Sign up to participate in the Christmas Bird Count this month. Make it a family activity. It is a free activity that can be exciting and benefit the birds. This is a good way to relax and enjoy nature to the busy Holiday season.
It looks to be another great year for winter bird feeding. Already a large population of Goldfinch have arrived from the north and more are sure to appear. I am hoping the Pine Siskin will join them this year at the thistle feeders. We have also had reports of Purple Finch and many with Red-breasted Nuthatches. Evidently food supplies in the north are scarce, and along with the harsh northern winters, you just never know what birds may be arriving in the Midwest and Central Great Plains to spend the winter. Keep alert for any new or different birds. We have some unconfirmed reports of Snow Buntings in our area.
Keep the bird feeders filled. It has been proven to help birds during the winter months. Many of our winter birds have wandered into our backyards in search of food resources. As we move deeper into winter, supplemental foods may make the difference in survival for many of these birds. It may be a good time to add a new feeder to your bird feeding program. Maybe a suet feeder. Another finch feeder. Or it could be time to provide a ground feeder for ground feeding birds.
Remember that water becomes scarce during extremely cold weather. Keep fresh water for your birds all winter long. This may be a good time to invest in a bird bath heater or heated bird bath if you haven’t already. Most of these products carry up to a three year warranty and are well worth the cost. You’ll be surprised at how many more birds you will attract with open water.
Invite a friend over for coffee or hot chocolate and watch the birds at your feeders. Your excitement will surely wear off on them and it may inspire them to begin feeding birds. Have your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews sit down with you and watch the birds. You’d be surprised how interested they are to watch nature if given the opportunity and how observant they become. It’s a great way to relax during the Holidays and helps us to remember what the spirit of the season is all about. Life on earth. And nature is a big part of it.
Consider giving bird feeders for Christmas this year. Remember how excited you became when you hung up your first feeder and saw the birds arrive? Bird feeders are gifts that may begin a life long experience. They are one of the few gifts that are used all year long on a daily basis.
Good news. Its been over a week and I am still seeing a few Pine Siskin at the feeder and avian pond in my yard. I suspect as the weather changes and becomes colder and more precipitous, more will show up.
Happy Holidays from the staff at the Wild Bird Habitat Stores and good birding to all our friends and customers.
Good birding to all, Dave Titterington, Wild Bird Habitat Store