Many birds head elsewhere in the winter, since New York weather can be frosty and unfriendly to wild birds. However, there are birds that stick around all year. You can help them out by taking care of their three basic necessities during cold winter months.
To stay warm in particularly cold weather, birds can lose almost 10% of their body weight each night. During warmer weather, birds can find food from natural sources, relying on feeders for less than 20% of their daily calories, according to Wild Birds Unlimited. In the cold winter months, however, birds will need food from your feeders to survive.
As far as your feeder is concerned, stock it with the seeds that are depleted in natural surroundings as the winter progresses. The following foods are particularly important for winter feeders: Black-oil sunflower seed is high in fat for energy. Millet is high in protein, peanuts and coarse cracked corn are welcomed by our feathered friends, too. A block of suet is a wonderful addition to the seed, as it supplies the fat that birds need to replace what they lose fighting the cold.
The dry, cold winter weather affects birds just as it does humans; the body dries out quickly without a continuous supply of water. As well, birds use water to keep their feathers and the down below them clean to better enable them to stay warm. They need that layer of insulation to remain fluffy.
Be sure to keep the water from freezing, or break up the ice regularly so that birds can get at it.
A warm, dry spot to protect themselves from the elements is a boon for birds. It is also a good tool to protect them from predators.
Wild Birds that you'll find around Malta in the Winter
The Southern Adirondack Audubon Organization has prepared a list of birds that visit our area in various seasons or that live here year-round. You can find it here. Below we've listed some of the birds you'll commonly see in your backyard and near ponds and woodlands this winter.
Canada Goose, Mallard Duck, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Red-tailed Hawk, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Cedar Waxwing, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Robin, Starling, Cardinal, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Turkey Vulture, Red-winged Blackbird, Cowbird, Grackle.