Home » Lifestyle » Protect Wild Birds In The Winter

This time of the year can be hard on wild birds.

Temperatures can still be quite frigid.

It’s even worse when the weather is transitional fluctuating from warm days back to extreme cold days.

These extreme fluctuations in the temperature can be even harder on birds.

One thing I do not want to do is create a dependency.

Wildlife needs to stay wild so that they can fend for themselves.

There are ways to help the birds without causing dependency.

Protect Wild Birds In The Winter

Protect Wild Birds In The Winter

What You Can Do To Protect Wild Birds In The Winter And Transitional Seasons:

Provide High Fat Foods

Foods that are high in fat help birds produce energy to keep them warm.

Some high-fat foods you can offer are suet, peanuts, fruit, millet, and of course, bird seeds.

Leave A Light On

Birds will often use a house light to warm up.

A light under an eve is best as it provides warmth and wind protection.

Wind Barrier

Speaking of wind protection you can build a wind barrier for the birds to rest behind.

Getting out of the cold wind gives them a chance to warm up and collect energy.


Birdhouses are an obvious choice and a great way to help protect wild birds in the winter.

They provide shelter from cold winds and safety from ice, snow, rain, and other weather conditions.

Provide Sawdust or Peat Moss

Place sawdust or peat moss in birdhouses, eves, bowls or boxes to give birds a warm place to rest.

Either of these placed into birdhouses is a luxury for birds in the winter!

Leave Icicles Alone

Leaving icicles hanging provides birds a source of water once they begin to melt even a little.

Do however knock them down if they are hanging in dangerous areas like under doorways or walkways.

Don’t forget to protect yourself and your family in the winter too!

The above are some easy ways to help our feathered friends in the winter.

Do you know of any other methods for aiding birds in cold weather?

What is your favorite idea from the list?


Protect Wild Birds In The Winter



  1. Shelley King
    February 13, 2018 / 3:58 pm

    Very good tips! I would have never thought about the porch light or icicles. Our bird house was knocked down And this reminded me we need to get one back up. Very informative article.

    • February 13, 2018 / 9:31 pm

      Happy to help with the reminder! I have seen my neighbor’s down for a few days as well. This wind has been awful!

  2. February 14, 2018 / 7:33 am

    This is great. I’d like to put out a couple different feeders for them, and of course make them as squirrel proof as possible.

    • February 14, 2018 / 5:56 pm

      Ah yes haha we do have a lot of squirrels here too! They get dried corn.

  3. lisalisa
    February 14, 2018 / 9:12 am

    This is such a great post! Many people forget all about the birds in the winter season. I remember one of my neighbors use to have a beautiful cage on his porch filled with hay I believe inside and paper so when the birds would fly in they had a warm place to stay. He had plenty of food for them also!

  4. February 14, 2018 / 10:03 am

    We do not have a bird feeder or house. My kids really want one so I think we will make some this spring. I know the kids would love to help protect and feed those birds that we see every day.

  5. February 14, 2018 / 10:09 am

    I use to put a bird bath warmer in a … well bird bath so that they would have access to water. With -40 winters that is actually hard for them to find. I now live in a condo and nothing (food or bath) that attracts birds is allowed on our balconies due to pigeon problems in the past. Sad. i liked having them visit.

    • February 14, 2018 / 6:48 pm

      Aweee yeah apartment living has its down sides. On the other hand you didn’t have to remove snow this year lol.

  6. Kelly
    February 14, 2018 / 10:16 am

    Wonderful tips to help our feathered friends during the winter months. We have a couple of bird houses in our garden but rarely see the birds use them, but we see them up in the trees taking cover. I like the idea of a light to keep them warm – not thought of this before.

    • February 14, 2018 / 6:48 pm

      Thank you Kelly. You are the second person to say their birds are not using the bird houses. I wonder why that is. Maybe its the kind of bird you have in your areas.

