The best foods for birds during winter are high calorie and high fat foods. So, in the winter, you may need to change some of the foods you offer to birds.
In periods of cold and severe winter weather, birds may use feeders as the critical source of food that enables them to survive from day to day. That’s why providing high fat foods is so important. The birds visiting winter feeders may be arriving in flocks or may come to the feeders as individuals, so you may need to provide different options for the birds.
Which foods are high fat?
Oil sunflower is a great overall seed to offer in the winter. It has a high calorie/ounce ratio due to its high fat and protein content and its relatively thin shell. Oil sunflower has twice the calories per pound than striped sunflower and its smaller shells make less mess when discarded by the birds.
Suet is a great food to offer many of the birds that will visit backyards in the winter. Suet is a high energy, pure fat substance which is invaluable in winter when insects are harder to find and birds need many more calories to keep their bodies warm. It can be fed in a variety of feeders ranging from a suet cage to a wood and cage feeder offering protection from the weather elements and designed to require the birds to hang upside down.
Peanuts are another great food to offer birds in the wintertime. Peanuts have high protein and fat levels and are often an ingredient in suet products. Offering peanuts in a peanut feeder can provide a good source of protein for birds.
Want to learn more about the best food for birds during winter? Stop by your local WBU for more tips and advice.