Fall brings a wave of migrating songbirds heading south for the winter. So catch the attention of these long-haul travelers by making your yard a welcome oasis. You’ll be providing them with a well-deserved break from their long commute. Here’s how:
· Stock up on basic seeds, plus special varieties like niger, flaxseed, poppy, and sesame seeds. You’ll host plenty of large and small seedeaters throughout the winter—long after the migration season has ended.
· Keep a generous supply of suet and other fats on hand. They are literal lifesavers when temps start to dip below freezing.
· Don’t be so quick to weed your garden, or cut down plants that are past their prime. Weed seeds, seed heads, and wild berries are prime pickings for ravenous birds that have to cover thousands of miles in just a few weeks.
· Hungry birds need extra calories during their long flight south, and they’ll appreciate the concoctions you make just for them. Here’s a special recipe that’s suited to the tastes of robins, thrashers, and thrushes:
Combine 6 parts cornmeal, 2 parts chopped suet, and 2 parts peanut butter, mixing well with your hands. Add 1 part each of finely chopped peanuts, raisins, fresh or dried cherries, and chopped dried apples and mix well with your hands or a strong spoon until evenly distributed. Form into a block to serve in a low feeder tray for perching birds, or crumble 1 to 2 cups and serve directly on the ground.
· Not sure who will be flying by? Here’s a seed mix that will satisfy every bird that arrives at the feeder:
Measure 5 cups of black oil sunflower seeds, 4 cups of millet, 2 cups of cracked corn, and 1 cup of niger into a dry, clean bucket. Mix well using your hands. Store in a tightly capped plastic gallon milk jug.
For more timely tricks that’ll have your feathered friends flocking to your neck of the woods, check out my Backyard Bird Feeding Bonanza book—FREE for 21 days! You’ll turn your yard into a song-filled feeding frenzy faster than you can say “White-breasted nuthatch”!