  7. February 14, 2018 / 10:35 am

    These are such great tips! I also know some people who put dog hair out for the birds after they brush their dogs. The birds then take it and use it as insulation in their nests or birdhouses to keep warm. I thought that was a clever way of “recycling” all that hair that the dogs shed in the winter time.

    • February 14, 2018 / 11:19 am

      We brush our dogs outside in the spring and the birds and usually will scoop the hair. Keeps it out of our house 🙂

    • February 14, 2018 / 6:47 pm

      I absolutely LOVE this idea and yes a great way to recycle! Very clever indeed!

  8. February 14, 2018 / 11:37 am

    These are great ideas, and I hadn’t thought about this at all. Love the idea of the light to warm the birds, and the sawdust/peat moss for birdhouse bedding.

    • February 14, 2018 / 6:38 pm

      Thank you so much Amy. Yes the light is so easy. I just have to remind myself to leave it on. I am so used to turning all the lights OFF around here lol.

  9. February 14, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    I love these ideas! I have done some of these but I hadn’t thought about placing peat moss inside bird houses and didn’t realize that house lights can provide warmth for them. Thanks for sharing!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • February 14, 2018 / 5:53 pm

      So happy to share the info! I did not know about the light thing myself until a bird taught me! I watched him buzzing around my door one night. Ever time I opened the door he would fly around but not go far at all. He just kept coming back to my light! It was then I realized he was stay around it for the heat!

  10. February 14, 2018 / 2:46 pm

    We don’t have a yard so we can’t have a birdhouse but some of our neighbors leave out food and sugar water for the hummingbirds. It’s been a very mild winter this year though.

  11. February 14, 2018 / 3:32 pm

    What a fantastic post and ideas, I never thought about how to help them, what an eye opener WOW

  12. February 14, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    We feed the birds in the winter and early spring. Although we have bird houses up, I’ve never seen the birds use them except for during nesting season. I often wonder where the birds go when it is super cold, perhaps some are in the birdhouses.

    • February 14, 2018 / 6:37 pm

      I wonder the same. I do not think song birds fly south for the winter the way larger bird spices do. I plan to learn more about birds though. I have a great book on the way and am studying up!

  13. February 14, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    We have a beautiful cardinal couple coming by our various bird feeders all through winter, as well as blue jays and other winter birds. They provide some winter entertainment for my cats when they are in their catio. Great tips to think about, other than just providing the feeders.

    • February 15, 2018 / 11:33 pm

      Awee that sounds so precious! I bet your cats love it too! Mine sure would!

  14. February 14, 2018 / 10:44 pm

    Great tips. I have not put out a bird feeder this year – although I probably should have. Mostly it just attracted squirrels. Interesting about birds keeping warm from a light – so we shouldn’t use fluorescent bulbs or LED lights then.

    • February 15, 2018 / 11:35 pm

      You know I do not think LED would work, they do not get very warm. I am not sure about florescent. Good question! I just use a good old fashioned bulb. Depending on the type of bird feeder you can put a pie tin over it – it keeps the squirrels away.

  15. February 14, 2018 / 10:44 pm

    Very interesting article. I guess I never thought about the birds outside with fluctuations of temperature. I don’t see many birds in the winter, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.

    • February 15, 2018 / 11:35 pm

      True – they can go into hiding or perhaps you just do not have any where you live. I am more in the country so we have a lot of them.

  16. February 15, 2018 / 1:53 am

    I love the idea of leaving the light on for them to warm up. I would never come up with that 🙂 I would also add one idea – heated baths, for people who can afford it. It melts the ice so that the birds can drink.

    • February 16, 2018 / 11:39 pm

      Indeed!! Heated baths are wonderful! The only reason I did not list this is because I really am not up on how to do it safely as I read that they can (if not done right) cause danger. Still a VERY good idea! I would just suggest a little research for anyone new trying to do it. Thank you for mentioning this!

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