Hey New Jersey Resident, it’s time to put out your bird feeders.
Our hungry winter minions have arrived and this year purports to be a banner year for colorful northern finches. You can expect hordes of Purple Finch, a smattering of Evening Grosbeaks and hordes of siskins. The seed crops in Canada was dismal this year and in times of shortage northern finches head south.
It started in August with larger than normal numbers of Red-breasted nuthatches began to arrive. October saw feeders inundated with Purple Finch and Pine Siskins and a wave of Blue Jays sweeping south. Come January, we can expect lots of Common Redpoll.
To stake your claim to this bounty of wintering birds, make sure you have the right seed types and feeders suited to the feeding styles of your hungry minions.
Jays love shelled peanuts and need platform or hopper feeders large enough to accommodate their large feet. Nuthatches and finches are partial to Black-oil sunflower seed. Siskins, goldfinch and redpoll are crazy about thistle seed. Offered in special mesh socks or tube feeders, your yard will soon become bird central and your winter enlivened by the colorful comings and goings of seed eating birds.
Don’t forget the suet. Woodpeckers, jays, chickadees, nuthatches and half hardy species like
Ruby-crowned Kinglets depend upon the energy rich suet cakes to survive winter temperatures.
To find out how to turn your property into a winter wonderland of birds, ask the experts at your closest New Jersey Audubon Center or stop by and see what birds are coming to the center’s feeders.
Don’t let your seed stocks get low. With so many birds around you can expect seed shortages this season and when temperatures fall you don’t want to leave your feathered minions in the lurch or surrender them to your well stocked neighbor’s feeders.
Squirrels? Ask your New Jersey Audubon center naturalist about strategies for defeating the furry-tailed tree rat.
Our visitor centers carry a large selection of bird seed – give them a call today to see what is available for pick-up or what is recommended for your feeders
Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary
Cape May Bird Observatory
Nature Center of Cape May
NJ Audubon Birding Ambassador
Author Birds of Prey and coauthor Hawks in Flight