Minnesota’s Wintering Birds
So how do birds survive bitter cold temperatures of a frigid Minnesota winter, especially since they weigh less than a pocket full of change? Well, they employ some of the same tactics we do!
Eat, Eat, and more Eating
During the winter months it’s really important to provide Minnesota’s wintering birds with a meal that is high in fats and protein. In my feeders, I use Black oil sunflower seeds and suet. They are tops in my book for that requirement. I’ve also planned my landscaping with our birds in mind. I’ve planted sometrees and shrubs with persistent fruits and berries. Flowering Dogwoods, Crabapples, Chokeberries and Highbush Cranberry Bush are interspersed amongst my landscaping as areas for birds to roost, while providing a nutritious meal. I also leave some of my perennial and annual seed heads as a natural source of food. Coneflowers, Bee Balm, Sedum, Gayfeather, annual Sunflowers, and Sneezeweed are wonderful supplements to their diet, especially when the feeders are full of visitors.
Having A Natural Down Coat
Some birds go through a molting period in the fall of the year, their body producing extra feathers for the winter months. Feathers are one of natures greatest insulators, they trap body heat so it is not lost to the environment. Birds will fluff up their feathers to minimize any heat loss on cold days.
Stay Indoors and cuddle Up!
Birds will perch behind branches and trees to shield themselves from bitterly cold winds. They can also roost inside a natural cavity or roosting box, protecting them from the elements.
Put all these things together and you have one of nature’s most well equipped organisms, perfectly adapted to take on whatever Mother Nature can dish out.