When the winter arrives we usually assume that the animals will be leaving, but in reality most of those outdoor friends are still around and in need of food and water. Birds and deer are common animals that you can continue to feed through the winter!
Hummingbirds are one of the most popular animals to feed from our homes. The feeders are easy to maintain, the food is inexpensive, and the birds are enjoyable to watch. Most of us may associate these birds with spring time as we think of them enjoying the natural bloom, but the Anna’s Hummingbird that now populates our area stays year round. Consider maintaining your hummingbird feeder to provide accessible feed for these birds!
Some myths revolve around increasing the concentration of the hummingbird mixture in the colder months to help provide energy and increased calories. This is unnecessary and can in fact be damaging to the bird. Hummingbirds are very delicate birds and that goes for their digestion and organs as well. More sugar than that makes the mixture too thick for the little grooves in their beak. It also causes liver and kidney damage. It’s recommended to stick with the 1 part sugar to 4 part water mixture. You can find both the Hummingbird mix and feeders at either of our stores!
Some other tips for maintaining your feeder is to put the feeder up in the winter and clean it weekly. To prevent the feeder from freezing a common practice is to wrap a string of holiday lights around it. This is cost efficient and will provide just enough warmth and coverage to prevent mild freezes.
Other bird wildlife we find around us can easily be fed with wild bird mixes. These offer mixtures of peanuts, sunflower, milo, nyjer seed, and many other healthy seeds that are full of nutrients and healthy fats. Another great option that is increasing in popularity is the suet cakes. These are available in many flavors and tend to be less of a mess than traditional seed mixtures. In our stores we carry large varieties and many sizes of Wildbird Mixtures and a great selection of suet. You can also find feeders in both the Monroe and Snohomish stores!
Feeding deer is always enjoyable. The most common feed that people will provide is corn.Corn is full of highly fermentable carbohydrates and sugar but fairly low in other essential nutrients and adequate levels of protein. Using a feed like a deer block or the backyard bistro blend will be much more beneficial to these frequent guests.
Squirrels are also a common friend for us wildlife feeders. Similarly, the common feed of peanuts and sunflower is a feed that lacks some essential nutrients.You can find options in our stores that include more of a trail mix-type of ingredient list! Head into either of our stores and ask our staff about the options we have!
We’ll see you at the Co-op!