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Winter Residents

Winter Residents
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by Carol Buie-Jackson ~

The cooler weather and shorter days have prompted the migrating birds to do just that…migrate to their wintering grounds.

We are getting reports that the white-throated sparrows have arrived. These beautiful birds with their distinctive call breed up north, but come down here to spend the winter with us.

Some customers are already seeing Baltimore Orioles. And it is only a matter of time before the juncos are here as well.

If you want to put out the welcome mat for these migrants, there are a few things that you can do to make these newcomers feel welcome as well as take care of your “regular” birds during the winter.

The sparrows and juncos are ground feeders who love millet and corn. You can spread either/both of these around borders in the garden and under bushes. We also have a blend with corn, millet and black-oil sunflower seeds that will make them very happy. The towhees and cardinals will love it as well.

If you aren’t already offering suet, now is the time to start. The orioles will appreciate it and so will the other protein eaters like the warblers that are arriving.

And don’t forget water!  All birds need water every day, even in the winter. Keep those bird baths clean and filled with fresh water and invest in a bird bath heater for the winter. The birds will appreciate it and your garden will become the place to be this winter.

About the author: Bird House on the Greenway on Rea Road and Wildology at Waverly are owned and operated by Carol Buie-Jackson and Jay Jackson. Both have been avid birders and wildlife enthusiasts for more than 30 years and are more than willing to share what they know about the local birding community.  You can contact Carol at carol@greenwaybirdhouse.com.

Photo by Michael Schaffler.