Birds may need a little help surviving in the winter. Here are some things you can do to help them get through the colder months:
— Keep fresh, unfrozen water around for birds to drink and bathe in.
— Position piles of brush, as well as birdhouses and roost boxes, to give birds shelter from the cold and snow.
— Leave out some food to give birds something extra to feast on beyond what they find in nature. Birds like to eat black-oil sunflower seeds, peanuts and other nuts, suet, mixed seeds, and cracked corn.
Kids can also try making their own backyard bird feeders.
Pine cone feeder: The National Audubon Society suggests slathering a large pine cone with peanut butter and then rolling it in birdseed. Attach a piece of looped string to the top and then hang it from a tree. This all-season mixture can attract woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice and occasionally warblers.
Citrus feeder: For another homemade feeder, the National Audubon Society says to scoop out a citrus fruit — grapefruits work well when they’re in season. Poke three holes around the top rim, and thread some string through. Tie the string in knots on the outside of the citrus, then fill the scooped-out opening with seed. Hang the citrus feeder in a tree, but make sure it’s far enough away from your pine cone feeder or any others to prevent spreading disease.
Fresh garland: If you’re good with a needle and thread, you can string together popcorn and fresh cranberries, tying a knot at either end. Drape the fresh garland in a nearby tree for the birds to enjoy all winter long, the National Audubon Society says.