Courtesy of Jackie Currie
We usually think of winter as a time when birds fly away to find warmer climates, but plenty of our favorite feathered friends stick around our backyards despite snowflakes falling. In fact, seeing robins, cardinals, and woodpeckers fluttering around during the colder months always seems to add an extra dash of holiday cheer to the season. With that in mind, you might be wondering how you can help make sure those birds tough it out with food and water over the winter months.
Jackie Currie, the blogger behind Happy Hooligans, has some solutions that are not only great for all types of birds to partake of, but also look super cute in your yard! Her first idea involves re-using orange peels. “My hubby has been making fresh squeezed orange juice every morning, so I have an abundance of orange ‘cups’ right now, and I simply filled several of them with corn and chestnuts and set them outside on the bench by our pond.” How delightful is that? Even if you’re not squeezing as much fresh orange juice as Jackie’s family on a regular basis, adding just a few "orange cups" around your yard can still help keep your local birds’ bellies full.
Her next idea includes an ingredient to help keep the fine feathered friends hydrated: snow. Instead of filling a bottle or bowl with water that can freeze up in the cold, Jackie makes use of the abundance of snow she can count on arriving at her home in Canada each year. She first packs a heart-shaped cake pan with corn and chestnuts, then adds snow on top. Although the heart shape is lovely, you can use a regular cake pan if that’s what you have stored in your own kitchen. Once everything is packed in, you can take it outside and turn it upside-down to pop out the snowy feeder. You can see more photos and details over on Happy Hooligans.
Don’t be surprised if you suddenly become the most popular house for birds to visit on the block! You can probably expect a few hungry squirrels stopping by, too. Either way, these projects are a genius way to help wildlife make it through cold winters.