Chef Joey loves feeding everybody – including the birds!
From Chef Joey:
Feeding the birds is cathartic and it provides a beautiful background setting. Just look out your window and enjoy the loveliness! February is National Bird Feeding Month and, believe it or not, peanuts are a great way to get even more birds into your back yard!
Blue Jays automatically know when there are peanuts in the shell! BOOM! They are there! Of course, setting out bird feeders is an open invitation to squirrels, too, but there are bird feeders out there that dispense peanuts and are squirrel-proof!
Make sure your peanuts are unsalted!
Be consistent, and soon you will see other birds in addition to the Blue Jays. Fine feathered friends like … woodpeckers, cardinals, sparrows, finches and chickadees!
Make sure you keep your feeders clean. As with dampness, mold can form on them. As harmful as mold is to humans, it is the same for our feathered friends!
Suet feeders near a window also create a beautiful nature-scape and are very inexpensive. I have a red crested woodpecker that adores my feeder and he dines there quite often!
This time of year is crucial for these little guys – so spend a little and enjoy a lot!
You can go online and have a bird guessing contest with your family. It’s fun and you may learn something new!
Give wildlife a boost. While it’s best to provide natural sources of food and shelter for birds by planting flowers and trees that produce seeds and berries, birds may need an extra boost during the winter, when they are burning extra calories to keep warm.
Use a blend of seeds that includes oiled sunflower seeds, which are high in calories.
Remember to stop the feeding when the weather warms up. An artificial food source causes wild animals to congregate in unnaturally large numbers in areas where they may be welcomed by some, but not others, and it can also make them easy targets for predators. Eventually, they may lose their ability to forage for food on their own entirely.
If you venture out to feed the ducks at a nearby pond or the gulls at the beach, do not feed them bread or corn. These foods don’t have enough nutritional value for wintertime eating. The best thing to feed ducks and gulls during the winter is dry dog or cat food. The birds love it! And the fat in it will help them stay warm, as well as replenish the water-repellent oil in their feathers.