Cold Weather can be for the Birds

Birds in winterJust because it’s gotten colder out doesn’t mean you’ll see all of the birds you’ve been feeding throughout the year flying south. Plenty of our winged friends do not migrate, and they will need some help getting through the season. Even more so than during the spring and summer, winter is the most important time for you to pay attention to the birds that you have attracted to your yard. This is the time of year they are most in need of aid from humans.


Helping birds stay dry and out of the wind is the most important part of keeping them healthy through the winter. This can be achieved through a variety of methods. The first, which requires a bit of planning ahead, is to have layers of canopy around your lawn to that birds can have brush to hide in or perch in while being covered by overhanging fir trees or tall bushes. Thick evergreen trees are perfect for birds to hide in year-round, while deciduous trees make for great perching spots and tall, natural grasses provide variety and ground cover.

The second method is to build and erect nesting boxes around the yard, preferably close to food sources so that the birds can get in and out and to their food source easily. The difficulty with nesting boxes is that you’ll need to build a lot of them to keep all your wintertime visitors under roofs, which can be time consuming, money consuming, and make for an unattractive yard.


Birds like a variety of foods, and they can be delivered in different ways. Much like shelter, you have the option of developing sustainable, natural sources, or artificial sources that will need constant attention. Artificially, there are a number of foods available at home and garden centers, all of which are formulated for various birds. Choose the feed depending on what you have visiting already and what birds you might want to attract at a later date.

Going the natural part will require a bit more planting and more initial effort, but will be lasting and will beautify your yard along with helping the birds. Seeds, nuts, and berries are all perfect foods for the winter, so develop gardens with a variety of trees and shrubs. Evergreen trees that provide shelter also produce pine cones, which are a favored food source for chickadees. Brightly colored flowering crabapple and dogwood trees provides a great combination of perches and berries. Hardy shrubs such as winterberry holly and bayberry thrive in the winter months and will continue to produce berries for birds even in the nastiest weather. The full, prickly foliage of the holly also provides great hiding spots for birds to protect against predators and the weather.


Particularly in the dead of winter, fresh water can be difficult for birds to find. Heated bird baths are relatively inexpensive, and will help to provide the birds that visit your lawn with a fresh supply of drinkable water. If you already have a bird bath and don’t want to spring for a new one, just make sure to add warm water if you see the bath freezing over, or buy a small de-icer. Whatever path you choose, make sure there is some fresh water being cycled into the bath on a daily basis.

So give your local fine, feathered friends a hand this winter, they may stick around to repay the favor in the warm months – birds are a great method of free bug control over the summer, plus they’re fun to watch and are great decoration.

About AndrewT

Written by Andrew T for LawnEq - The specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable brands.

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