Itty-Bitty Bird Feet
Feb 23, 2022

Itty-Bitty Bird Feet

Have you ever watched a bird vist your feeder during the winter and wondered, "Won't birds freeze their little feet off on the metal perches? It's 20 degrees below zero! How do they do it?" Nature has a clever way of keeping birds' feet warm and functional.
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
How do Birds Keep Warm in Cold Winter Weather?
Feb 16, 2022

How do Birds Keep Warm in Cold Winter Weather?

Birds have a number of ways to beat the cold, but none so important as their feathers. You may have noticed how on a very cold day the birds at your feeder seem rounder and more puffed-up than usual. This is a way of keeping warm by raising the feathers to create pockets of warm air and enhance insulation. In addition, many species change their plumage, molting into a fresh thick set of feathers prior to the colder months.
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
Winter Feeding Mistakes to Avoid
Feb 9, 2022

Winter Feeding Mistakes to Avoid

If you feed the birds in your yard, you probably know that there are some things that work and others that fail miserably. In the spirit of David Letterman's famous Top Ten lists, here are the Top Ten Winter Bird Feeding Mistakes to Avoid.
Top 10 Foods for Winter Bird Feeding
Feb 2, 2022

Top 10 Foods for Winter Bird Feeding

Winter: 'Tis the season for feeding birds all across North America, especially in those regions where it gets mighty cold and snowy. If you are just getting started in bird feeding, or if you are frustrated by a lack of success in attracting winter birds to your feeders, the first thing you need to determine is whether you are feeding the right foods. If you are not giving the birds what they want, you might not have many birds.
Ask Birdsquatch: Is it Possible to Avoid Feeding Mobs of Sparrows and Starlings?
Jan 26, 2022

Ask Birdsquatch: Is it Possible to Avoid Feeding Mobs of Sparrows and Starlings?

Dear Birdsquatch: I made Zick Dough last winter and was pleased with how the titmice, chickadees, and nuthatches responded to it. But what do you do when sparrows and starlings swallow it before other feeder birds get to it?

—David F., Liverpool, New York

Plan Your Bird Garden Now
Jan 19, 2022

Plan Your Bird Garden Now

The weather outside might be frightful for a month or two longer, but dedicated gardeners know that winter is the best time to plan a garden. Use these winter months to devise a plan to make your yard more friendly and accommodating to the birds!
Habitat content. Click for more!
Ask Birdsquatch: How to Protect the Health of Ground-feeding Birds?
Jan 12, 2022

Ask Birdsquatch: How to Protect the Health of Ground-feeding Birds?

Dear Birdsquatch: Last winter, after taking my feeders down, I got a seed mixture and scattered it around the flower beds and under the bushes. The birds seem to be spaced out pretty well; certain ones come for the orange-colored seed, different birds like the white seed, and the big birds like the sunflower seeds. Is this spreading disease because I cannot disinfect the ground although I do sweep up the hulls and uneaten seed every couple of days?

—Gretchen R., Arlington, Virginia

10 Things for a Backyard Bird Watcher to Do in Winter
Jan 5, 2022

10 Things for a Backyard Bird Watcher to Do in Winter

From reading a bird book to planning next spring's garden, here are 10 things bird watchers can do to spice up the winter season no matter where you live.
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
Make a Resolution to Start a Yard List!
Dec 29, 2021

Make a Resolution to Start a Yard List!

You don't have to be an avid birder to keep a bird list. If you're serious about feeding the birds, why not keep track of the bird species that you have seen at your feeders, in your trees and shrubbery, or otherwise in or over your yard or property?
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
Holiday Tree for the Birds
Dec 22, 2021

Holiday Tree for the Birds

Do you love holiday decorating, but live in a small space that doesn't allow much room for a tree? Instead of overstuffing your small living room with a tree, take this idea from BWD's Wendy Clark McGlynn. Try placing your tree outside and decorate it with teacups filled with birdseed.
Feeding content. Click for more!
Top 10 Hard-to-Get Feeder Birds (And How to Get Them!)
Dec 15, 2021

Top 10 Hard-to-Get Feeder Birds (And How to Get Them!)

