Fight Off the Winter Blues by Attracting Winter Birds to Your Backyard

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blue sparrow

Winters can be pretty brutal here in Maryland. While many of us enjoy this time of year, those of us suffering from cabin fever can’t wait to get back outside. But with a bit of work and dedication, you can enjoy nature year-round in your own backyard. Winter bird-watching is fun, educational and brings the sights and sounds of nature right to the comfort of your warm home.

While many birds and other wildlife fly south or hibernate for the winter, there are tons that stay right here.  Read on to find out which birds stick around and how you can not only take in their beauty but help them survive.

Which Birds Stick Around for the Winter in Frederick, Maryland?

It’s true. Many birds do fly south for the winter. But there are quite a few that live in Frederick, Maryland, year-round. Here is a list of the most common birds you are sure to see if you play your cards right and even a few others you may attract this winter as well.

  • Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees
  • Tufted Titmice
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Downey Woodpecker
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • House Finch
  • American Goldfinch
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Carolina Wren
  • American Crow
  • Blue Jay
  • Song Sparrow
  • House Sparrow
  • Mourning Dove
  • Northern Mockingbirds

Provide Food

If you want to see more birds in your yard, the first thing you should do is feed them. To help birds thrive in the winter, it’s a good idea to choose feeds that are high in fat. Suet feeders are a good option because they contain high amounts of protein. They are also easy to use. You can use black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, millet, or a combination of seeds. When selecting your feeder, try to choose the ones that have covers. This will help keep the feeds dry during snow or rain. Place feeders in areas where birds are sheltered from severe winds and predatory birds, such as near trees and shrubs. Put out several bird feeders with a variety of different seeds. Sunflower seeds are eaten by over 40 species of birds including chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, and sparrows. Other types of popular food sources include:

  • Peanuts
  • Cracked Corn
  • Thistle Seed
  • Fruit such as grapes, citrus fruits, apples, and bananas

Get the Kids Involved

Looking for a fun craft to get the kids involved? Have them make their own birdseed ornaments. These simple, easy-to-make decorations will have birds flocking to your yard. Using good ole fashioned cookie cutters, you can create birdseed ornaments to hang on different trees and shrubs. Choose metal or plastic cookie cutters that are one inch thick to ensure stability, create holes for hanging, precut your string for hanging, and choose your ingredients. Check out this article via “The Spruce” for more detailed instructions, and watch as a plethora of birds takes over your Frederick area backyard this cold, blustery season.

Provide Winter Birds With Fresh Water

Birds need something to wash their food down with. And like all living creatures need water to survive. Here in Frederick, Maryland, our lakes, streams, rivers, and water sources often freeze in the winter, causing the water that birds use for drinking and bathing to become scarce. Place a birdbath in your yard so they can stop and refresh. Be sure to change the water out or add an agitator to keep it from freezing. If you want to go a step further, you can install a heated attachment for your birdbath to save you the hassle of replacing it and help the birds stay warm.

Protect Birds by Providing Shelter Throughout Your Yard

You can also help protect and attract winter birds by providing them with shelter. While they will naturally build nests in trees, shrubs, in bushes, under porches, and anywhere they see a safe spot, you can help them by providing them with birdhouses and roosting boxes year-round. Roosting boxes are like resorts for birds. They look like birdhouses, but inside there are perches for several birds to roost together. Place the birdhouses or roosting boxes near trees, shrubs, or other elements that help block the wind. Leave dead leaves and brush piles instead of raking them, as they make great nesting materials and will help your feathered friends insulate their nests. 

Plant Trees and Shrubs That Attract Birds

You can create the right habitat for birds simply by planting specific trees and shrubs native to the Frederick area. There are certain trees and plants that provide shelter and offer food sources even during the winter. A few of the most common here in Maryland include:

Washington Hawthorne
The Washington Hawthorne produces fiery red berries that attract birds and other wildlife in the fall.

American Holly
The American holly bush also produces red cherry berries that attract songbirds, grouse, wild turkeys, and various other birds and wildlife.

Snowdrift Crabapple
The snowdrift crabapple’s leaves turn a golden yellow in the fall before falling off. What remains is a red-orange fruit that not only adds color to your landscape but provides a special treat for the birds who stick around.

Sargeant Crabapple
This flowering tree produces pea-sized fruits that make it easy for birds to pluck and swallow. The tree’s dense foliage also helps protect birds by offering a protective shelter.

For All Your Lawn Care and Tree and Shrub Care Needs, Contact the Professionals at Royal Greens

While enjoying nature and winter birds, don’t let time pass you by. Spring is just around the corner, and it will soon be time to focus on all things lawn, tree, and shrub care. When it comes to planting and caring for these trees and shrubs, make sure you get help from the experts who know and understand trees. Royal Greens Professional Lawn Care understands that trees and shrubs have different needs. Our plant health care program includes the right amount of fertilizer and insect control timed precisely to give your trees and shrubs the love and care they deserve. Our program includes three applications starting in spring running through fall.

We also provide professional lawn care services, including customized lawn care packages to fit the needs of every Frederick, Maryland home or business. We offer both traditional and organic lawn care. Visit our website now to learn more about these and all of the services we provide. Or feel free to contact us. You can reach out to us online or give us a call at 301-683-5371.

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