5 Ways to Help Wild Birds in Winter
Winter time is upon us and today we’re looking at ways that we can help our feathered friends during the long winter months.
In case you didn’t know, birds serve as a sort of “barometer” of our planet’s health, particularly when it comes to measuring the health of specific ecosystems.
Let me tell you, the news is not exactly encouraging: nearly 12 percent of the world’s 9,800 bird species are facing extinction in the next century…
Parrots, especially, have come under fire during the time humans have been obsessed with their unique coloring and talkative nature – nearly one-third of the world’s 330 parrot species are facing extinction.
Things that contribute to these horrifying numbers include disease, poaching, habitat loss (that’s a big one), and the illegal pet trade. Before I hear from a bunch of ailurophobes, you can save your argument of bad science and skewed numbers. Read this. It’s a well-written, very well-documented view.
Humans, not cats (contrary to what many privately funded groups would have you believe) are responsible for billions more bird deaths than cats.
We want to help birds (and all species), so we’ve come up with a list that we hope you’ll share with others on how you can help birds in winter.
And so, without further ado, here are five easy things you can do to help birds survive in winter.
1. Place a water source in your yard.
2. Create your own easy bird feeders
Birds often have a tough time finding seed in the winter. You can help by either providing seed in bird feeders or creating your own DIY Bird feeder. This is an excellent project for kids! Here are the directions on how to make a feeder:
3. Apply CollidEscape (or similar film) to Your Windows
Help birds out by applying a deflector to your windows. These screens still allow light in and give you an unobstructed view outdoors, but helps birds see that it’s a window and not something they can fly through.
It will help save you time and money, and a lot of birds. Here are a few to choose from:
4. Provide a healthy and varied diet to outdoor birds
In order to keep wild birds fed during winter, you must first know what types of birds are most common to your area.
- Bird Watchers has an excellent app that you can download to your phone or tablet to identify birds in your region. This is a great learning tool and we hope you’ll download it!
- Nat Geo has a fantastic app that helps you identify birds with four easy questions.
Once you’ve identified the birds you have (or would like to attract), simply google the name of the bird to discover what type of seed they prefer. Easy peasy!
This is a great “overview” of bird seeds for specific types of birds from BBC.
5. Spread the Word!
There are thousands of resources available that make it very easy to spread the word about this important day (and about how to protect our birds in general). Here are just a few listings we’ve found with tons of great resources.
If you’re a teacher, build this important day into your lesson plans. You can even enter to win $1000 with your lesson plan. Not sure what to include? These are some free lesson plans you can incorporate into your day.
Visit NationalBirdDay every January 22 for fun, informative tips you can use to keep your backyard birds safe from the winter and from predators.