8 Really Easy Ways To Attract Birds To Your Garden This Winter

Simple steps to a delightful refuge for wildlife.

November 17, 2017
bird eating in winter

By the time winter settles in, birds have, too. Migration is long over, and winter birds are ranging in groups over large foraging territories.

(Brag your love of gardening with the Organic Life 2018 Wall Calendar, featuring gorgeous photographs, cooking tips and recipes, plus how to eat more—and waste less—of what's in season.)


Here are some tips to keep in mind.

High-calorie suet is vital to keeping birds warm in winter

Hang as many suet feeders as you have room for. I like to decorate the strong-limbed shrubs in my front yard with fist-size chunks of suet wrapped in a red plastic onion-bag mesh. If a bird or raccoon rips through the netting, it's no great loss; I just add another.

Related: Make These DIY Suet Cakes To Attract Local Birds To Your Yard

Keep a supply of suet in the freezer

Keeping a supply in your freezer ensures that you don't get caught short. I chop it into manageable chunks before storing so I can take just what I need and not have to wrestle a big frozen hunk.

How to make a dried gourd birdhouse for your backyard friends:

Lay in a stock of seed in case of emergency

You don't want to get caught short when you need it the most. I keep a 50-pound sack of sunflower seed in the trunk of my car in winter. It serves two purposes: extra traction when the roads are slick, and extra bird food should a blizzard descend.

Related: 7 Things Winter Birds Want From You

Run an immersible heater to the birdbath

Or try a solar birdbath that uses the sun's heat to keep water from freezing. At the very least, you can put out a shallow pan or clay saucer of warm water once a day. Take it into the house when the water begins to freeze.


Treat birds to home cooking

Make muffins, bread, and other snacks with nutritious additions like sunflower seeds and nuts.

Related: Why It's So Important To Feed Your Backyard Birds This Winter

Expand the menu

Offer chopped nuts, doughnuts, raisins, and fresh orange and apple halves in feeders.

Put out cracked corn

Put out cracked corn and ear corn for squirrels, deer, and other wildlife. Apple peelings are also appreciated.

Related: How To Create A Winter Yard That's Friendly To Local Birds

Recycle your Christmas tree

Recycle your Christmas tree as a bird shelter in the winter garden. It'll keep juncos and sparrows snug during storms and on chilly nights.