Feeding Birds in the Winter & DIY Feeders

Photo Credit: Herbert-Fechter

February is National Bird-Feeding Month in the United States. This celebratory month was created to educate the public on the wild bird feeding and watching hobby. Whether you’re an old hand or a newbie to bird feeding, February is the ideal time to get out there and do some feeding. One of the best ways to enjoy wildlife in the comfort of your home is by feeding birds in your backyard.

Heart-shaped cookie cutter bird feeders.

Fun DIY Bird Feeder Activities That Are Kid-Friendly
Here are some fun bird-feeding activities to do with your family:

  1. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, share your love with the birds and make heart-shaped cookie cutter bird feeders.
  2. Make an orange feeder and attract Orioles.
  3. Make a winter pinecone bird feeder with peanut butter and cornmeal or bird seed.
  4. Make your own suet: There are a lot of recipes online to make your own suet. Here are some DIY suet tips:
    • Adult supervision is suggested.
    • Try crunchy peanut butter for an extra nutty treat.
    • Suet can melt and be sticky in temps above 50 degrees, so use no-melt suets in the summer. In general, no-melt suets contain less fat and greater quantities of flour, oats, cornmeal, or other absorbent components that will help bind the fat together without melting.
    • For the mold, use an empty cardboard milk or juice carton. You might want to hold the sugar that’s called for in this recipe, since it doesn’t have nutritional value.
    • Vegetarian Option – This recipe on the Audubon Society uses shortening to keep it vegetarian.
Audubon Bird App

11 Tips for Feeding Backyard Birds
Here are some things to keep in mind. Click the link below for more details for each tip.

  1. Locate bird feeders at different levels to avoid crowding and to attract the greatest variety of species.
  2. Offer a variety of seeds in separate feeders.
  3. Provide suet during cool weather only.
  4. Mix peanut butter and corn meal
  5. Provide fruit for berry-eating birds.
  6. Provide nectar for hummingbirds
  7. Store seed in secure metal containers 
  8. Discourage squirrels from consuming feeder foods
  9. Locate feeders to reduce window collisions
  10. Keep cats indoors
  11. Clean feeders and rake up spilled grain and hulls

Read the details for the above 11 tips at 11 Tips for Feeding Backyard Birds.

Download Audubon’s Bird Guide App
The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to over 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Built for all experience levels, it will help you identify the birds around you, keep track of the birds you’ve seen, and get outside to find new birds near you.