Spread your giving wings this February and take part in National Bird Feeding Month. The birds have it tough in winter. They have families to feed and the natural resources to do so aren’t as plentiful as at other times of the year. That’s where we can all chip in and help. National Bird Feeding Month is a chance for bird feeders, watchers, and anyone else who is feeling in the spirit to extend a hand out to our flying friends. The month was created to educate the public on the seasonal journeys of birds, and for us to provide some aid at the height of winter when it is needed most. So, if you enjoy the beautiful sounds of the birds singing, it’s time to show your appreciation and put some food on their proverbial plates.
History of National Bird Feeding Month
Bird watching and feeding has been and still is a significant contributor to America’s close relationship with nature.
On February 23, 1994, Congressman John Porter announced National Bird Feeding Month. ‘‘I would like to recognize February, one of the most difficult months in the United States for
wild birds, as National Bird-Feeding Month. During this month, individuals are encouraged to provide food, water, and shelter to help wild birds survive. This assistance benefits the environment by supplementing the wild bird’s natural diet of weed seeds and insects.’’
Each year brings with it a different theme for National Bird Feeding Month, as selected by the National Bird Feeding Society. Previous themes include “If You Feed Them, They Will Come” and “Most Wanted – America’s Top Ten Backyard Birds.”
Whether you’re an old hand or a newbie to bird feeding, February is the ideal time to get out there and do some feeding.
National Bird Feeding Month timeline
The “Full Up” theme is chosen to ensure that our birds get enough to eat that they will continue to delight us with their song.
Westbrook Boys Varsity Basketball begin their state playoff run with the theme "Feed the Birds.
Field of Dreams
The theme for 2012’s National Bird Feeding Month was "If You Feed Them, They Will
Robert Havell Jr publishes his engraving of two birds for ‘‘The Birds of America.’’
National Bird Feeding Month FAQs
When is National Bird Feeding Month?
When is the best time to feed the birds?
Autumn and winter are the best seasons to put food and water out on a regular basis. In severe weather, please feed the birds daily if you can.
What is the best food to put out for birds?
Try to get a good mix of peanuts, seeds, and live food like mealworms and waxworms. There are good ready-made mixes which are available in stores and are easy to distribute too.
How To Celebrate National Bird Feeding Month
Put a feeder in your yard
If you haven’t already, put different feeders in your yard to attract different kinds of birds. Foods you can leave out include birdseed mixture, lard, and beef suet, meaty canned pet food, brown or white rice, crumbled bread, mildly grated cheese, and so much more.
Add a place with water
Birds struggle to get non-frozen water in the winter. If possible, adding a heated birdbath, fountain or even a large bowl of warm water would help greatly. Birds often gather in places where food, shelter, and water are reliable, so try to be consistent and generous.
Do some bird watching
Keep an eye on the birds that make a pit stop in your yard. Maybe the one that stops to use your water, the one who feeds, or the one that sings on your fence. Either way, try and spot the pattern and identify their species.
5 Facts About National Bird Feeding Month
One-third of the U.S. adult population feeds wild birds in their backyards
Got milk? No thanks
Birds guts are not able to digest milk.
Garden birds are unable to metabolize salt.
Don’t feed birds desiccated coconut as it can swell inside their stomachs.
What’s for lunch?
Dead or discolored mealworms could cause problems for birds
Why we love National Bird Feeding Month
Together, we’re there for everyone
Feeding birds in your backyard is entertaining, educational, and an inexpensive pastime that can be enjoyed by children and adults.
The kids are alright
Young kids are naturally drawn to the activities involved in feeding birds. This can serve as an excellent educational tool if you encourage the little ones to identify different species and to learn about their different feeding and living habits.
It’s accessible for most people
Feeding birds in the backyard is a hobby that’s easy to start, won’t overtax the family budget, and something that everyone can do together.
National Bird Feeding Month dates