Here are some great tips from Home & Gardens for keeping your neighborhood birds happy and healthy during the winter months:
HIGH FAT options such as nuts, lard and suet are good choices for winter as birds will benefit from the additional energy they provide.
BLACK SUNFLOWER SEEDS are a one of the most popular seeds among a wide range of birds. If you are only putting one type of food on your feeder, this is the one to go for. It is loved by lots of birds including Northern Cardinals, Tufted titmice, House finches, nuthatches, and jays.
BLACK OIL SUNFLOWER SEEDS are also popular. The difference between sunflower seeds and black oil sunflower seeds is that black oil sunflower seeds are larger and have more calories per seed, making them a highly nutritious meal for your feathered friends.
CHEESE is a great choice for the same reason as above and is popular with a wide range of birds — opt for a grated mild cheddar.
MIXED SEEDS are a great coverall option and an easy way to start feeding birds in winter. However, ‘avoid mixed bird seed containing mostly oats and milo – birds don’t eat these grains.
FRUIT like apples and pears are a great addition to the bird feeder. Even badly bruised fruit will go down well. Chop into small chunks so it’s easier for smaller birds to enjoy.
PEANUT BUTTER is a high calorie food that is loved by lots of different birds. However, it must be unsalted as the salt can harm the birds. There are specific peanut butter feeders available, or you can spread it into the crevices of a large pinecone and then hang it from a tree. There are lots of bird-friendly types of peanut butter available on the market too.
MEALWORMS are not the most attractive type of bird feeder; however, they are undoubtedly a favorite for backyard birds, especially chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, cardinals and the American Robin. Live meal worms are preferred and have a higher nutritional content; however, dried mealworms are easier to store and won’t crawl off the bird feeder.
CRACKED CORN is a versatile foodstuff for feeding birds in winter and is often found in bird seed mixes.
WHITE PROSO MILLET can come as seeds or as sprays. Hanging sprays from a bird table or on a branch of a tree gives your birds even more variety. Alternatively, you can fill a tubular feeder with the seeds. These are a particular favorite of sparrows.
NIGER SEEDS are goldfinches’ favorite treat. Hang a specific Niger seed feeder in addition to your main bird feeders and welcome these colorful birds into your garden.
Read he complete article: Feeding birds in winter – the dos and don’ts | Homes & Gardens (homesandgardens.com)
On an interesting side note, Canada and the United States consumers buy more than one billion pounds of bird food each year.