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Habitat Improvement Tips from the
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Web Sites Provide Winter Bird Feeding Tips feeding birds

VDGIF Habitat Education Coordinator, Carol Heiser, reminds us that brisk temperatures and heavy snow can pose challenges to local birds that winter in your area. She notes that information is available from the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) with tips on helping local birds survive the cold. Teachers are encouraged to have their students hang bird feeders outside their classroom windows and monitor the number and species of birds that visit.

Bird Watchers' Digest has a great Web resource for the types of feed to use. This is valuable information for your home or office location. See below.

Download the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries brochure on feeding wild birds. Link.

Editor's Notes:

Some seed suggestions from the Bird watcher's Digest include some of our favorites.  All kinds of animals fight over the black sunflower seeds including birds, squirrels and chipmunks.  The squirrels and chipmunks love the peanuts, and we had great success encouraging migrating ducks to visit for cracked corn.

One word of warning.  Several people joined us in having problems with dogs eating the sunflower husks and the husks seemed to keep flowers and other plants from growing so you might want to put the feeder that holds the sunflower seeds in an area where you don't want to grow anything.

Use a short wire fence around the bottom of the feeder to keep dogs away from the seed hulls.  The fence should reach far enough away from the feeder to allow some of the birds to land on the ground to eat.

hawkWe have hawks in our neighborhood and to keep the birdfeeder from becoming a "bird" feeder, some of us have found this fence is also successful in preventing the hawks from swooping down and snatching the feeding birds.  Just make sure you use a thick gauge wire so the hawks know it is their. You don't want to harm the hawks. 


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