How To Attract Winter Birds to Your North Carolina Feeders

Attracting Winter Birds to Your North Carolina Feeders

In the winter food becomes scarce for birds who depend on nature’s bounty. Many birds fly south for the winter until warm weather returns but there are some birds that stick around all year. These birds will be in desperate need of sustenance as their food sources dry up. So make sure your feeders and birdbaths are well-stocked this winter. Here are some tips to attract winter birds to your yard.

woodpecker in tree

What Birds Stick Around All Winter?

As we mentioned above, not all birds migrate south for the winter. Some have adapted to life in the winter here in South Carolina. Here are just a few of them.

  • Goldfinches
  • Robins
  • Blue-headed Vireos
  • Blue Jays
  • Thrashers
  • Juncos
  • Carolina Chickadees
  • Woodpeckers
  • Bluebirds
  • Cardinals
  • Mourning Doves
  • Tufted Titmice

Provide Enough Food

The simplest way to get birds to visit your yard in the winter is to provide food. Since food is harder to find you should have a much easier time attracting feathered friends to your yard. But don’t just lay out any generic birdseed. If you want to see a variety of birds flocking to your feeders then you need to have a variety of different bird feeders that provide different types of seeds.

  • Sunflower Seeds: The staple of any backyard bird feeder, sunflowers are heaven by over 40 species of birds. You can’t go wrong with sunflower seeds of any variety. Use sunflower seeds to attract, sparrows, titmice, chickadees, cardinals, and blue jays.
  • Cracked Corn: Cracked corn can attract larger game birds like turkeys and pheasants which are always a breathtaking sight to see in your yard. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of squirrels and deer show up as well.
  • Suet: Suet is a treat for birds made of beef fat and seeds. You can even make your own suet. Suet can attract woodpeckers, wrens, chickadees, nuthatches, and titmice
  • Thistle Seed: Thistle seeds or Nyjer seeds, are small, fine seeds that require a special type of feeder. Thistle seed feeders are perfect for hanging on porches or poles. Thistle seeds attract goldfinches, house finches, purple finches, and redpolls.
  • Peanuts: Peanuts are packed with protein and loved by Woodpeckers, jays, nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, finches, and titmice. Go with the unsalted variety.

Provide Water

Water is also harder to find in the winter. Birds can travel for miles and spend all day looking for freshwater. Give them a break and have a birdbath for them. Soon you will have birds flocking to your yard. Change the water weekly and use an agitator to keep the water from freezing.

bird flying out of birdhouse

Provide Shelter

Birds also need shelter from the cold and the elements. There are a number of trees that can provide the protection they need. Evergreens such as the blue spruce, hemlock, pine, or cedar make great winter roosting spots.

You can get some more tenants by booting up roosting boxes. Roosting boxes are like little bird hotels that look like birdhouses on the outside but on the inside, there are perches for many birds to roost together. 

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