how to - care for birds in the Winter

How to care for birds in the Winter
{preparing birdhouses for visitors}

Winter can be pretty rough on the birds that don't fly to warmer areas because they don't hibernate like other animals but rather stay and survive by themselves. They search for food in the form of seeds, berries and insects in the short days and shelter themselves from the cold in the long nights.

Here's how I take care of the birds in the Winter

There are a few things we can do to help our feathered friends survive this cold season in their quest for basic needs such as food, water and shelter.

DIY bird seed feeder
{3/4 cup birdseed, 1 small package of gelatin and 1/4 cup water set in a cookie cutter}

Place bird feeders around your yard and keep them full. Several feeding stations are recommended for the different types of birds that may visit. Determine if your guests prefer seeds or suet. Fill the feeders with food that is high in fat and protein and in a wide variety of blends and mixes. If in doubt, usually black-oil sunflower seeds are favoured by most types of birds. Place your feeders out of the rain and wind and be sure to clear off any snow that builds up on its roof, platform or perch. Make sure your feeders are located in a spot open enough to allow the birds to escape from danger. Clean your feeders with water and bleach (rinsed well) at least once a month to prevent the spread of disease. If you have a birdbath, make sure the water isn't frozen. If you don’t have a birdbath you can place a bowl or saucer outside in a safe spot for them to come and visit.

How to care for birds in the Winter

Leave your birdhouses up though the Winter for any birds that might want to roost. Place your birdhouses in a spot that will provide the most sunlight and warmth but away from any predators. Insulate your birdhouses with hay or wood shavings placed in the bottom of the birdhouse. Before Spring arrives and when there are no occupants, clean out your birdhouses in preparation for nesting season.

Whether you have a yard or a balcony, many types of wild birds or just a few, I hope that I have inspired you to help feed, water and shelter our feathered friends. Have you got any more tips or suggestions for taking care of birds in the Winter? Please let me know in the comments section below! Thanks for visiting!


  1. These are such beautiful pictures, Heather! I love the bluish patina color of the houses. Question though ..... my husband doesn't like bird feeders because they attract rats. Do you have any issues with them? I know, gross question but just had to ask.

  2. Love our bird feeder! Chickadees, Juncos, two pheasants even, Red Headed Finch, Towhees and more!

  3. we were lucky, some years ago our son went to preschool with the daughter of a William & Mary professor of Ornithology. He came over and helped us set up our bird feeders. Sunflower seeds for the cardinals, chick a dees and there is a wood pecker who visits that feeder too! And different seeds for the finches that come in spring and fall (not so much winter). We are careful to keep the sunflower bird feeder full during cold months. And boy do we get lots of visitors!

  4. I love birds. Beautiful pics!...Christine

  5. Thanks for the reminder-it's time to replenish the seeds!

  6. I have done a few posts on this very subject. I love to feed the birds and they love my grapvine to sit in and wait their turn or chomp on their treat. I try to plan places for them to hide and roost.
    Love your blog

  7. That last photo is so precious! Love my birds. Thanks for sharing ways to care for them.

  8. Love to watch the birds! didn't have a single bird feeder until last June, and now have five! We have such a great variety of birds coming now. I'll have to try your recipe. Thank you.

  9. This is marvelous! I am honored that you shared at Home and Garden Thursday!


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