We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.
1302 West Broadway,
(at Birch) FREE PARKING IN REAR
Vancouver, BC V6H 1H2
Phone: (604) 736-2676
Fax: (604) 736-5419
Email: Send Message
Mon - Fri: 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Typically, your feeders serve as a supplemental food source for birds. In contrast, during periods of extreme cold and severe winter weather, your birds may switch to utilizing your feeders as a critical source of food that enables them to survive from day to day. So make sure your foods are worth their weight with quality high-calorie, fatty foods for the birds.
You can play a vital role, as feeding the birds becomes critical when extremely cold conditions occur. At these times, a reliable supply of energy-heavy food can mean the difference between life and death for a bird. To stay warm, birds will expend energy very quickly, some losing up to 10% of their body weight on extremely cold nights. Food is the most essential element, providing birds with the energy, stamina and nutrition they need. An ample supply of high-calorie foods such as suet, Bark Butter, sunflower, Nyjer and more is crucial to a bird’s survival.
So in order to meet your birds’ needs, it is important to have at least one foundational feeder that dependably provides food every day and does not have to be filled very often. Studies have demonstrated that a constant, and reliable source of supplemental food helps to improve the overall health and body condition of wild birds.
Help your birds know your food is worth the weight by locating your foundational feeder in a sheltered location out of the wind and keep it full of the high-calorie, fatty foods that provide birds the crucial nutrition they need to survive and thrive even during the coldest times of the year.
Stop by our store for more expert advice and quality foods that are worth the weight to help your birds thrive this winter
While birds are equipped to withstand most winter weather, they obviously can't turn up the thermostat, throw on an extra blanket or whip up a warm cup of cocoa. However, there are a number of ways you can help make survival easier by providing food, a heated, open source of water and protection from the elements.
Food is the most essential element, providing birds with the energy, stamina and nutrition they need. To stay warm, birds will expend energy from their fat reserves very quickly, some losing up to 10% of their body weight on extremely cold nights, and this fat must be replaced every day.
Birds that use bird feeders normally obtain only about 20% of their daily calories from food offered in feeders; while the rest comes from natural food sources. In contrast, during periods of cold weather, your birds may use your feeders to load up on most of their calories as a means of survival.
Birds continue to need a source of water for drinking to maintain their metabolism during dry, cold weather. Clean feathers help birds stay warm, and a bird bath is often the only way for some birds to drink and keep their feathers in top condition when it’s cold.
Most birds adjust their feathers to create air pockets, which help them keep warm. The soft, fluffy down feathers are puffed up with air to create a warm blanket around the bird. The body feathers lie on top of each other, overlapping like shingles on a roof. Small interlocking barbules, or “hairs,” zip their feathers together to create an airtight windbreaker. Also, most birds preen their feathers with the oil produced by a gland on their backs near their tails to create a waterpoof rain coat. Research has shown that a chickadee with well-maintained feathers can create a 70° (F) layer of insulation between the outside air and its skin.
Birds need a place to escape the elements. Installing roosting and nesting boxes in your backyard can give birds a warm, dry place to stay overnight. Shelter is also necessary for protection against natural predators, such as birds of prey and cats.
You may have spotted a few feathered out-of-towners that are sticking around for winter.
Winter is a great time to look for uncommon bird species. Juncos and other sparrows and finches may be making a repeat appearance in your yard this winter as many of them come back to the same exact location each year.
Keep your feeders full and look for birds associated with “irruptions.” When natural winter food supplies are scarce in northern
Canada, numerous bird species “irrupt,” migrating south in search of food.
The most common irruptive birds are Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, Common Redpolls and Evening and Pine Grosbeaks.
By offering the right food (in the right place), you can better your chances of attracting some of these birds.
Lovers of millet, Juncos can be attracted to your yard by offering WBU Deluxe Blend in a ground feeder or hopper feeder. They’re
persistent foragers and have been known to burrow through snow in search of seeds.
These “winter finches” are attracted to Finch Feeders filled with Nyjer® (thistle). You can also attract them to your Seed Tube Feeders by offering Supreme Blend.
If they’re visiting your yard, be ready - they are hungry birds. For best results, offer Supreme Blend in a Hopper Feeder. Before the 1850s, Evening Grosbeaks were not commonly found east of the Rocky Mountains. Now, winter irruptions can occur across the country.
As you can see, our feathered guests’ tastes and preferences vary, so it’s important to be prepared. Because before you know it, these out-of-towners will be just that - headed out of town.
Visit us this month, and we’ll make sure you have everything you need to keep your resident birds happy and to attract these winter migrants.