Pet Pause: Keeping feathered friends safe in Winter
by Natalie Sparacio & Dolores Glytas
WAKE UP WISCONSIN (WAOW)-- So many of us love to watch and hear outside birds. But, winter can be a very hard time for birds to survive. Dolores answers some commonly asked questions.
Q. What can we do to help our feathered friends?
A. We can help provide food, water and shelter.
Q. What kinds of food should we put out?
A. Get specific seed for certain types of birds. The most important thing is to keep the feeder well supplied with seed. Tip: for small birds the black Niger is great and when it drops to the ground you don't get seedlings growing.
Q. Are there any family fun ways we can help the birds ?
A. Yes, we can make easy peanut butter pinecones and tree branches to hang. Make simple bird houses and have kids paint them. Start planning what kind of bird friendly flowers to plant in spring.
Platform Feeders - these have a flat surface with a tray around the edge where the seed is scattered. If you live in a very windy area, these may not be practical as the seed can be blown away.
Hopper Feeders - these are the type that self-replenish the seed as it is used. Perching birds such as finches, chickadees and cardinals are fond of this type of feeder. However, so are squirrels!
Tube Feeders - these are the hard, tubular plastic feeders that are designed for hanging from trees or porches. They attract smaller perching birds like finches. The small feeding port in tube feeders discourages larger birds and squirrels.
Suet Feeders - suet feeders are good for areas where there are lots of insects, because insect-eating birds love suet but don't normally care for seed feeders. These insect-eating birds will help control the insect population in your yard.
Nectar Feeders - these are used in warmer climates and help attract hummingbirds and orioles. The solution used is one part sugar to four parts of water. If you want lots of hummingbirds, place several feeders around the yard.