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Winter Bird Feeding Tips

 

There are many species of birds that stay in Saskatchewan for the winter. 

It always amazes me that they can endure the cold temperatures for months on end.  They are constantly looking for food, water and shelter. We can do our part to help our feathered friends make it through this difficult season  by making our garden bird friendly.

Provide a landscape that is bird friendly.  Obviously this is best achieved when you are planning a new garden but carefully chosen additions to an existing garden can work as well.

Provide a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs.  The thick boughs of evergreens provide shelter from the winter winds and provide a safe place to sleep.  Plant  fruiting trees and shrubs such as saskatoons, haskap berries, viburnum, seabuckthorn, crabapples and mountain ash.  Consider native trees and shrubs as well – dogwoods, highbush cranberry, pincherry, buffaloberry and chokecherry.

Photo: Sparrow (Pexels)

Tall perennial grasses such as Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass provide nutritious seed heads for the birds in fall and winter.  Create  a perennial bed that is totally bird friendly.  Include perennials such as black-eyed  susan, beebalm,  coneflower varieties and autumn joy sedum. 

 Leave bird houses up in your yard as well.   A clean bird house can provide shelter for the many chickadees and sparrows that will frequent your feeders.

If the budget allows, invest in a bird bath heater and provide the birds with water.  Your yard will quickly become the most popular on the block. 

Photo: Bluejays ( Pexels)

Provide covered bird feeders and seed of different types to attract various species of seed eaters.  Make sure they are in a sheltered location  and clean them out regularly to avoid molds and mildew. Suet is also very important as it is high in calories and provides birds with lots of fat for energy.

Just a few Saskatchewan birds that remain here in winter are listed below:

Sparrow, chickadees, nuthatches, blue jays, hairy and downy woodpeckers, wrens,  and red/yellow shafted northern flicker (woodpecker).

Photo: Red breasted nuthatch (naturephoto-cz.com)

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