Feeding birds in the winter doesn’t appear to disrupt migration, but it does carry some risks. Feed birds only in harsh winter conditions, and follow these tips:
- Avoid window strikes – set up feeders either very far from windows, or very close (within 1 m), and use window decals to prevent birds from colliding with windows.
- Keep cats inside – collar bells will not stop cats from killing birds.
- Don’t feed other animals – bird seed can attract animals like mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, deer or bears. Clean up spilled seed and make your bird feeder inaccessible to other animals.
- Prevent disease – clean up spills and clean feeders regularly using a 9:1 (10%) bleach solution.
In the warmer months, there are usually abundant natural food sources available for birds. You can also attract birds to your yard naturally with native plants and well-managed bird baths and bird houses.
Read our position statement on wildlife feeding.