Feeding winter birds in Massachusetts

Feeding winter birds in Massachusetts

If you’ve decided to start feeding birds this winter, or perhaps you’ve already tried feeding birds but have some questions, or are looking for additional ideas, this post is for you.

The northern position of Massachusetts leads to quite cold winters. Winters are frosty when clear, wet, icy, or snowy otherwise. 

Cape Cod receives about 25 inches of snow annually. In the western mountains, 80 inches of snowfall is the seasonal average.

Hungry birds will flock to your birdfeeders in Massachusetts during the colder months.

Why feed winter birds in Massachusetts?

It’s always better to see birds during winter than summer because they tend to be less active and brave. As winter approaches in Massachusetts, many birds flock together at birdfeeders. They soon become quite fearless.

In summer these birds may flee as soon as you open your door. But now, in winter, they may only move to a nearby bush to watch as you refill the feeder. Some may remain just out of reach, waiting for you to finish. In addition, the leaves are off most deciduous trees and shrubs. If there is snow falling from the sky and on the ground, they have no place to run. They’re obvious and easy to spot. You might want to consider placing your bird feeders so they’re visible from within your home.

Bird feeding provides hours of entertainment for people who enjoy watching birds. Birds watching is both enjoyable and informative. As time goes by, you’ll notice an increasing dominance hierarchy among different species. You may note a particular time when you can expect a certain species or even an individual bird.

Homeschooling project or Family Fun

Feeding birds brings us close to nature. It’s good for us all. Sharing your bird with children helps them learn responsibility, care for animals, and respect for nature. And it can bring the family together in a shared activity. Feeding birds in winter is a perfect homeschooling project. Or, it can provide an activity during the winter school break. Most birds that come to our feeders in winter don’t actually need us to survive. But our feeder foods sure make it easier! 

There are generally more individual birds in towns. Towns tend to create warmer microclimates, and the landscaping may provide additional nesting and roosting places for birds over the open countryside. These will be the kinds of birds that come to birdfeeders. Consequently, there may be more birds in towns than the residential environment can feed naturally. So bird feeders may increase the number of backyard birds that the habitat would be able to support without us feeding them.

What birds come to feeders in winter in Massachusetts?

People usually put out birdseed for birds. It shouldn’t be surprising at all that most of the birds coming to feeders in winter here in Massachusetts are seed eat­ing birds! These are the easiest to attract.

In winter, seed-eating birds are most common. It’s too cold for fruit trees at this time of year. As such, migrating birds that feed on them end up going farther south to find fruit trees and bugs that are not around in Massachusetts withers. But even if you have some fruits, many seed-eating and omnivorous birds may eat them.

In the north and harsher winter weather you can find an interesting phenomenon. These two factors combine to make it so that most birds at feeders in winter in Massachusetts are likely year-round residents! 

Yes! Birds usually migrate south for the winter when conditions become too cold for them to survive there. Some birds that breed north in North America, migrate south through New England. Some northern birds migrate to southern states during winter months, but they’re not nearly as common as their summertime counterparts.

If you want to learn more about the birds that live in your backyard in the fall and winter months take a look at this article from the Mass Audobon Fall and Wither Birds.

If you are looking to start feeding winter birds for fun or a homeschooling project, Come See Us in Sturbridge, Massachusetts!

The Bird Store and More is here to answer all of your questions. We routinely get questions about birds, squirrels, feeders, food, and everything you can imagine! We welcome these questions and are here to give you the answers you need to get the most out of your bird watching. 4 Cedar St, Sturbridge, Massachusetts 01566. (508) 347-BIRD (2473).


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