For many folks, the whole idea of growing trees and shrubs with bright berries is to attract winter birds. But berries meet only one of our fine-feathered friends’ cold weather needs. Here are a few more ideas for a winter wonderland—they’re literally for the birds:

  • One of the simplest ways to feed birds in winter is to make a suet feeding station. Simply drill 1-inch holes into a thick branch, and hang it from a tree. Fill the holes with suet (heating it first to make it easier to pack), and you’re good to go. Just make sure to keep the suet coming after your bird buddies have flown in for a snack.
  • A supply of fresh water for drinking and bathing is a must all year round, but it’s especially important in winter! Heat some water to lukewarm and pour it into your birdbath every morning. The birds will quickly take advantage of their luxurious winter hot tub before the water ices over.
  • Whip up this fruity treat that’ll entice crowds of colorful cardinals to your feeder this month: Combine 4 parts black oil sunflower seeds, 1 part cracked corn, 1 part chopped dates, and 1 part chopped dried cherries, and stir to mix thoroughly. Serve it in an unroofed tray feeder so the cardinals can spot the sweet stuff as they’re flying by.

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