Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Feed the Birds

January 31st, 2010

We have a bird oasis in our side yard. We love feeding the birds because it gives us something interesting to look at all winter long. We have 3 bird feeders and a heated birdbath.

I buy big 50 lb bags of birdseed and black oil sunflower seeds at the local farm store to keep our feathered friends fed all winter long. We also put out suet for all the woodpeckers and clinging birds.

We enjoy seeing all the different kinds of birds that come to our feeders. We have a bird identification book that we use to identify any new birds we see. Here are a few of them.

We also have blue jays, mourning doves, black-capped chickadees, house wrens, house sparrows, rufous-sided towhees, goldfinches, purple finches, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, and the occasional pileated woodpecker. And of course we have tons of the Ohio State bird, the cardinal.

Feeding the birds not only gives us something interesting to do during the winter, but it helps the birds stay strong and healthy through the cold winter months. We’ve noticed that since we started feeding them, we have more birds in the gardens in the summer. I had more wrens last year than any previous year and they keep all the cabbage worms off of my brassicas. I’ll keep feeding my little feathered friends and providing them with nice homes to keep them happy.

Do you feed the birds during the winter?

16 Comments to “Feed the Birds”
  1. Seren Dippity on January 31, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I love feeding the birds. It does get frustrating at times, because the squirrels can wipe out a feeder in less than an hour.

    I often scatter seed over our patio and yard which is good viewing from my comfy reading spot in the living room. It also provides what we call “kitty TV” My cats are indoor only cats and they love sitting on the window sills and watching the birds AND squirrels. (In my old condo I used to do this on the patio and we had one squirrel that would climb the screen to the sliding doors and chatter at the cats. We said he was earning his pay because the cats were so entertained.)

    Reply to Seren Dippity's comment

    • Susy on January 31, 2010 at 10:05 am

      Yes we have the occasional squirrel as well (I should have added a photo). Last year we started adding a little oil to the seed and then adding some cayenne pepper. That kept the squirrels away. They’d come after it rained and eat what was on the ground. They do the same this year so they remember, even though we’re not putting hot pepper on the seed any more.

      Our cats too love “kitty TV”.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Kelly on January 31, 2010 at 9:53 am

    We’ve been thinking about it this year, and I think we’ll pick some up once we find feeders that won’t end up being squirrel feeders. We have a *lot* of squirrels. We have a lot of woodpeckers, too. During the summer there’s a large family of crows that live right behind our house. I love listening to them talk about their day, while I harvest the garden for dinner, when they come home in the early evening during the summer.
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Additional Greens =-.

    Reply to Kelly's comment

  3. Pampered Mom on January 31, 2010 at 10:13 am

    We have one feeder that is supposed to be squirrel proof. I think it would be, too, if the squirrels tried eating from it the way you might expect. Instead they just lunge at the shepherd’s hook the feeder is hanging from and eat whatever seed falls down from the swinging feeder. We haven’t had to refill the feeder since we put it out a couple of months ago, though, so that’s got to say something about how interested the squirrels are in it as a food source.

    After a lot of traffic at the feeder earlier in the winter it’s slowed down quite a bit which is a little disappointing. For the birds that do venture here we have an identification book which we love. My son gets a kick out of watching the birds and looking them up in the book.
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..Our New Pastime =-.

    Reply to Pampered Mom's comment

    • Susy on January 31, 2010 at 10:29 am

      That’s interesting that you don’t have too many birds. We fill our feeder every 2-3 days because they eat it down. We are surrounded by woods though, it’s not a super concentrated residential area. We also have our feeders protected by trees, which the birds like to keep them safe from hawks.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Striving for a Simple Life on January 31, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I love your shot of the cardinal! Cardinals are my favorite bird. Every time one lands in my yard, I’m glued to the window watching it. :-)

    Sadly, we don’t feed the birds around here. My neighbor’s cat (and several others) run loose and I’m afraid it would try and attack any birds if I made a stationary bird feeder.

