Ask Birdsquatch: How to Protect the Health of Ground-feeding Birds?
Jan 12, 2022

Ask Birdsquatch: How to Protect the Health of Ground-feeding Birds?

Dear Birdsquatch: Last winter, after taking my feeders down, I got a seed mixture and scattered it around the flower beds and under the bushes. The birds seem to be spaced out pretty well; certain ones come for the orange-colored seed, different birds like the white seed, and the big birds like the sunflower seeds. Is this spreading disease because I cannot disinfect the ground although I do sweep up the hulls and uneaten seed every couple of days?

—Gretchen R., Arlington, Virginia

10 Things for a Backyard Bird Watcher to Do in Winter
Jan 5, 2022

10 Things for a Backyard Bird Watcher to Do in Winter

From reading a bird book to planning next spring's garden, here are 10 things bird watchers can do to spice up the winter season no matter where you live.
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
Make a Resolution to Start a Yard List!
Dec 29, 2021

Make a Resolution to Start a Yard List!

You don't have to be an avid birder to keep a bird list. If you're serious about feeding the birds, why not keep track of the bird species that you have seen at your feeders, in your trees and shrubbery, or otherwise in or over your yard or property?
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
Holiday Tree for the Birds
Dec 22, 2021

Holiday Tree for the Birds

Do you love holiday decorating, but live in a small space that doesn't allow much room for a tree? Instead of overstuffing your small living room with a tree, take this idea from BWD's Wendy Clark McGlynn. Try placing your tree outside and decorate it with teacups filled with birdseed.
Feeding content. Click for more!
Top 10 Hard-to-Get Feeder Birds (And How to Get Them!)
Dec 15, 2021

Top 10 Hard-to-Get Feeder Birds (And How to Get Them!)

Those of us who feed birds regularly are quite familiar with our everyday visitors and with those species that we see only at certain times of year. Then there are those "wish" birds that we rarely (if ever) see at feeders—vagabond northern finches, woodlands-skulking creepers, and treetop-loving warblers, orioles, and tanagers. Why won't they come to our feeders? It would be so cool if they did!
Feeding content. Click for more!
It's Time for Winter Bird Feeding!
Dec 8, 2021

It's Time for Winter Bird Feeding!

For much of the summer, wildlife authorities in about a dozen eastern and midwestern states issued advisories against feeding wild birds or even providing birdbaths in an attempt to limit the spread of a “mystery disease” that was sickening or killing birds in a wide area. West Nile and other familiar bird diseases have been ruled out, but the source of the mystery disease has not yet been determined. Even so, reports of dead and dying birds have decreased, and all advisories have been lifted. So, go ahead and feed the birds!
Feeding content. Click for more!
Don't Throw Your Christmas Tree Away! Turn It Into a Shelter for the Birds
Dec 1, 2021

Don't Throw Your Christmas Tree Away! Turn It Into a Shelter for the Birds

After the holidays, instead of putting your tree on the curb to be hauled away, consider moving it outside near your feeding station.
Making a Good Match: Bird Seed and Bird Feeders
Nov 17, 2021

Making a Good Match: Bird Seed and Bird Feeders

Would you frequent a restaurant that served your sandwich on the floor and dog food on the table? That's the human equivalent of offering birds inexpensive mixed seed in a hanging feeder. Cheap birdseed mixes usually contain a high proportion of milo, wheat, millet, and cracked corn. Such ingredients are fine for many ground-feeding birds, such as doves, blackbirds, quail, and sparrows, but not the favorite foods of birds that naturally eat above the ground, such as chickadees, nuthatches, wrens, and grosbeaks.
Feeding content. Click for more!
Feeding Wild Turkeys in My Yard
Nov 10, 2021

Feeding Wild Turkeys in My Yard

William Gorman, who lives in a wooded area near Albany, New York, rakes up acorns and saves them to feed wild turkeys. The birds are such regular visitors that he has experimented with their food preferences, also offering cracked corn, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, rice, and more.
Feeding content. Click for more!
Junco Facts You Might Not Know
Nov 3, 2021

