Tips for Winter Bird Feeding

  • Dining out

    Get off to a flying start with our avian friends this winter by putting out at least three kinds of feeders, such as a platform, a tube, and a suet feeder or seed cylinder. Birds prefer feeders be in the open with the safety of tree or shrub cover 10-12 feet away. Locate them near a deck or window for best viewing. On this slide and the next four are five feeders to try. The last slide has tips on what to feed birds.

    Cozy cafe Handmade in Ohio, this Amish Country rustic log cabin measures 20 inches wide. The roof lifts for easy refill; seeds dispense through a narrow slot onto the porch floor.

  • Fast food

    Simply slide one of many long-lasting cylinders—compressed mixes with seeds, nuts or bugs—onto the Seed Cylinder by Wild Birds Unlimited for quick meals. $30.99.

  • Sustainable table

    Ohioans Paul and Deborah Bahm create varied Eco-Friendly suet and seed feeders from storm-damaged and fallen trees. $29–$49.

  • By invitation only

    Outwit unwanted guests. When swishy-tailed creatures climb on this Squirrel-Proof feeder, their weight lowers a baffle to block access to seeds. $49.95.

  • Bird buffet

    Five menu items to offer:

    Black oil sunflower seed is a surefire favorite, attracting more than 30 species of birds, including cardinals, finches and chickadees.

    Nyger seeds pull in scores of finches, as well as pine siskins and juncos. The 40 percent oil content provides needed energy during cold weather.

    Suet, a rendered beef fat, is an excellent wintertime nutritional alternative for insect eaters, such as warblers, jays, woodpeckers and nuthatches.

    White millet appeals to cardinals and finches as well as to less common guests like quail, bobwhite and tanagers. (Millet left on the ground may sprout come spring.)

    Seed mixes come premade, or create combos like peanuts with safflower and sunflower seeds. For deck or patio areas, try no-mess blends that lack hulls.