To enter the Winter “Count the Birds” contest, all you have to do is put food outside for the birds and then watch them from your window.
Each day, write down the kinds of birds that come to your feeder, the times of day, and how many of each kind. If you can’t read or write just yet, ask an older brother or sister to help you — or Mom or another adult. Then send us your bird visitor facts through the “Contact Us” page.
Why Feed the Birds in Winter?
Birds that winter in Maryland may have a hard time finding food — especially if the ground and bushes stay snow covered or if the ground stays frozen. They also need fatty foods to help their bodies keep warm. The good news is that you can help them and have fun with our contest at the same time.
What if I don’t have a birdfeeder?
You can make one from an old toilet paper roll or pine cones. Spread peanut butter on the roll or cone, and then roll it in bird seed. Don’t forget the sunflower seeds for the Cardinals. You can also add some grape jelly or apple jelly, too.
You can also give birds animal fat (called suet) to help keep them warm. The butcher at your grocery store can sell you the suet. Suet is very nutritious and birds love it! You can hang the suet in trees or bushes from strings or from wire suet cages or old onion bags.
What kind of birds eat suet? Woodpeckers, chickadees, wrens, nuthatches and tits.
For more backyard bird feeder ideas, visit Maryland Department of Resources at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/Habitat/WildAcres/habichat31.asp#story4. Also, this site is a good resource for general information on Maryland birds.
Most Important Thing to Remember
Have fun watching the birds and counting!
Winter Count the Birds Contest – pwsd – December 16, 2014