Your wildlife garden can be the key to bird survival through the winter. You can create rest stops for migrating birds to provide them with everything they need to fuel their long journey.
It’s easy to discover which birds migrate through your wildlife garden so that you can lay out the welcome mat for them.
Birds in the Winter Wildlife Garden
Our teams of writers both here at Beautiful Wildlife Garden as well as at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens have written lots of wonderful articles to help you birdscape your garden to help birds and other wildlife survive and thrive through the winter. Here’s some of the best:
The Audubon Ambassadors at Home program will help you learn how to create critical habitat for birds in your garden, and this program has been well-described by Suzanne Dingwell to get you started.
Susan J. Tweit describes the process of creating welcoming habitat for birds and other wildlife in our gardens as “Backyard Arks for Wildlife.” And she refers to studies that show that gardens landscaped with more native plants allow birds to spend less energy looking for food.
Your wildlife garden can provide critical shelter for birds to ride out severe storms, as described by Christy Peterson about the birds of Hurricane Sandy.
Don’t assume that just because it’s cold that all migratory birds have moved on to warmer places. Pat Sutton talks about some hummingbirds who have spent the late autumn and into the winter in some wildlife gardens, so learn how long to leave your hummingbird feeders up in the fall.
If you’re using birdfeeders in your wildlife garden, make sure you avert the tragedy of window strikes by learning to place your feeders the right way. Loret T. Setters shows us how.
You can help scientists who are tracking bird populations by participating in a local Christmas Bird Count. It’s lots of fun, and you’ll meet some other wonderful people who are as passionate about caring for wildlife as you are. Kathy Vilim describes her time on such a count.
Birds are especially visible in our wildlife gardens in winter, and they are not as fragile as we may think. Access to food, water, and shelter will help them get through the cold winter days.
Birdscaping the Winter Wildlife Garden
When you follow the 7 Steps to Birdscaping your wildlife garden, you’ll be well on your way to providing all that birds need for the winter.
Wild birds need access to clean water all year round, but when winter temperatures dip into the freezing range, this may be harder to find. Birds can quench their thirst by eating snow, but this requires large amounts of energy which they need to keep themselves warm. So you need to learn how to provide access to fresh water in winter for the birds in your wildlife garden.
And a winter wildlife garden for birds would not be complete without lots of berrying shrubs. I’ve pulled together a collection of articles about the best native shrubs with berries for birds in your winter wildlife garden, no matter which part of the country you live in, so make sure you check it out.
Many people are surprised when I talk about all the activity in my wildlife garden in winter. For them, everything is dead, all the plants are dormant, and there is nothing to see.
How wrong they are! When you plan your wildlife garden, it’s always good to keep winter in mind so that you can provide food and shelter for your local birds and other wildlife to help them survive until the spring renewal in your Ecosystem Garden. See the Top 10 Tips for Your Winter Wildlife Garden.
What’s your favorite tip for caring for birds in your winter wildlife garden?
Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.
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