Winter storm: birds need all the help they can get

Those who feed birds might want to throw in some peanut suet or other extra entrees, experts say.

Faced with months of drought topped with about two feet of snow, area birds need all the help they can get.

Nature usually produces all the food birds need and backyard feeders just provide a show, but that is not true this year, said Larry Rizzo, a natural history biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

“Drought is somewhat of a factor but anytime you get excessively deep snow or ice cover, food is hard to get to,” he said.

Large birds like wild turkeys can scratch through the snow to get to food but not so with songbirds, quail and other smaller birds, he said.

Those Midtown cardinals, chickadees, finches, juncos and others also appreciate drinking water that can come from heated watering systems available at bird stores, he said.

Sometimes a kind of bird peanut butter sandwich satisfies, just as it does for kids getting home from school.

With the Carolina wren, for instance, Rizzo said: “Deep snow or ice flat out kills them. If you have that bird in your neighborhood, you will help them by feeding peanuts, suet mixtures or best of all – a cheap peanut butter mix. They love that. Mix peanut butter with corn meal.”

Comments are closed.