds to continue visiting your yard plant flowers, shrubs and trees that produce seeds and berries that they can forage for.
Now that you’re thoroughly warned and informed, check out this treasury HERE and pick one of the adorable bird feeders or houses made from upcycled products.
If you’d like to create one on your own upcycled feeeders check out my latest blog HERE for a quick and easy bird feeder tutorial that you can do at home.
For more information about feeding wild birds in the winter months...
The National Wildlife Federation HERE
The National Bird Feeding Society HERE