Provide Food for Caching: In the fall chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and jays begin hiding food to retrieve and eat later in the season. This behavior is called “caching.” Caching helps birds survive during bad weather and when food sources are low. By providing a foundational feeder filled with their favorite foods, you can help your birds with their caching needs.
Clean Out Old Nest Boxes: Cleaning out old nests from houses can help reduce the possibility of parasitic bugs surviving the winter. It also allows birds the opportunity to roost in a clean house.
Roosting Spots: Place roosting boxes out for owls, woodpeckers, flickers and birds that might stay all winter in your area.
Prepare Bird Baths: Birds do need a source for water in the winter, and customers should be encouraged to provide an open source of water for the birds. In areas where the weather can turn cold and possibly freeze the water in bird baths, a heater or heated bird bath can be recommended. It is always good to cover ceramic bird baths to keep water out in the winter. Place a plastic dish out with an added heater or a bird bath with a built-in heater.
Clean Feeders: It is important that feeders be cleaned on a regular basis. Feeders should be cleaned with warm water only. If a feeder has mold or is terribly dirty, it can be cleaned with a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water.
Cleaning the area around the feeders is important because it can help eliminate the build up that can occur during the winter when people are less likely to do cleaning around the feeder. It also helps keep the mess down for birds that are feeding on the ground.
Hardware Maintenance: Now is a great time to check the mounting hardware for stability and function. If poles are scratched, they can be painted with rustproof spray enamel such as Rustoleum or replaced before the cold and wet weather sets in.
Be sure to check the screws to be sure they are tightened. This can help keep poles from becoming crooked or loose in bad weather. Poles and screws can be oiled to make them easier to unscrew if necessary. Make sure feeders are hung so they are easy to reach and fill.