By the time November comes around, most of the leaves are off the trees. Unless you have evergreens in your landscape, winter can be a bleak, brown and gray season.

One way to add interest into your landscape is to put up bird feeders. Add the right type of seed and your backyard will come alive with activity and color. One sighting of a male cardinal will have you convinced!

Clip Art
Clip Art

Bird feeders come in many shapes and sizes. Your selection may depend on the habits of the birds you want to attract. Woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees like to cling. Hanging suet in onion mesh bags is perfect for these birds. Platform feeders, with a level base, work well for juncos, cardinals, grosbeaks, and house finches. Perch feeders, which are usually cylindrical with feeding ports, will attract nuthatches and titmice. You may also see cardinals and chickadees at these feeders when they're filled with black-oil sunflower seeds.

To bring in a variety of birds, try offering a variety of food. Sunflower seeds will attract cardinals, grosbeaks, woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and house finches. Suet, in either a mesh bag or metal grid feeder, will bring in woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and titmice. Birdseed mixtures may also include nuts and berries. Purchasing the best quality birdseed will provide a mixture with less milo, wheat, and oats. These fillers are usually discarded onto the ground and can attract rodents.

And speaking of unwanted guests, a squirrel baffle may be needed on some of your feeders. Squirrels are very athletic and can jump up to 6 feet, so placing feeders away from buildings and trees is advisable. Giving squirrels a treat of their own with a feeder that holds an ear of corn may distract them from the bird feeders. Or, maybe not.

Birds also need water in the winter. Immersion style water heaters are available for this purpose. There are some that turn off, when the water is gone. Protection from predators is another thing to keep in mind. Feeders should be close to trees or shrubs, but not right next to them.

By adding some feeders and some food, you'll not only  be adding life into your landscape,  you'll be joining the 51.3 million of Americans that are already birdwatching!

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