Can you of­fer some point­ers on set­ting up a win­ter bird feeder?

Martha Stewart Living - - Good Living -

—Jane Smyth, White­fish, Mon­tana

This time of year is great for play­ing host to our feath­ered friends. “They most need ad­di­tional calo­ries now, and it’s eas­ier than in warmer months, when the heat can cause food to go ran­cid,” says John Row­den, Ph.D., di­rec­tor of com­mu­nity con­ser­va­tion at the Na­tional Audubon So­ci­ety. Fill your feeder with a high­calo­rie com­bi­na­tion of fats and pro­tein, which will pro­vide birds with enough en­ergy to sus­tain them as tem­per­a­tures drop. Sun­flower seeds, mil­let, and ny­jer (the small black seeds of the African yel­low daisy) fit the bill, as does suet, a mix­ture of lard or veg­etable-based fat, like nut butter or short­en­ing, and bird­seed. For a veg­e­tar­ian recipe, which birds can di­gest more eas­ily than its meat-based coun­ter­part, visit audubon

.org/news/make-your-own-suet. To main­tain your avian all-you-can-eat buf­fet, wash your feeder monthly (ev­ery two weeks, in warmer months) with a mix­ture of 10 parts wa­ter to 1 part bleach, rins­ing and air-dry­ing thor­oughly, and re­place the con­tents when they’re damp­ened by snow or rain.

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