In many areas of the world winter is a difficult time for birds. It is freezing cold and there is little natural food around for them, especially in areas covered by snow. You might think that this all changes in spring, but there is still very little to eat in early spring. The birds have been scratching for whatever they can find during the winter and when spring arrives there is hardly anything left. With almost no natural food around, what do birds eat in spring? When the snow and ice begin to thaw the birds will be able to start scratching in the ground for anything they can find. They will still look for food under the bark of trees and under leaves of plants as well.
Many of the plants are just starting to grow and sprout leaves and are nowhere near being able to supply the food your friends need. The spring blossoms and flowers will attract some insects, but there won’t be any seeds for them for at least a month or two. Some will peck at some new green growth, but this is not their first choice. After the long winter they need to find some high-energy foods to build up their strength and health for the breeding season. Most birds breed in spring and early summer. During the first month of spring they will be able to start finding insect, grubs and worms. These are also foods that they like to eat when they are breeding. You can help the birds in your yard by offering them food in a feeder during this time. This can be seeds, fruit or suet. They won’t be too fussy because they will be hungry. I prefer to give them a selection because different birds have different preferences.
Make sure you put the feeders where it will not cause danger to the birds. These are usually hung from a tree or put on a pole where they can eat in peace without being pounced on by the neighbour’s cat. A bird bath can also be used as a feeder if there is another place for them to get their water. They might mess a bit if you put seed in a bird bath because they like to scratch and might scratch some right out. Having a bird restaurant in your yard during early spring could mean that you get to see many different birds visiting your yard. Have the camera ready to take some pictures of the special moments. Come back and let us know what birds you saw and what foods they preferred. Feel free to share your ideas on how to help our feathered visitors during this time. [pictures from PixaBay free images]