Winter can be harsh in New York. Those that suffer might not be able to find enough food when the winter rolls around. Birds are no exception to this problem. Luckily, there are different ways to feed these animals when their natural stores of food have diminished. Feeding winter birds in New York can be a great way to help them.
There are many ways for people in New York to feed the birds during the winter. Anyone who wishes to do so should remember that it is important to set up feeders appropriately. And the food you provide must be matched with your expected visitors.
In this article, we have covered what to feed winter birds in New York, how to set up a winter bird feeder, why you should feed winter birds, a list of common winter birds in New York you may encounter, and an overall winter bird feeding in New York guideline for those birds.
Moreover, if you are from Texas city and want to feed winter birds, here’s an article for you. Without further ado, let’s get to our today’s topic.
Read Also: Feeding Winter Birds in Florida [Full blog here]
What to Feed Winter Birds in New York
When you put your mind together about feeding winter birds, whether it’s in New York or any other place, the first thing that comes to mind is what I can feed them.
Well, you can offer several foods to winter birds through the bird feeder. However, the most common foods for winter birds are:
- Crushed Peanuts
- Nut and Fruit
- Cracked Corn
- Thistle Seed/Nyjer
- Sunflower Seed
- Fat Ball
- Mixed Seeds
- Bread crumbs
You can also provide the available bird foods from the nearby pet store. Other than these common foods, you can always provide something homemade or something from your kitchen.
In addition to those, various commercial bird foods you can buy from online or offline. Those are definitely an excellent option. However, according to our team’s research and observation, we recommend this high-protein bird food for your food station.
How to Set Up a Winter Bird Feeding Station in New York
Setting up a winter bird feeder is easy and simple. However, the bird feeder in winter needs a different arrangement and setup. Consequently, there’s five most effective bird feeder you can try in cold weather.
However, you have to remember that the visitors on your feeder will vary according to your food station setup. Now, let’s check the five feeders that do well in winter. And the possible visitors that the feeder may attract. So, you can decide which one is the best option for you.
Hopper feeder is definitely a great choice for winter bird feeding in New York. Most birds enjoy hopping around during eating. Also, the cover will protect the food from snow or rain and give the birds a place to shed themselves.
However, when you’re choosing a hopper feeder, you must take one with a spacious tray. The best way to fill this feeder, try different seeds (not milo) to bring most birds to your food station. Therefore, the hopper will bring Titmouse, Finches, Jays, Grosbeaks, Sparrows, Chickadees, Cardinals, and Buntings.
If you happen to be searching for a hopper feeder, check this product online.
The tube feeder is one of the common and recommended bird feeder for winter in New York or other states. It’s very effective and easy to clean or maintenance. Moreover, the tube feeder doesn’t hold much snow or rain. Therefore, it’s a great option for feeding winter birds.
The cracked corn, sunflower seeds, crushed peanuts, and birdseeds are the best way to fill a tube feeder. And the visitors, you may expect black-capped chickadees, some species of sparrows, house finches, grosbeaks, lesser goldfinches, and American goldfinches.
As from us, we recommend this tube feeder for your food station.
The birds that may don’t like seeds will love suet feeders. And the woodpeckers will definitely come to this feeder. Moreover, the suet needs shade from the day heat and protection from the squirrels.
However, peanuts and worms could be a great addition to a suet feeder. This will bring more birds to your food station. And the frequent visitors to this feeder are woodpeckers, starlings., nuthatches, chickadees, jays, Wrens, creepers, kinglets, cardinals, and some warblers.
This suet feeder could be an excellent choice if you’re looking for one.
One of the easiest and less complex bird feeders you can try for winter in New York. However, a ground-feeding table is a bit high maintaining as it’ll catch the snow and water. But you can put it anywhere. And, you can try almost any food with this feeder.
Moreover, to keep your feeder clean from the rain or snow, you must provide a shed. And this type of feeder will bring the visitors like Roadrunners, Anis, Doves, Pigeons, Starlings, Sparrows, Towhees, Juncos. Grosbeaks, and Cardinals.
