Backyard birds in the cold season

Berkshire Naturalist Thom Smith looks for winter birds and ways to attract them to your dooryard.

As a snowstorm approaches, birds flock to neighborhood feeders. If you want to operate a frugal diner for flying visitors, variety remains the key word.

Many feeders with different foods will attract the most species and often in the greatest numbers. Stock them with foods like black oil sunflower seed or better yet sunflower hearts, suet, either cakes or butcher shop chunks, and a good blend of mixed bird seed with few of the little round orange seeds that most birds don’t like.

Through the years a well-stocked backyard bird diner will draw in many customers. Here’s a look at just a few of the many winter birds to expect.

You’ll see some of their food preferences above with the following abbreviations

BOSS — black-oil sunflower seeds
BOSSH — black-oil sunflower hearts
PNT — peanuts
PNTH — peanut hearts, crushed
SFR — safflower seeds
NGR — Nyger
CRN — cracked corn
SUE — suet
MLT — millet
MLO — milo
NB — native berries, fruit, dogwood, crabapples, meal worms

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