Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Meeting Birds' Changing Winter Needs

As the seasons change, your birds’ needs change. With some thought and care, you can meet birds’ nutritional needs as well as attract some migrating visitors.

 

Downy Woodpecker on Suet Cage

Food

    For winter, birds will change the kinds of foods they eat. Instead of insects and fruits (which are harder to find), birds eat more seeds and nuts. Often, the food birds eat in the day help build up fat reserves that are used through the night to keep warm.
    Offer suet, Jim’s Birdacious® Treats, Bird Food Cylinders and blends with nuts to help birds maintain their high metabolic rate and stay warm.
EcoClean Seed Tube with Chickadee and Titmouse

Feeder Location

    During harsh weather, birds favor feeders protected from the weather. Place your feeders near cover, such as evergreen bushes or trees, densely branched shrubs, brush piles or hollow logs, so birds can duck into it to get out of weather or escape from predators. You can even create a lower wind break to help your ground-feeding birds.
Goldfinch on Birdbath

Water

    Birds need water to maintain their metabolism and their feathers for effective insulation. Besides helping birds properly digest food, water helps birds keep their feathers clean and in top condition. Research has shown that a chickadee with well-maintained feathers can sustain a 70° F (21° C) layer of insulation between the outside air and its skin.
    Use a heated bird bath or add a heater to your existing plastic, metal or stone bird bath. This will help make some water available even on the coldest day and attract birds that may not visit feeders very often.