Here in Western North Carolina, winters can be stunningly beautiful, but the cold temperatures and extreme weather can be rough on local wildlife. Birds are especially vulnerable during the winter, so if you’re hoping to keep your backyard birdie friends happy, ensuring they come around season after season, it’s important to provide them with plenty of food throughout the colder months.
According to the 2020-2021 Farmer’s Almanac, our region of North Carolina will likely see mild winter conditions until around the last week of December, when temperatures will drop and the possibility of snow increases.
Why You Should Feed Birds During Winter
Natural seed sources become depleted during the winter. Most seed sources are prolific in the summer. Plus, the days become darker, leaving less time for birds to search for food. Changes in air moisture can also affect the quality of whatever few seeds are left, making them inedible. Predatory animals that feed on birds (in Western NC that could include coyotes, cougars, feral pigs, bears, or bobcat, just to name a few), have fewer food sources, too. Keeping local songbirds well fed ensures they maintain a healthy population, thus helping other animals survive as well.
What Should You Feed Backyard Birds?
Foods that are rich in fat and oil content are best for feeding the birds that reside in your yard and surrounding areas. No, we don’t mean cheeseburgers and pizza. We do mean black sunflower seeds, peanuts, Nyjer seeds, suet mixes with fruit and berries, peanut butter, or while millet seed mixtures.
Don’t Forget the Water
When wintertime temperatures reach below freezing, water can be almost impossible for birds to find in their natural habitats. Offering a source of running water will most likely make your backyard a very popular spot for birds during the winter.
If you love birds, let us know, and we can suggest some ideas to attract more of our winged friends to your favorite outdoor living spaces.