Those of us who feed birds regularly are quite familiar with our everyday visitors and with those species that we see only at certain times of year. Then there are those "wish" birds that we rarely (if ever) see at feeders—vagabond northern finches, woodlands-skulking creepers, and treetop-loving warblers, orioles, and tanagers. Why won't they come to our feeders? It would be so cool if they did!
Feeding content. Click for more!
It's Time for Winter Bird Feeding!
Dec 8, 2021

It's Time for Winter Bird Feeding!

For much of the summer, wildlife authorities in about a dozen eastern and midwestern states issued advisories against feeding wild birds or even providing birdbaths in an attempt to limit the spread of a “mystery disease” that was sickening or killing birds in a wide area. West Nile and other familiar bird diseases have been ruled out, but the source of the mystery disease has not yet been determined. Even so, reports of dead and dying birds have decreased, and all advisories have been lifted. So, go ahead and feed the birds!
Feeding content. Click for more!
Don't Throw Your Christmas Tree Away! Turn It Into a Shelter for the Birds
Dec 1, 2021

Don't Throw Your Christmas Tree Away! Turn It Into a Shelter for the Birds

After the holidays, instead of putting your tree on the curb to be hauled away, consider moving it outside near your feeding station.
Making a Good Match: Bird Seed and Bird Feeders
Nov 17, 2021

Making a Good Match: Bird Seed and Bird Feeders

Would you frequent a restaurant that served your sandwich on the floor and dog food on the table? That's the human equivalent of offering birds inexpensive mixed seed in a hanging feeder. Cheap birdseed mixes usually contain a high proportion of milo, wheat, millet, and cracked corn. Such ingredients are fine for many ground-feeding birds, such as doves, blackbirds, quail, and sparrows, but not the favorite foods of birds that naturally eat above the ground, such as chickadees, nuthatches, wrens, and grosbeaks.
Feeding content. Click for more!
Feeding Wild Turkeys in My Yard
Nov 10, 2021

Feeding Wild Turkeys in My Yard

William Gorman, who lives in a wooded area near Albany, New York, rakes up acorns and saves them to feed wild turkeys. The birds are such regular visitors that he has experimented with their food preferences, also offering cracked corn, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, rice, and more.
Feeding content. Click for more!
Junco Facts You Might Not Know
Nov 3, 2021

Junco Facts You Might Not Know

Did you know? Juncos begin leaving their homes in the boreal forests across northern North America in October and tend to return to the same areas each year, bird banding research has shown.
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
Five Tips for Welcoming Native Sparrows to Your Yard
Oct 27, 2021

Five Tips for Welcoming Native Sparrows to Your Yard

Winter can bring more northerly sparrows into your yard. Here's how you can make your yard more inviting for native sparrows.
Feeding content. Click for more!
Tips for Better Fall Birding in Your Backyard
Sep 25, 2021

Tips for Better Fall Birding in Your Backyard

Although we birders tend to think of spring as the most active migration season, in many parts of North America, fall migration is actually "birdier." If you're like most bird watchers, you have no problem making plans to get out and catch spring migration in May, but I'll bet you might not get as excited about a field trip in late August or mid-September. It took me years of birding on my southeastern Ohio farm to accept the reality that fall migration here in the Appalachian foothills is actually better and more interesting than spring.
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
Your Garden: Let It Be
Sep 22, 2021

Your Garden: Let It Be

Did you know? All those bird-friendly plants in your yard and garden can keep on being a source of food long past their blooming prime. Flowers such as zinnias, coneflowers, salvias, poppies, and other summer garden staples retain tiny seeds in their flower heads that birds will find in the months following frost, or the end of the blooming season (if your area doesn't have frost). Even garden plants such as tomatoes, peas, squash, and corn will harbor insect life in their stems and under their brown, curly leaves.
Habitat content. Click for more!
Fall Tip: Save Your Summer Berries for Winter
Sep 15, 2021

Fall Tip: Save Your Summer Berries for Winter

Here's a handy fall tip: While the weather is still fairly mild (and before our first heavy frost), fill a few bags of grapes and pokeweed and save them in the freezer for the birds. Put them out of the freezer in late January or February when you see that the natural food supply is depleted.
Feeding content. Click for more!