Depending on your location and the landscape of your backyard, you could be visited by any of these backyard bird species during the winter months:
To attract a wide variety of birds in the winter, feeders will be most useful if they have a wide cover over feeding ports, perches and dispensing trays so the seed is not buried during snowfalls. Fly-through platform feeders are especially good designs for winter bird feeding.
Your bird feeders should be placed in sheltered locations out of the most severe winds. Placing feeders closer to the house will be effective and will help keep the birds visible for indoor birdwatching. At the same time, feeders should be placed near protective cover such as hedges or a brush pile to offer birds safety from predators.
Because natural food sources are scarce in the winter, more birds may be attracted to wildbird feeders. These feeders will need to be cleaned and sterilized regularly. Proper cleaning will minimize mold, mildew and other unhealthy conditions that could foster disease among backyard bird populations. When cleaning, discard soggy seed or seed encased in ice, and let the feeder dry before refilling if possible.
Most birds that visit backyards in snowy weather thrive on seeds, since insects and fruit are harder to find naturally during the winter. The best foods to offer birds in colder weather have a high fat or oil content that will provide abundant energy for winter survival. Nutritious winter foods for birds include:
Many backyard birders prefer to use no-mess seed mixes such as hulled sunflower seeds in the winter to avoid several months’ of hull accumulation beneath feeders in the spring.