Out My Backdoor: Bird-feeding Problems

By Terry W. Johnson

Chances are, if you are reading this column, one of your favorite winter pastimes is feeding birds. As such, each year you spend hundreds of dollars on feeders and foods in hopes of attracting birds within easy viewing distance of your home.

So far, much of winter 2015-2016 has been disappointing for those of us who enjoy seeing white-throated sparrows, cardinals, dark-eyed juncos and a host of others dining at our backyard bird cafes.

Out My Backdoor: Mild Winter Doesn't Mean Early Nesting

By Terry W. Johnson

I must admit I have never experienced a winter quite like this one. It has been so unseasonably warm that the best way to describe it is that we are going through springtime in winter.

Although I can remember winters when we have enjoyed a few days of warm weather sprinkled among the cold days of a typical Georgia winter, for days on end now the temperatures have soared into the 70s and even 80s and dropped only into the balmy 50s at night.

Planting Flowers for Yourself and the Birds

There are many plants that are both pleasing to the eye and provide songbirds with valuable sources of food long after the flowers themselves have withered and died. Here is a partial list of some plants that are easily grown in Georgia gardens:

Bachelor Button: This hardy plant is related to Georgia's native thistle and normally blooms in midsummer. Like the thistle, goldfinches and one or our states newest residents, the house finch favor bachelor button seeds.

Seeds for the Birds

Bird Feeding Basics

Over 100 bird species in North America will supplement their diets with bird seed, suet, fruit and nectar feeders. While feeding birds, a few steps can be taken to ensure you "do no harm" to the birds. If you are not careful, you may unintentionally encourage window collisions, predation and the spread of disease.