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Bird Watcher’s Guide to Autumn

Dambly’s Blog: Bird Watching

mockingbird

Autumn can be an incredibly action-packed season for bird watchers. Birds eating from your feeding area may be rare in the early months of Autumn. They can still forage around for wild food while it’s out there, but once the seeds, berries and flowers dissipate they’ll come straight to your feeder. Our resident Bird expert, Matt Webster, has highlighted some key points and strategies you need to know to make the most out of your bird feeding from Fall through Winter!

 

Start providing good seed for your birds now

“The birds need a lot more protein and a lot more fat to stay warm, so they’re going to eat at a higher level. Every day it gets a little cooler, they’re going to be eating more seed, more quantity. You want to make sure they have seed with a lot of those nutrients.” – Matt

Winter has the potential to be one of the best seasons for bird watching, but many bird feeders miss out because they are unprepared in the Fall. Feeding your birds throughout October and November with high quality seed is critical to drawing them to your feeders in the Winter. By maintaining your bird feeders in Autumn, you send a clear signal to the birds that your backyard is a place for them to eat. They’ll remember that, and they’ll come to your feeder once Winter hits.

The food you provide can also effect the amount of birds that visit in the winter. Birds appreciate a diet that prepares them for the cold.

 

Make sure you buy quality seed

“A lot of people want to buy the cheapest seed, but they don’t realize how much they’re wasting due to squirrels. Or they’re buying a low quality seed that many birds don’t even like.”sizzle-n-heat

Don’t just buy the cheapest seed you can and forsake quality! Even for those on a tight budget, it is always more beneficial to buy higher quality seed. You may not notice at the register, but you’ll actually be saving money over time. Birds won’t eat seed they don’t like. More of your seed will be wasted (kicked out by birds or eaten by squirrels) if you don’t buy the quality seed from quality brands.

While there are plenty of great options for seed, we recommend Wild Delights Sizzle’ N Heat. The spicy aroma scares away unwanted snackers and delights birds. You may also want to check out Wild Delight’s suet, especially once the full of winter hits. Suet is extremely high in fat, exactly what birds need to survive in winter.

 

Birds from Canada, Coming Soon!

“In the Fall you’ll be seeing some birds that’ll come year round, like your gold finches and woodpeckers. But you’ll also start to get birds coming down from Canada that are losing food sources up there. You’ll see lots of new sparrows and finches, and an increase in blue jays and cardinals.”

Open WideThe amount of unique birds you can expect to see each year depends on the climate further north. Birds will follow certain crops. For example, if spruce crops are running low in Canada and New England you can expect to see more pine siskins and nuthatches.

Each year the harvests are different, so no two years are exactly the same. Last year, blue jays were extremely abundant around New Jersey. This year, while occasional sightings are still likely, there may not be so many.

Dunlins and American robin’s will be coming south from Canada this week!

 

Add some cover around your bird feeders to protect them from the cold and predators

“Plant things that are beneficial to birds in your backyard. Not just for food, but for cover. On a cold day when it’s windy and blustery, if you have a pole with one feeder on it and nothing around it they’re less likely to show up. But if you’ve got an environment around your feeders where they can go to, they’ll be there.”

Birds need the safety and warmth trees and bushes provide in the winter, so combining shelter with food is a sure-fire way to draw them to you. The berries, cones and protection offered by spruce, cedar and juniper trees make them excellent options to draw birds to your backyard

 

Come see us at our location!

If you have any other questions about how you can get the most out of your bird feeder this season, come to our store and we’ll be glad to help you in any way. You can find us at 51 West Factory Road in Berlin, New Jersey, or call us at (856)-767-6883. Looking for needed supplies? We’ve got you covered, with everything from feeders to bird baths!

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