Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • December 2016
Written by 

Bringing families and nature together with winter bird feeding

Our feathered friends are busy at work preparing for the cold and snowy winter ahead. Noticed more birds coming around and checking your feeders out? Seeing an occasional Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay or Nuthatch? These birds are now deciding which bird feeders they are going to call home for the winter months. To make sure they are frequent visitors to your feeders this winter, here are a few tips to ensure they become your regular dinner guests.

  • Clean, repair or replace feeders. You can sanitize with a 10 percent bleach solution.
  • Place feeders near a bush or tree if possible — birds will use this for a safe refuge from predators and the cold wind.
  • Offer more high protein and fat foods, including premium oil, sunflower, safflower, peanuts, suet, bark butter, millet for the ground feeders and nyjer.
  • Water — Birds need water in winter to help stay warm and to properly digest food. Consider a heated bird bath. There are heaters to place in your existing bird bath or free standing ones.

Decorate a tree for the birds

While you are preparing for the many Christmas festivities of decorating, baking and gift giving, don’t forget the birds and other wildlife friends that visit your backyard.

Decorating a tree for the birds is a fun and easy activity for all ages. Be sure to select a tree near a window where you and your family can sit back and watch the colorful birds and other critters enjoy these homemade holiday treats. Here are just a few ideas to include bird feeding in your Christmas traditions:

Bagel feeder

  • Split day old plain bagels in half and harden overnight.
  • Spread peanut butter on each side and sprinkle with Wild Birds Unlimited Seed Blend.
  • Tie a string through the hole, and hang from a tree.

Pine cone feeder

  • Pack “Birdacious Bark Butter” into pine cones.
  • Roll pine cones in a WBU Seed Blend.
  • Hang with a string or ribbon from a tree.

Tree garland

  • Heavy fine string is best. Large sewing needles. Raw peanuts in the shell. Dried cherries, cranberries, apples or figs.
  • Alternate between pieces, and a few pieces of dried fruit, etc.
  • Drape around the tree and watch the fun!

May you all have a blessed holiday season and enjoy “feeding the birds”!

Nancy Paul

Nancy Paul is a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She devoted her career to the elderly. She now owns and operates “Wild Birds Unlimited,” a specialty backyard bird-feeding store and nature shop located at 2285 South Oneida Street, Suite D in Green Bay. For more information, visit or call 920-489-2684.

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