About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Our native birds; how to protect them and attract them to our homes

"Life is a series of little deaths out of which life always returns." ~ Charles Feidelson, Jr.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Last week was the Winter Solstice, the day the Earth's Northern Hemisphere has the shortest day, and longest night, and the sun's daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest. The birds might consider it the beginning of the "real" New Year. I did too! It’s the day when the whole annual cycle begins all over, and I can look forward to the gradual lengthening of days.

You can’t help but admire our hardy winter birds in Michigan. When I go out to fill the feeders in the morning and hear the nuthatches and woodpeckers “laughing,” I feel happy that they are excited to see me with the food.

And remember if you feel a little guilty about just throwing away your Christmas tree, its usefulness can be extended by placing it outside near feeders for added shelter against the weather and predators. In a matter of minutes, the old tree is providing a new natural cover.

The birds have an advantage this year with the milder November and December which allowed them to seek natural foods. Though it might seem strange to humans, wild birds prefer to forage over visiting feeders (with the possible exception of the House Sparrows).

However, as the temperatures dip and natural food sources may become covered with snow or locked in ice, the supplemental food and water we provide is more widely appreciated and has a bigger impact on the birds’ survival.

I hope everyone is enjoying this "winter" weather and I wish everyone a future filled with great birding experiences. Happy New Year!

Related Articles:
Edible ornaments for the birds http://bit.ly/tXDnSB
Decorate a Tree for Your Birds http://bit.ly/t3QtGV
Let's all share Nature's bounty http://bit.ly/syPNzh
The Tradition of feeding the Birds at Christmas Time http://goo.gl/7ODaQ
How the Christmas tree tradition started http://goo.gl/LFmtk
What is winter solstice? http://goo.gl/OFplO

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