The High Country has over 100 breeding species of birds- Chickadees, Titmice, Nuthatches as an example. To attract birds to your yard try the following ideas. First vary densities of plantings along with hedges to provide food and shelter for birds. Mix seed producing sunflowers and fruit producing shrubssuch as polkberries, and elderberries to attract goldfinches, sparrows and cedar waxwings. Did you know that song birds largely migrate at night and land for rest in the early morning hours.
Birds that stay in the High Country in winter are more likely than not to be seed eaters since insects are hard to find in freezing weather. Try feeding them with these suggested seeds:
Black oil sunflower seed – are tastey to Cardinals, Titmice, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Finches, and Woodpeckers love sunflower seeds.
Safflower seed -To discourage squirrels then try safflower seeds. Squirrels don’t like them but Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees, and Titmice do.
Nyger – Goldfinches love nyger. Nyger can be expensive so be sure to use a feeder special made for it.
Millet – Sparrows love to eat white millet scattered on the ground
Suet – Birds, especially Woodpeckers, love Suet. Suet provides energy for birds during those freezing winter days and nights.
In frezing temperatures, birds still need water. I f you are minus a natural source of flowing water or a heated bird bath near your feeders, improvise with a round plastic sleds also make good bird baths. Set your bird bath in a sunny place and refill it with fresh water everyday. Get the birds use to visiting your yard in the winter and summer months.
High Country Audubon Society meets the 3rd Tues of every month
Meetings are held at the Watauga Co. Ag Extension Building