    .-= Striving for a Simple Life´s last blog ..Serene Sunday =-.

    Reply to Striving for a Simple Life's comment

  5. Tree Huggin Momma on January 31, 2010 at 11:43 am

    My step mother in law has a feeder outside their kitchen window, and when we visit in the winter I love standing at the window and watching the blues and reds and variety of birds. A bird feeder or two is something I want to install, but I have to watch for the squirrels, they are canny here and can get into anything. I would love to have more birds and butterflys. I don’t mine the bees and hornets (as long as they stay away from me and the girls).
    .-= Tree Huggin Momma´s last blog ..Snow Flurries, Sick Child and Bread Making =-.

    Reply to Tree Huggin Momma's comment

  6. Morgan G on January 31, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    The cardinal really is a gorgeous bird. What a rich shade of red! Though our shrubs host a few species, the only one we actually feed is the hummingbird. Sadly, we’re short on bees in our yard (working to change that with new plantings come Spring) so the hummingbirds are our most active pollinators. They definitely put on a show and can be quite fiesty, they dive bomb our dog when they feel threatened. It’s pretty comical.
    .-= Morgan G´s last blog ..Soil Test Kit Redemption & Some Resilient Seed =-.

    Reply to Morgan G's comment

  7. Joe on January 31, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Love that red-bellied woodpecker! Wonderful shots! No, I’ve never been much of a bird feeder but I used to have a hummingbird feeder several years ago. And I guess you could say I had a hummingbird feeder when I grew my 15-foot tower of morning glories a couple summers back.
    .-= Joe´s last blog ..The View from Cerro San Luis =-.

    Reply to Joe's comment

  8. Frugal Trenches on January 31, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Yes I always love feeding the birds. I would like to learn which plants, seeds etc attract more birds, after having seen the most amazing garden in Canada with literally hundreds of birds and squirrels.
    .-= Frugal Trenches´s last blog ..Reclaiming Simple Sunday =-.

    Reply to Frugal Trenches's comment

  9. Jane on January 31, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I keep TWO birdbaths heated all winter for the guys who are around at the neighbors’ feeders. Birds of all sorts come regularly including crows. The heaters were purchased at a bird specialty store though I see them in dog/cat catalogs too. They turn off when the temp. hits a certain degree. I love watching birds any time.

    Reply to Jane's comment

  10. Diane on January 31, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    We love our birds. We have a couple of pairs of cardinals that have been with us for years. This time of the year is great because the woodpeckers come to the feeder and you can actually see them in the trees with so little foliage. This week I didn’t have any seed but had left over homemade bread and they loved it.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..This Weekend =-.

    Reply to Diane's comment

  11. melissa on February 1, 2010 at 1:55 am

    My mom does. She has a steady stream of cardinals, goldfinches, and some others that I don’t recognize during the winter. She even bought a telephoto lens so she could get better pictures of them all.
    .-= melissa´s last blog ..salted butter caramels =-.

    Reply to melissa's comment

  12. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Feed the ##Birds #wildlife #beneficial […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Birds at the Birdfeeder | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  13. Sophie on February 2, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Those are some great shots of the birds. Interestingly enough, I have many of the same birds at my feeder here in CT: Junco, Titmouse, Cardinal, Woodpecker, and so on.
    .-= Sophie´s last blog ..Local Meal of the Week (DDELC09/10 #11) =-.

    Reply to Sophie's comment

  14. […] our little feathered friends, trying to make them at home here at Chiot’s Run and that includes feeding them all winter long and putting up birdhouses all over the garden. This is the time of year when you need to clean out […]

    Reply to Cleaning out birdhouses in spring | Chiot’s Run's comment

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Quote of Day: Little House in the Big Woods

Now the winter seemed long. Laura and Mary began to be tired of staying always in the house. Laura Ingalls...