February sure is a busy month. As I mentioned in previous posts, there are all kinds of observances going on in February. For instance, it is National Bird Feeding Month, a national event created to advance and publicize the wild bird feeding and watching hobby.
Why February? When Illinois Congressman John Porter introduced the bill in 1994, he said this: “I would like to recognize February, one of the most difficult months in the United States for wild birds, as National Bird-Feeding Month. During this month, individuals are encouraged to provide food, water, and shelter to help wild birds survive. This assistance benefits the environment by supplementing wild bird’s natural diet of weed seeds and insects.”
This year’s theme is “Most Wanted—America’s Top Ten Backyard Birds,” and the National Birdfeeding Society created two top ten species lists, one for people living east of the Rocky Mountains, and one for those who live in the Rocky Mountains and west. Birds that are on both lists include the American Goldfinch, Downy Woodpecker, and Housefinch.
Specific birds were picked as America’s most wanted birds because they are all widespread throughout their region, are easy to attract, and live in urban, suburban, and rural environments. The Top Ten page tells you the specific types of bird food, bird feeder preferences and plants to attract each type of bird.
As I wrote about a couple of years ago, you can attract more birds by making sure your garden or yard is bird-friendly year-round. Do this by providing some basic comforts for them including bird seed, bird feeders, and safety and cover or areas where birds can find shelter from rain, wind, and cold, and a consistent water source.
As the National Birdfeeding Society also points out, a bird feeder will encourage birds, but landscaping with plants to attract the birds will provide an additional food and shelter source.
Even if you don’t have a big yard and have a small space, just one tree, some flowers, a birdbath, and bird feeder will entice birds to your yard or patio.
You can get more information on better bird feeding at the National Birdfeeding Society’s site.