Gardening Articles: Health :: Garden Crafts

Welcoming Winter Birds (page 3 of 3)

by Dan Hickey

Winter Birds to Attract with Feeders

Chickadee (several species)

  • Winter range: Pacific Northwest, Northeast, Southeast
  • Food preference: Black oil sunflower and black-striped sunflower seeds, peanut kernels
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Deciduous, mixed forest; suburban areas

White-breasted Nuthatch

  • Winter range: All but some Plains states
  • Food preference: Black-striped sunflower and black oil sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Deciduous, mixed forests

Blue Jay

  • Winter range: Northeast, Midwest
  • Food preference: Raw peanuts, sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Oak trees, city parks, suburban yards

Scrub Jay

  • Winter range: Pacific Northwest, Southwest
  • Food preference: Peanut kernels, black-striped sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Elevated, ground
  • Preferred habitat: Scrub oak, woodland, suburban gardens

White-crowned Sparrow

  • Winter range: Southeast, Northeast, Pacific Northwest
  • Food preference: Black oil and hulled sunflower seed, white and red proso millet, peanut kernels, and niger seed
  • Feeder position: Ground
  • Preferred habitat: Brush thickets, open woods and gardens.

Pyrrhuloxia

  • Winter range: Southwest
  • Food preference: Most sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Desert brush and streambeds

Pine Siskin

  • Winter range: All regions
  • Food preference: Niger, hulled sunflower and black oil sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Coniferous forests, woodlands, brushy pastures

Common Redpoll

  • Winter range: Northeast, Midwest, Pacific Northwest
  • Food preference: Niger and black oil sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Brushy pasture, open thickets; weed fields

House Finch

  • Winter range: Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Midwest
  • Food preference: Black oil sunflower and black-striped sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Residential areas, deserts, orchards, coastal valleys

Clark's Nutcracker

  • Winter range: Pacific Northwest
  • Food preference: Sunflower seeds and suet
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Pine stands, higher elevations

Carolina Wren

  • Winter range: Northeast, Midwest
  • Food preference: Hulled sunflower seeds, suet, and peanut kernels
  • Feeder position: Elevated, ground
  • Preferred habitat: Woodland thickets, ravines, brushy slopes

Hummingbird

  • Winter range: Deepest Southeast and Southwest
  • Food preference: Nectar (sugar and water in 1:4 ratio)
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Forest edges, brush, gardens

Song Sparrow

  • Winter range: All regions
  • Food preference: White proso millet
  • Feeder position: Elevated, ground
  • Preferred habitat: Forest edges, clearings, thickets

Northern Cardinal

  • Winter range: Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, Midwest
  • Food preference: Most sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Woodland edg brushy swamps, and suburban gardens

White-throated Sparrow

  • Winter range: Northeast, Southeast
  • Food preference: Black oil and black-striped sunflower seeds, white proso millet, and peanut kernels
  • Feeder position: Ground
  • Preferred habitat: Thickets; suburban areas

Red-breasted Nuthatch

  • Winter range: All regions
  • Food preference: Black-striped and black oil sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Coniferous forests

Steller's Jay

  • Winter range: Pacific Northwest, Southwest
  • Food preference: Peanut kernels and sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Elevated, ground
  • Preferred habitat: Coniferous forests, pine and oak trees, mixed oak

Downy Woodpecker

  • Winter range: All regions
  • Food preference: Suet
  • Feeder position: Elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Deciduous forests

Quail

  • Winter range: South
  • Food preference: Sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and other small grains
  • Feeder position: Ground
  • Preferred habitat: Chaparral foothills, desert, suburban areas

Spotted or Eastern (formerly called rufous-sided) and other Towhees

  • Winter range: Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Southeast
  • Food preference: Proso millet, sunflower seeds
  • Feeder position: Ground
  • Preferred habitat: Forest edges, thickets, woodlands, shrubby areas

Mourning Dove

  • Winter range: All regions
  • Food preference: Black oil sunflower seeds, white and red proso millet
  • Feeder position: Ground, elevated
  • Preferred habitat: Open fields, parks, lawns with trees and shrubs

Dark-eyed Junco

  • Winter range: All regions
  • Food preference: White proso and red proso millet, cracked corn
  • Feeder position: Ground
  • Preferred habitat: Fields, road sides, parks, gardens

Dan Hickey is a former managing editor at National Gardening.

Photography by Michael MacCaskey

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