Birds are wonderful to watch no matter what the season! However, in cooler parts of the country like we have here in the northwestern town of Boyd, Wisconsin, the birds are especially colorful—featuring heavily bright crimson cardinals and vernal sky blue jays in this part of the state. With such fewer birds around, these two really take center stage and steal the show.
Today is Feed the Birds Day—created for just these kinds of birds: the winter warriors that don’t fly south. Mid and late winter are especially hard on all outdoor animals. This date was chosen for Feed the Birds Day to remind people that this time of year, the animals in our backyard need help the most.
A couple of passionate birdwatchers, Bob and Debbie Matthews of Rochester, New York, moved to create Feed the Birds Day back in 2016 and it’s been catching on ever since.
You can imagine that this time of year in the dead of winter, sources for food get harder and harder to come by for all the wild birds that have stayed for the season. Any food that is available can get buried deep under the snow. Squirrels and rabbits can dig through the snow, but birds aren’t quite so well-equipped for digging.
You can help the birds in your backyard to survive the tail end of a long, cold winter and also reap the benefits of an entertaining show outside your window when you decide to participate in Bob and Debbie’s holiday.
Here’s what you do…
Get yourself a birdfeeder—they’re affordable in stores and also easy to make your own with items around the house. You may think bread would be a fun treat for birds, however, seeds are an energy-rich food—just what those birdies need this time of year. Another option is a suet cake (bars of raw fat which are extremely high in energy).
Heck! My parents used to simply pour the fat from a fry pan into a tin can, let it cool, and set in on the ground outside.
Anyway, when you have your feeder, whatever type you decide to go with, put it in a spot where you can watch it from a window. Be sure to keep the seeds or fat replenished; when birds discover your feeder, they will come back for more and more as a newfound source of food. They’ll assume they can rely on you. And you don’t want to disappoint them!
Pass the word about this special holiday. Bring it up to your teacher at school to participate in educating everyone about birds and birdfeeding and get everyone to join in on the fun. Happy Feed the Birds Day, Everybody. And, as always, thanks for reading!