If you would like to control insects better in the summer, attracting birds to your landscaping or garden is a great idea. It is also wonderful to enjoy birds throughout the dark, gray days of winter.
A wonderful way to attract birds is to provide them some year-round protection such as trees and shrubs. These can also provide a source of food. Designing a small water feature, whether it is a small pond, a bird bath, or a fountain can also draw birds to your home. You can win both ways because of the increase in birds you will see as well as having an attractive landscape.
The easiest way to attract birds is to provide them with a source of food in a bird feeder. It is never too late to start through the winter, but once you do start feeding the birds, please continue throughout the winter months. The birds become dependent on the feeders and can have a hard time replacing their source of food if you discontinue feeding them.
Three very important things to remember when starting to feed the birds are:
- Providing water is essential not only as a drink, but also for the birds to clean themselves over the winter. This is very important to their survival. There are also heaters available for very little cost to purchase and to run that will keep their water from freezing during the cold months.
- It is important to use high-quality feed and not purchase the less inexpensive but filler laden food. These fillers actually increase the price to you and the birds will not eat any of the fillers so the less expensive feed actually becomes a waste of money. It is also important to put out a suet feeder for the birds so that they get the essential oils during the winter months. This can be homemade or purchased for very little money at bird supply stores.
- You must clean your bird feeder with a soap and water solution or better is a 10% bleach and 90% water solution. Recommended cleaning is once a month. This is to prevent moldy feed and also helps to sanitize the feeder to prevent unwanted diseases. Birds will attempt to eat moldy food, but it is life threatening to them, so please take a little time to keep your feeder clean. Be sure to let it dry thoroughly before refilling.
You will be surprised at all the different types of birds that come to enjoy your food and water. They can provide many hours of entertainment and enjoyment and even learning. There are many helpful books to identify the birds that will soon find your new feeder!