First, try planting trees and shrubs with berries. The berries are great sources of food, and trees and shrubs also provide protection and nesting habitat. Examples include:
- Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)
- Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
- Cockspur hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli)
- Common winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
Large evergreens that provide all-year protection include:
- White spruce (Picea glauca)
- White pine (Pinus strobus)
- Canada hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Water is extremely important for birds' health, but it's difficult to find during the winter. If you don't have a water garden, consider adding a heated birdbath (available at local garden centers or bird feed stores).
To supplement the food birds get from plants, add feeders to your winter garden. Make sure feeders are clear of snow and ice, and offer food that appeals to the largest number of bird species. Suet and black-oil sunflower seed are the best high-energy food sources for birds. Stamp down the snow underneath feeders to make it easier for ground-feeding birds such as juncos, cardinals, and doves to find seed.
--Courtesy of University of Wisconsin Extension