It’s the middle of winter here in Virginia and we still got a long way to go until spring. Even though we can’t grow anything outside we can still find enjoyment in nature through bird watching. This time of year birds is in need of a steady and reliable source of food and water. So be sure to fill your birdbaths and stock your feeders with a variety of seeds. Now sit back and enjoy the variety of birds that will flock to your feeders in the winter. Here are just a few of the common birds you will see in Virginia.
Eastern Bluebirds are found in open rural parts of the country such as old farm fields, golf courses, and open meadows. Bluebirds enjoy sitting in the open on power lines or along fences, usually not far from their nest. Although bluebirds don’t often visit bird feeders, they are great candidates for birdhouses.
The male Northern Cardinal may be the most colorful bird you will see at your feeder. No other bird looks as stunning against a winter landscape as the Cardinal. Cardinals stick around all year and are found in most parts of the eastern United States. While the males are the ones that put on the colorful show, the females are easily identifiable too. Females are a little smaller with light-brown feathers and a tinge of red on their wings. Cardinals are attracted to seeds such as sunflower and safflower seeds.
Mourning Doves are found throughout the United States are often found resting on telephone wires or hanging out around bird feeders. These gentle creatures are always a welcome sight in the backyard. Their low, mournful calls are a familiar sound to bird lovers. To attract mourning doves, use sunflower or millet in platform feeders or scatter them on the ground. Doves love to nest in evergreen trees to plant a few of them around your yard if you want some permanent residents. A word of caution; mourning doves spend a lot of time on the ground and are very vulnerable to cats.
Chickadees are common little birds that love to visit bird feeders any time of the year. You will usually hear their familiar call before you see them. Chickadees are gray in color with a black head and bibs with a white face. Carolina Chickadees need a steady source of energy from seeds like sunflower seeds, peanut chips, and suet.
Carolina Wrens are usually heard and not seen. These tiny, tiny birds are common in backyards but are very hard to spot as they are quick fliers and jumpers. Wrens don’t usually eat seeds from feeders but will pay you a visit if you have suet out for them. In the winter they will look for the nest boxes to protect them from the elements.
Brown-Headed Nuthatches are tiny blue-gray songbirds that are found in pine tree forests throughout the southeast United States. Nuthatches spend their days climbing up and down the trunks of pine trees foraging for small insects and spiders under the bark of mature pine trees. They can even use bark chips as tools to pry up bark in their search for food. You can draw Brown-Headed Nuthatches to your yard by putting up a suet feeder.
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Before you know it the grass will be green again and it will be time to start your lawn care routine all over again. Why not take a break this year and let the pros at NuLeaf take care of your lawn in 2021. You deserve to take some time off and spend it with your friends and family. Our lawn care program will put you at ease and prove to you that your yard is in good hands.