Winter is when we gardeners (especially those of us in cold zones) need wildlife the most! How can you see more of them every winter? Keep these tips in mind:
Plant trees and shrubs with berries. Berries are great sources of food, and trees and shrubs also provide winter protection and nesting habitat in late winter and early spring.
Try these plants for increase berry offerings:
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)
Hydration 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