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WANTED: BED & BREAKFAST -Feathered and Furry Families seeking winter lodgings, with regular meals and a place to bathe and drink (water is preferred above other beverages). Applications now being taken in your back yard.

You will probably not see the above ad in your local newspapers, but wild birds are already making decisions about which back yards they will come to and make their home this winter.

What you provide as the days grow shorter lets the birds know that you want their presence and invites them to come back when serious winter comes.

If you wait until the severe weather arrives to start feeding your birds you may be missing out. Fall is the season to begin, even though natural foods are still available and the birds may not spend much time at your feeder quite yet. They are out in the fields and woods eating seeds, berries and insects!! They are still taking inventory of whats in your back yard for their future.

The birds that do visit feeders in the abundance of autumn are scouting. They need to be ready when crazy weather hits. The red-bellied woodpecker was well acquainted with our feeding station before winter arrived.

Cold will increase their calorie requirements, right at the moment that food becomes harder to get. Insects stop flying and wiggling. Snow covers seeds. Ice seals away tree buds, wild fruits, and the insects that woodpeckers and nuthatches like to find under the bark of trees.

So they need to be ready. That’s why they’re studying their resources in advance. Noting where food is available. Locating alternatives.

It’s good to be included in their inventories. If the birds discover that your yard is worth visiting, they’ll remember. And when that first storm hits, they’ll show up. Hungry. Chirpy and chattery. Red and blue and black-and-white and yellow. Fun to look at on a snowy day.

On the other hand, if you wait until hard weather arrives, the birds may not ever realize what you have to offer. Under the stress of freezing weather, they can’t afford the luxury of exploring. They must go where they know there will be a payoff. They might not discover your feeder all winter, even though it is abundantly supplied. So start offering provisions now.

What foods to offer

Seeds: Black Oil Sunflower in or out of the shell, Safflower, Peanuts, Nyjer, Our 3 Choice Blend is a perfect mix of Sunflower Hearts, peanuts and golden safflower for your birds.

Offer suet in hanging baskets, for woodpeckers. You can try some chopped up fruits.

Don’t worry about them if you have to be gone from your home for a while in winter. Birds are used to having a food source disappear. They won’t starve because of your lapse. It might take them a while to rediscover your yard when you return, but they’ll be back. Or you can have a nice neighbor help you out and fill your feeders for you. Or put out a Seed Block as they last longer!!

Happy Birding from all of us here at For The Wild Birds Crinda, Grant, Marilyn, Patrick, Rhea, Pierce and all the pups Chocolate, Nina, Terrance, Bob and Alice!!

P.S We would like to hear from you on what topics you would like to see us write about. Feel free to email us a ForTheWildBirds@gmail.com some article ideas!!!

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