If you live in an area that gets lots of ice and snow and the temperature falls below freezing, you may be astonished to learn what a huge difference you can make by feeding wild birds right in your own back yard. Winter can be a difficult time for birds, as they rely primarily on wild food sources for their survival. The bird’s natural food supplies can be depleted by winter storms, causing thousands of them to starve. You can make a real contribution to the bird’s winter survival by putting bird feeders in your back yard.
It is also important to maintain a water supply for the birds during winter, both for drinking and the proper preening of feathers. To guarantee the bird’s access to water, it is important to keep your bird bath free of ice. You can do this several different ways. Rushing out with boiling water as ice forms, although effective, could become a never ending task. A thermostatic immersion heater placed in the bird bath is a much easier way to keep the water from freezing. There is a wide range of heated bird baths and solar heated bird dishes you can purchase. Even a heated dog bowl with stones placed in the bottom to adjust the depth of the water could be used. The motion of a tennis ball added to a bird bath will help break up ice as it forms. Just remember to never add chemicals to the water to prevent it from freezing as this can be deadly to our feathered friends.
It is relatively easy to plan for winter bird feeding. Keep an ample supply of large and small seeds and suet readily available. Don’t forget to keep the drinking water fresh as this is a valuable resource in the winter time for all birds. Providing fresh food and water during the harsh winter will help some birds to survive and improve their chances of breeding.