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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Feeding birds in the winter

Do birds eat more in the winter? - East Lansing, Michigan

There are a lot of factors that effect how many birds show up at the feeders.

Year-Round Feeding
If you feed year-round you may have noticed birds seem to frequent feeders more at certain times. The most crucial time in the life of many birds may be late winter and early spring when seeds that occur naturally are scarcer. Unfortunately this is when a lot of people stop feeding.

In the spring and summer, birds are very busy. New birds are migrating up to Michigan, choosing territories, mates, and preparing to have young. Females incubating eggs on the nest take advantage of a convenient feeder for a quick bite. Later parents bring young birds to the feeder as a first step into the world. It is fascinating to watch the parents show their young how to pick up the seeds.

Some birds, like the Dark-eyed Juncos and Red-breasted Nuthatches leave us in the spring while others like the warblers, orioles and the hummingbirds, are only summer residents in Michigan.

Bird-Feeding Myths
Some people believe that once you start bird feeding, it should be continued. Or that feeding your birds in the summer will make them too lazy, too dependent or keep them from migrating at the appropriate time. All of these old myths have been dispelled by modern research and observation. Bird feeding is a fun and educational hobby. Birds appreciate the food but never become dependent on your feeder unless there is a severe storm that prevents them from foraging.

Backyard bird feeding is an entertaining and educational pastime that can be enjoyed by children and adults.

Related Articles:
Attract new birds to your yard http://bit.ly/xYtIN9
Is it too late to start feeding the birds this winter? http://bit.ly/w1dKZb
How do you become a birdwatcher? http://bit.ly/AlJkKQ
How to Prepare Your Yard for Spring http://bit.ly/zYHZyV
Would the birds starve to death if I stopped feeding them? http://bit.ly/xOFgb9