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Heather's Helpful Hint

Feed the Birds this Winter
January 06, 2011

If you have not already begun, this is a great time of year to feed the many wild birds that live in southeastern Pennsylvania. 

There are varying degrees of involvement in providing for the birds. It can be as simple as tossing a few scoops of sunflower seeds on the ground or more complicated using differing types of seeds and feeders to attract a wide variety of feathered friends. 

Planting the correct trees and shrubs for food and for shelter is extremely beneficial to many songbirds, but since we are well into the winter that would be more than a little difficult right now. It is a great time, however, to begin planning your bird habitat for next spring. Think about providing food, water, and shelter for an ideal environment right in your own backyard. 

As for feeding, there is no universal seed mix that attracts everything. Black-oil sunflower seeds are the best seed on the market for attracting the widest variety of songbirds. We carry several other great mixes for cardinals, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, and lots more. If you add a couple of suet feeders you will be sure to pull in a woodpecker population.

The power of food to draw in birds especially in the winter is really remarkable. Because many small birds cannot survive more than a couple days without food they need a constant source. That is one of the reasons that you need to be consistent when it comes to refilling your feeders. Birds have high metabolic rates and no ability to store energy reserves, so in order to be ready for flight they are forced to forage almost incessantly. 

Your entire family will enjoy this winter and early spring activity. You may want to continue to fill your feeders all year long, but for now get started with a couple feeders and the exceptional seed mixes we carry at Waterloo Gardens. Enjoy the show of nature every day!

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