Last night, however, the natural food sources may have become covered with snow or locked in ice. If this ice sticks around for 2 or 3 days, birds can starve to death. When ice coats the seeds and berries in the wild, the birds can’t eat them. At those times, bird feeders are often their only source of food available.
When it’s especially cold, birds flock to feeders to build up their energy reserves. A seed blend with sunflower seeds and peanuts is great to offer in the winter. It has a high calorie/ounce ratio due to its high fat and protein content. At Wild Birds Unlimited that would be our most popular WBU No-Mess Blend or WBU Choice blend.
Suet or seed cylinders are great foods to offer many of the birds that will visit backyards in the winter. Suet is a high energy, pure fat substance which is invaluable in winter when insects are harder to find and birds need many more calories to keep their bodies warm. I would recommend our peanut butter suet.
Your feeders serve only as a supplemental source of food for birds in your yard except during cold, long, severe winter weather. So today your birds may be utilizing them as the critical source of food that enables them to survive the day.