Get Ready for Winter

Tips to get ready for winter and care for your birds.

CardinalfallThe falling leaves remind us northerners that it’s time to start getting ready for winter bird feeding! Here’s a little checklist to help you prepare for a magical fall and winter of backyard bird watching.


Make sure all your feeders are clean and in good repair. The ideal location for the feeders is someplace where you can enjoy the birds from the warmth of your house and easily get to them for refilling. Consider adding a baffle to protect the feeders from snow and ice accumulation. The ideal location is near a bush or small tree, sheltered from the wind, where the birds can perch on their way to and from the feeders.

Leave at least one hummingbird feeder out until you’re sure all the hummingbirds have left your area. Sometimes we find a few stragglers, and the boost of some nectar can make a big difference for them on their long migrations.   Make your nectar sweeter (1 part sugar to 3 parts water) to provide a stronger energy source and keep the nectar fluid at lower temperatures.


Birds need water in the cold months, too. Unheated baths should be cleaned out and stored safely.   Make sure that the cords for your heated baths are in good condition.  A cord shield will protect your extension cord from the elements.  Not sure if your heater still works?   An easy way to check is to put the unit a trash bag and then pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours, then plug it in to test it.  Our solar sippers keep water from freezing during cold fall days without electricity.  Visit our website to see the many heaters and heated baths we have in stock this fall.


Bird Houses should be emptied of old nest materials and given a good scrub. Birds may use them over the winter. Install a roosting box and a few roosting pockets around your yard to give birds a warm place to sleep during cold winter nights. Place them in sheltered spots, out of prevailing winds.   If you mount them on trees, they should be between 6 and 15 feet from the ground. If mounted on a pole or post, consider adding a baffle for safety.

If you have any questions or want to share some of your own tips for getting ready for the winter, please give us a call!  We’re available Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm ET. You can reach us at 888-879-5095 or by email at

Happy Birding!

Heidi Babb

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