January 5, 2023
Winter bird feeding is rewarding for the variety of species it brings to your yard during the winter months and beneficial to the backyard bird population when food is sparse.
The winter weather can present challenges for our feathered friends as their natural food sources, such as insects, berries, and seeds are scarce, and their energy requirements are high – added to this, shorter days give them less time to gather. Supplemental winter feeding should include high-energy foods high in natural fats and proteins. These foods help our backyard birds fare better throughout the season, maintain their energy, and stay warm in harsh weather conditions.
The most common birds you will see in your backyard garden in Ontario during the winter include:
Consider the following when choosing and setting up your winter feeders:
Some bird foods are better than others. Providing food high in fat and protein will help your backyard birds recharge after a cold night and keep them energized throughout the day. Suggestions include:
It is essential to keep your feeders clean to avoid spreading disease within your backyard bird community. Typically, your feeders will get a higher activity level during the winter months and should be cleaned once every two weeks.
You can clean your metal and wood feeders with dish soap and very hot water for routine cleaning. Where possible, disassemble the feeder and let it soak in the solution for at least 15 minutes, followed by a good scrub with a scrub or bottle brush.
If you suspect that there may be mould developing in your feeders, a deeper cleaning is required. After washing in hot soapy water, rinse thoroughly and soak in equal parts hot water and vinegar for 60 minutes.
Rinse thoroughly with hot water and allow the feeder to dry completely —once dried, refill with fresh food.
Sheridan has a great selection of feeders, seeds, suet, and birding accessories. Shop online or visit any of our garden centres for all your winter bird feeding needs.
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