Connecticut Audbon Society


6 Ways to Help Birds in Cold Weather

January 3, 2018 – Connecticut’s birds are generally well-adapted to New England winters.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t help them get through periods that are particularly cold and snowy. Like now.

The keys are food and water.

Give your local birds plenty of nutritious food to eat. That does not include bread, by the way – it’s not good for birds.

When ponds and streams are frozen, fresh, clean water is particularly important.

1) Keep your feeders filled with sunflower seeds. Finches love nyjer as well.

2) Lightly scatter seeds on the ground for Dark-eyed Juncos, Northern Cardinals, White-throated Sparrows and other birds that prefer to feed off the ground.

Patrick Comins, our executive director, recommends sprinkling them lightly enough so that they don’t pile up. Andy Griswold, our EcoTravel director, recommends clearing away the snow before you toss seeds around.

3) Hang suet for Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and Hairy Woodpeckers. Chickadees and titmice will visit the suet feeder as well.


4) Patrick recommends freeze-dried mealworms, and nuts and raisins, to help bring a different variety of birds in cold, snowy weather.

5) If your Christmas tree is still around, place it on its side near the feeder. Birds will use it for cover. Milan Bull, our senior director of science and conservation, says it’s a good way to recycle “O Tannenbaum.”

6) Make sure the birds visiting your yard have a source of clean, unfrozen water. Heated bird baths and portable heating elements are perfect for keeping water from freezing.

The most important thing: Enjoy! Feeding birds is a great way to get a close look at the fascinating variety of birds that call Connecticut their home in the winter from the comfort of your own home.

For more information about bird seed, heaters, and feeding birds in general, visit or call our centers.

Fairfield: 203 259-6305 x109
Glastonbury: 860-633-8402
Pomfret: 860-928-4948

Dark-eyed Junco photo by Brian Bennett






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