There are many things we can do to help birds survive during the winter months.
- Birds need plenty of calories to make it through cold temperatures. They burn an incredible amount of energy just trying to stay warm, which is why birdfeeders made with high-fat ingredients like suet or even peanut butter are popular. Various seeds provide more calories and other essential nutrients.
- Fresh water is hard to come by in a deep freeze. Heated birdbaths are available for use in the winter. You can also place a non-heated birdbath in a sunny place, where it can thaw and provide drinking water for several hours a day.
- Birds need shelter. Pine trees and bird houses are good places for birds to get out of the wind. Some bird-lovers set out natural fibers that won’t hold water—like scraps of wool yarn or even hair clippings. The birds use these materials to insulate their nests.
- Check with your local chapter of the Audubon Society for more suggestions on providing for—and enjoying—our feathered friends all year long. This link is to the Atlanta Chapter: http://www.atlantaaudubon.org/ .
- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources also has some valuable information. Here are their tips for backyard bird feeding: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/node/1261.