Putting out food in the winter is a great way to help our feathered neighbours. It also creates the opportunity to enjoy their presence from the warmth of our home. While birds have no problem surviving without us, winter can make food hard to find, especially good quality calorie-rich foods.

When feeding in the winter, favour calorie-rich foods such as black oil sunflower, peanuts and suet. Peanuts and suet have the added advantage of providing protein at a time when natural protein sources, such as insects, are rare. Mixing dried mealworms with the seeds or into the suet is another great way to offer protein.

Remember that feeders and baths must still be maintained regularly. They should be washed thoroughly every two weeks. Throw away seeds that are wet or mouldy, or that have been outside for more than two weeks. Change the water in the baths daily.

Diseases that are propagated at the feeders, such as conjunctivitis and trichomoniasis, are more common in the winter. If you notice a sick bird in your yard, take your feeders and baths down immediately, for a minimum of two weeks. Call Le Nichoir if you have any questions or if you are able to catch the sick bird.