Winterizing your Garden for Birds

Nov 17, 2023 | The Sandpiper

Article by Karen Andres

As we approach the colder months and begin to think about our feathered friends, take some time to consider how your plants and leaves can benefit them until spring. While birds rely on seeds and  berries as the dominant food source in the winter months there are many ways to feed them naturally. 

As I drove through my neighborhood one “garbage day” I noticed a neighbor had cut their ornamental grasses and put them in the trash. I saw thousands of seeds that would have been food for the birds. What was not seen was the possibility of eggs in the stalks of the grasses which overwinter inside andPhotograph,  HYPERLINK “http://countryfile.com”countryfile.com

Trim your perennials down in the Spring after we have several days of weather in the 50’s. The warmer weather signals the insects to come out of their winter homes and begin their cycle of life. Many will become food for other insects and birds. 

Last year we left the oak leaves that fell into the perimeter gardens only because we were tired of chipping and bagging and ran out of time. I have since learned that fallen leaves are beneficial to the overwintering insects. The leaves are still there, in the spring and we heard plenty of birds rustling the leaves looking for hidden insects. For a yard with no feeder and 3 water sources we have seen many birds come to our yard to nest, bathe and eat.  

I don’t know if the photos I included are copyrighted or if it is ok to use them as long as they are given credit. If you aren’t sure about the copyright laws it may be better to leave them out. Photograph – Frank Heijiligers, Gardenista

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