Bird Blog – Winter Feeding

robin in snow

Poor robin redbreast,
Look where he comes;
Let him in to feel your fire,
And toss him of your crumbs.
–Christina G. Rossetti (1830–94)

The Old Famer’s Almanac

By Tom Warren

February 2, 2018

Which Foods Attract Which Birds?

Cardinals in Winter on Bird Feeder

Best Winter Bird Foods

Favorite winter bird foods include:

  • Sunflower
  • Niger (Thistle)
  • Cracked Corn
  • Nuts & Fruit

Suet can be purchased inexpensively in the meat department at your local grocery store. Suet can be placed in containers purpose-built for bird feeding (they most often resemble a little cage). Almost all birds will eat suet, especially in cold weather. Most often you will see the Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, and  Pileated Woodpeckers as well as chickadees, nuthatches, and titmice.

Click: See how to make suet.

Niger (Thistle seed)
Niger, commonly called thistle seed, is a very popular seed for finches including redpolls, Pine Siskins, Goldfinches and Purple Finches.

Apples, crabapples, pears, and oranges are popular foods for jays, waxwings, woodpeckers, Ruffed Grouse and pheasants.

Small black oil seeds are best. Hulled sunflower seeds are attractive to birds, though costly. Popular with many birds, but especially finches.

Read more…

See more homemade bird food recipes.

About This Blog

Tom Warren has had an interest in birds since the age of 3, when he lived across from the President of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, who showed Tom how to care for injured birds. Later, a neighboring grandmother taught him the songs of warblers and thrushes, and in the eighth grade, his Middle School biology teacher took his class on birding excursions every weekend. Tom has guided bird walks and owl prowls for conservation groups, and has also participated in annual Christmas Bird Counts and the Hawk Watch on Pack Monadnock Mountain. Throughout the years, he has spent time at Pt. Pelee in Ontario observing the spring migration and has traveled to a variety of other migration areas. Tom is also committed to protecting birds and their habitat as a Trustee for both Massachusetts and New Hampshire Audubon, and the Harris Nature Center.