Bring out the bird feeders, biologists say

Time to pull out your feeders and fill them up for the birds.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 5:30 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - It’s time to pull out your feeders and fill them up for the birds.

Biologists with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department say it’s best to wait until December to put up bird feeders so bears aren’t tempted.

While people are watching the feathered friends fly in, a bird project leader says they can participate in a monitoring project like the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

“Winter bird feeding is a good way to attract birds arriving from Canada, including evening grosbeaks and purple finches, as well as resident birds including northern cardinals and black-capped chickadees,” said Doug Morin, Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s bird project leader. “Black oil sunflower is a good seed choice that will attract a variety of birds. Adding other seeds or suet can help to attract certain species. Thistle, for example, attracts many of the finches. Gardeners will find leaving late-blooming flowers uncut provides seeds which can also attract birds.”

However, experts say bird feeders, even in the winter, runs the risk of attracting bears. If that happens, you’re advised to take down your feeder for at least a week. Bears that can’t easily find food will go back to their den.