Do you know what the second most popular hobby in America is? If you guessed bird feeding, you are absolutely correct. We spend $3 billion per year on bird seed. That is a lot of bird seed!
Some of us keep our feeders stocked twelve months of the year, but there is no month when those feeders are more relied upon by the birds than in February. For that reason, February has been named as National Bird Feeding Month.
In February, we are reaching the mid-point of winter and most of the wild food that many seed-eating birds depend upon has been exhausted, at a time when much of the country is still facing harsh weather conditions. While harsh weather is not a serious obstacle for most birds, lack of food certainly is, so it is now more important than ever that those bird feeders be kept stocked with high nutrition food.
Some of the best foods include suet, peanut butter, peanuts, sunflower seeds (especially black oil), and safflower seeds. Add thistle seeds for the finches and you've got a smorgasbord to which seed-eating birds will flock from all over your neighborhood.
When I open the door to my backyard early in the morning on these winter days, literally hundreds of birds fly up from the feeders and the ground under the feeders. A majority of these are goldfinches, but there are also sparrows, warblers, and doves. It is a most gratifying sight and all the encouragement I need to keep the bird seed flowing.
I hope that you are keeping your birdfeeders well stocked, also, or if you haven't put up a feeder yet, there's no better month than this, National Bird Feeding Month, to do so. The birds will thank you for it.
A male Red-bellied Woodpecker has a snack at one of my backyard feeders.