Junco Facts You Might Not Know

Did you know? Juncos begin leaving their homes in the boreal forests across northern North America in October and tend to return to the same areas each year, bird banding research has shown.
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
Five Tips for Welcoming Native Sparrows to Your Yard
Oct 27, 2021

Five Tips for Welcoming Native Sparrows to Your Yard

Winter can bring more northerly sparrows into your yard. Here's how you can make your yard more inviting for native sparrows.
Feeding content. Click for more!
Tips for Better Fall Birding in Your Backyard
Sep 25, 2021

Tips for Better Fall Birding in Your Backyard

Although we birders tend to think of spring as the most active migration season, in many parts of North America, fall migration is actually "birdier." If you're like most bird watchers, you have no problem making plans to get out and catch spring migration in May, but I'll bet you might not get as excited about a field trip in late August or mid-September. It took me years of birding on my southeastern Ohio farm to accept the reality that fall migration here in the Appalachian foothills is actually better and more interesting than spring.
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
Your Garden: Let It Be
Sep 22, 2021

Your Garden: Let It Be

Did you know? All those bird-friendly plants in your yard and garden can keep on being a source of food long past their blooming prime. Flowers such as zinnias, coneflowers, salvias, poppies, and other summer garden staples retain tiny seeds in their flower heads that birds will find in the months following frost, or the end of the blooming season (if your area doesn't have frost). Even garden plants such as tomatoes, peas, squash, and corn will harbor insect life in their stems and under their brown, curly leaves.
Habitat content. Click for more!
Fall Tip: Save Your Summer Berries for Winter
Sep 15, 2021

Fall Tip: Save Your Summer Berries for Winter

Here's a handy fall tip: While the weather is still fairly mild (and before our first heavy frost), fill a few bags of grapes and pokeweed and save them in the freezer for the birds. Put them out of the freezer in late January or February when you see that the natural food supply is depleted.
Feeding content. Click for more!
Watch the Moon for Southbound Migrants
Sep 13, 2021

Watch the Moon for Southbound Migrants

In 2021, full moons will occur September 20, October 20, November 19, and December 18. If the night sky is cloudless, aim your binoculars toward the moon, and watch. Most migratory land birds make their twice-yearly journey at night, including thrushes, warblers, flycatchers, sparrows, orioles, vireos, and cuckoos.
Fun Stuff content. Click for more!
The Complicated Process of Migration
Sep 10, 2021

The Complicated Process of Migration

Migration, which appears to be a simple concept on the surface, is actually an immensely complicated process. Migration is widely understood to be the movement of birds from one place to another. We see migration every year in our yards: Sparrows and finches arrive from the North in the fall and leave in the spring. The big picture, however, obscures the complexity.
Habitat content. Click for more!
Ask Birdsquatch: When Do Birds Start Migrating?
Sep 8, 2021

Ask Birdsquatch: When Do Birds Start Migrating?

Dear Birdsquatch:

When, exactly, does fall migration start? I stopped offering seeds and suet during the summer months but want to resume in time to power up the birdies as they start their long, southbound journey.

—Beverly B., Baraboo, Wisconsin

Feeding content. Click for more!
Natural Bird Feeding: What Do Birds Want?
Sep 1, 2021

Natural Bird Feeding: What Do Birds Want?

How would you like to feed birds in the very best way possible—in a way that is all natural, environmentally sustainable, inexpensive, and easy to do? Get out the garden gloves and the garden trowel and leave the bird feeders and seed alone for a minute. The very best way to feed birds is to offer them the kinds of foods they would find and consume in nature and that starts with offering bird-friendly plants.
Feeding content. Click for more!
Bird Feeding on a Budget
Aug 28, 2021

Bird Feeding on a Budget

Dear Birdsquatch: I'm on a fixed income now that I'm retired, so I'm watching every penny. I really want to get into bird feeding, but it seems like kind of an expensive hobby. Can you give me any advice on how to attract a lot of birds without breaking the bank?
Feeding content. Click for more!
Nighthawks in My Neighborhood
Aug 25, 2021

Nighthawks in My Neighborhood

If you live near bright lights, flat roofs, or trees, listen for the beard call of the common nighthawk feeding on the wing above your backyard on warm evenings. Learn more about this fascinating bird!