Staten Island has a very large bird population that do not head south for the winter. In order to survive, they must be able to find the proper shelter and food to be able to do so. By taking that extra step and providing food, water and shelter in your yard, not only will you help sustain the bird population, but will be rewarded with hours of enjoyable bird watching for both you and your family.
Providing Food & Water
The purpose of a feeder is to keep the seed dry and away from squirrels. There are many different choices when it come to type of seed mix and type of feeder. A simple tube- style bird feeder secured to a shepherd hook placed away from the house or nearby trees, to avoid squirrels, will surely do the trick. The type of seed you chose will mostly determine the type of bird attracted to your feeder. To view a multitude of different types of birds, a high quality general mix will do the trick. For small birds only, nyjer seed or hulled sunflower will do the trick. But don’t forget about the water! Granite birdbaths are an expensive investment, but will provide a lifetime of enjoyment for an aspiring birder. It would also provide a nice touch of garden art to your yard. A cheaper option could be simply putting out a plant saucer full of water.
A big help for birds in the winter would be a shelter. A clean birdhouse strategically placed close to your feeders would maximize activity. A thin layer of saw dust on the floor on the house would aid with insulation. Secure the birdhouse to a sturdy post with the entrance pointing away from prevailing winds and a location which preferably catches the afternoon sunshine.
Giving the birds what they need in the winter will give them a reason to stick around in the summer. Which is when they will help with insect control and allow you to further enjoy your yard.