The anticipation brings several chores for winterizing; bringing plants inside (when there’s absolutely no room for them), covering outdoor spigots- but first disconnecting the umpteen attachments for misters and birdbath drippers, digging out bird bath heaters stored from last winter and maybe even weatherstripping a few windows because the wind is just howling right now.
And then there’s the birds!
Though they’ve done pretty well at surviving winter on their own- there’s lots you can do to make it a little easier for them. In return they’ll grace your space through long and dreary winter days.
- Clean and fill all bird feeders with fresh food as last night’s rain (but of course) made for some nasty birdseed. Nobody likes mushy seed.
- Fresh suet if it’s been sitting out for a while. Now’s the time to switch from no-melt warm weather suet to the gooey stuff filled with lard or fat. It’s higher in calories for birds to stay warm overnight.
- Add another suet feeder because so many resident birds partake in cold weather. Check out the easy recipe for bluebird banquet and whip up a batch for the first cold snap! Not just for blues, your chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, warblers, wrens and others love this stuff!
- Nyjer seed should also be replaced if sitting out for more than two weeks or so and if you’ve had substantial rain.
- Bird Bath heaters… just can’t say enough if you want your bluebirds to stick around through winter! We use one heated deck-mount bird bath and 3 separate heaters in other baths around the yard. Fresh water is critical in winter, especially when all natural sources tend to freeze. And it’s the easiest way to attract birds to the yard! Now, when squatting and walking like a duck under the screened porch to plug-in the one heater… be sure to hit your head really hard on the floor of screened porch above- ouch! Nope- we have no picture for that but can promise it literally takes your breath away ;(
- Peanuts and peanut butter are fab winter foods! Mix peanuts with seed on a platform feeder or try peanut butter right on a tree trunk. Warblers, nuthatches, jays and woodpeckers will go for it!
- Winterize birdhouses by first repairing any damage and sealing vents with weather stripping or duct tape. Lots of birds line their roosts with dried pine needles or leaves. Offer wood shavings or nesting materials to help them decorate!
Happy birding and bundle up… it’s cold out there!
Resolve to help birds thrive in freezing weather…
When temperatures are soaring in the midst of summer, it’s pretty obvious to remember water for feathered friends and wildlife. We’re outdoors more often, gardening and relaxing- so filling the birdbath becomes intuitive. But throughout winter months, and especially in freezing weather we tend to prefer the cozy warmth of staying inside. But birds require fresh water regardless of the time of year or temperatures.
Some of the more hard core bird lovers will make the daily trudge through snow and ice to clear, clean and fill feeders (that’s us!). Several heated bird baths around our place remain ice-free (and worry-free) as resident birds are seen daily drinking from them. Although bathing is not as popular in freezing weather… water is critical for drinking!
A popular birding magazine with an expert article mentioned that birds can fend for themselves when it comes to water in winter. Melting ice and snow for example will provide water. BUT during a week-long deep freeze in Atlanta recently, there was zero precipitation (luckily) – which means there was no melting ice and no snow. So… that theory’s not really valid.
Fresh water is so important yet so easy with a heated bird bath or a simple heater added to your existing bath. It’s an oasis for year-round use (just tuck the cord) and they come in several styles like deck-mounted, tall pedestal or heated ground baths. In many cases, a heater will keep your ceramic or cement birdbath from freezing and cracking as well.
Nab a heated bird bath for this winter season. It’s a one-time investment that offers an ongoing, essential element to help wild birds thrive in cold winter months.
And Happy Winter Solstice!
The shortest day of the year… with the most to accomplish in the least amount of time! But the days do get longer- yes please!
Busy holiday times can be harrowing, the gift list is still incomplete, traffic is absurd, weather is frightful, yada, yada, yada! If you’ve waited until now to order anything online, chances may be slim for Christmas delivery, or extremely expensive for an expedited service. Don’t fret, because good things really do come in small packages!
If they happen to fancy birds, a birdbath heater or heated birdbath will be a huge hit… for the birds! They’ll flock to a fresh water source in frigid weather, showering the recipient with some really big shows! Should a heater not quite cut it as the perfect present, a gift certificate will let them shop and choose their favorite birdbath too!
Separate solar fountains can be added to their own existing birdbath, bringing a new dimension to the birding thing. Birds adore moving water and many different species are attracted to it big time… even those who may not use birdhouses or feeders.
Another gift idea:
Hummingbird Sun Catchers are an easy ship, decorative for their home, made in Canada and done in hand-blown glass. Stunning when hung in front of a window, mesmerizing as they twinkle while catching light. A collector’s piece to cherish, pretty enough to be passed down through generations.
Head on over to our other gift guide, it seems to have gotten a bit further along than this one, and just about everything shown there is available and in stock here!
And if you happen to be local in the Atlanta area… then luck just struck!
Give us a call to come shop… we’re stocked with birdbaths, edible birdhouses, copper roof bird feeders, and lots of other cool garden whimsies. The very best gifts for the nature buff on your list!
Breathe and Feed the Birds… we have those Garden Art Poles too!