Backyard Bird Buffet
Many birds stick around for the winter and feeding them at backyard feeders is a fun way to interact with them. Frequent winter visitors to feeders in the Great Lakes Basin include black capped chickadees, wood peckers and as the weather warms a bit, cardinals. These birds nutritional needs change with the seasons. During the coldest parts winter, seeds, nuts, suet and other high-fat foods provide energy to keep birds’ small bodies warm.
Viewer tip: Encourage birds to gather in your yard by offering them a diversity of food options. Placing feeders near branches and shrubs keeps them safe from predators. And, consider keeping a log who visits your feeder! Comparing which birds visit and when, is one way that scientists study winter bird populations and climate change.
For more information about feeding the birds in your neighborhood, check out Audubon’s Bird Feeding Basics website at web4.audubon.org/bird/at_home/bird_feeding/index.html or ask your local birding store for advice.
This information is provided by Great Lakes Aquarium. Learn more at www.glaquarium.org.