Why It’s Important To Feed The Birds In March

The past month has been trying for us weather-wise, but the most recent winter storms create a challenging situation for the birds, too. Although countless birds have been here throughout winter, some new spring migrants begin coming in late February and early March only to be faced with extreme weather conditions.

Of all of the months of the year, March is one of the most difficult for birds to find food. Last year’s food supplies of seeds, fruits, berries, and insect eggs and larvae are at their lowest levels after months of birds eating them throughout winter. To complicate matters, March is much too early for new crops to replenish these stockpiles.

Red-winged Blackbird - Care2

Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Killdeer, and the American Robin are some of the earliest spring migrants.

Food scarcity means that birds have to work harder to find sufficient food during a month when it’s still very much cold and wintery. Even though backyard birds aren’t dependent on feeders for survival, feeding them in March will make it easier to withstand harsh conditions. It could even save them from starvation; well-fed birds can withstand the harsher weather by staying warmer than those birds unable to find food.

Here are a few tips to help birds have a successful March:

Blue Jay in winter birdbath - Care2

1. Water is vital to backyard animals.

A heated bird bath offers fresh water when natural sources freeze. If you haven’t already, you can winterize bird baths by adding an immersion-style heater to keep water from freezing. Be sure to keep them filled, even in cold weather.

Wintertime Birdfeeders - Care2

2. Help a hungry bird.

Provide plenty of food in a variety of feeder styles to attract many different birds. Larger birds need bigger feeders, for instance. Choose an array of foods that offer solid nutrition and abundant energy. Watch to see what types of birds visit feeders and adjust food supplies to meet their needs. A few favorite foods among backyard birds are sunflower seeds, white millet, niger, safflower seeds, nuts, cracked corn, or suet.

Related Reading: What to Feed Birds in Winter

Gray Squirrel at Birdfeeder - Care2

3. Limit access to feeders.

Squirrel-proof bird feeders use several different methods to discourage squirrels from depleting the feeders. If sneaky squirrels are eating all the seed at your feeders, these feeders can help.

Birds on bird feeder in winter - Care2

4. Keep it clean.

It might be tempting to ignore cleaning existing feeders and baths but wash and disinfect feeders and baths even in March. Doing so will help to prevent spreading disease among birds or migrators. Check for damage, and repair or replace as needed.

It’s also worth mentioning making windows safe for spring migrants. When flying, birds can become disoriented by smooth, transparent glass. In fact, more than one billion birds die from crashing into windows and buildings each year. These are huge numbers, and some of these window strikes occur when birds are busy migrating.

Have you had any new spring migrants to your backyard feeders? The Redwing Blackbirds have just returned to mine. Who have you spotted? Tell me your feeder stories in the comments!

Related at Care2:

Photos: Thinkstock

122 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thanks

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Chad Anderson
Chad A6 months ago

Dad used to take great care of the birds in all seasons.

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Carl R
Carl R6 months ago

Thanks!

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Heather R
Heather R6 months ago

If you love birds and/or want them to visit your garden then you should feed and, more importantly, water them all year round. Less food in the spring/summer months but more in the cold winter months - it is important that they have a food and water source which is reliable all year.

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Veronica D
Veronica Danie6 months ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica D
Veronica Danie6 months ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica D
Veronica Danie6 months ago

Thank you so very much.

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Leo C
Leo C6 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Sophie M
Past Member 6 months ago

Thanks

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Carol J
Carol Johnson6 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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