If you’re looking for a ground-feeding table, our recommendation lies with this bird feeder.
It’s an excellent alternative bird feeder to tube. A thistle feeder provides great protection from the squirrel. Also, this feeder is easy to fill and maintain. However, the best way to fill a thistle is with different seeds.
This type of feeder will attract the visitors like Towhees, Finches, Sparrows, Doves Quail, and Buntings. From our research, the best thistle feeder on the market at a low price we found is this one.
Moreover, don’t forget to keep a birdbath near the feeder. Without a birdbath, your food station isn’t a complete one. Otherwise, birds will go to a different place for water.
If you’re planning to buy a new birdbath, you can check this product.
Also, you’ll need a quality heater to keep the water warm in winter. Therefore, you must need one. And this is our suggestion you can check.
Why Feeding Winter Birds in New York
As you know, winter makes the environment dry and reduces the food and water scarce for the birds. Therefore, birds face difficulties to fulfill their needs.
In New York, the winter is pretty harsh too. The average winter temperature for January in New York is 26.1°F. And this is the lowest in the year.
And the average high temperature is around 36.5°F, and with a rainfall of 2.17″. As you can see, it’s quite cold for birds.
Moreover, the average snowfall in New York for January is around 1.57″. Although the highest snowfall is in March that is around 2.64″. However, that’s enough to cover the food source of birds in winter.
Although, an adult bird can survive around 1-3 days without eating. But, that comes with reducing the movement or activity to the lowest level. And a baby bird experiencing the winter for the first time will have difficulty in finding food or water.
Even though. If they find the food, they will have to compete with the other birds for it. So, feeding birds in winter can help them too.
However, the ultimate reason for winter bird feeding in New York is its happiness and satisfaction to our hearts. The presence of the feather friends in our backyards can lighten our day.
What are the Most Common Winter Birds in New York
From the above table, you’ll get the name of the most common winter birds in New York. It presents the data of percent sites visited in a specific time of the year 2020-21.
We rounded up the ten most frequent winter birds for New York. Other than those, you may encounter House Sparrow, Carolina Wren, European Starling, Hairy Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-throated Sparrow, etc.
However, here we’ve discussed the ten most common winter birds of New York and their food habit.
1. Black-capped Chickadee:
One of the most frequent of New York’s winter birds is the Black-capped Chickadee. It’s a non-migratory small songbird from the family Paridae. This bird is native to North America.
The Black-capped Chickadee has a bib with white sides and a black cap on its face. The back and the tail are gray with white underparts and the rusty brown on its flanks. Moreover, its beak is short and dark. Black-capped Chickadee can reach around 6 inches in length with a weight of about 14 g.
The Black-capped prefer mixed and deciduous forests for a living. And their diet mainly consists of insects, seeds, berries, and invertebrates. However, if you want to bring black-capped chickadee to your food station, try seeds, suet, and peanut in the feeder.
From our observation, we recommend this product for black-capped bird food.
2. Downy Woodpecker:
The second most common winter bird of New York Is Downy Woodpecker. It’s the smallest and widespread species of a woodpecker from North American territory. Downies are the lively bunch, and they visit city parks and towns frequently.
The usual habitat of Downy woodpecker varied from river groves to suburban yards forests, shade trees, woodlots, willows. However, the deciduous trees of those locations are the best place to look for them.
The D. Woodpeckers are mainly black in upper parts, tail, and wings. And the white spotting is visible on the throat and belly. Also, the average length is between 13-18 centimeters. The large hairy plumage pattern on the Downy Woodpecker is virtually identical.
The diet of Downy consists of a variety of insects, especially beetles, ants, caterpillars, gall wasps, others. They also eat berries and seeds.
However, to attract them to your food station, try suet, seed, and berries. If you’re looking for something to feed the Downy Woodpecker, check this product.
3. Blue Jay:
Blue Jay is the passerine bird you may see during the winter in New York. It’s native to central and eastern USA, sometimes in Canada, and is from Corvidae.
The color blue is identical on its body. The Blue Jay has a blue with a white lower part and chest. It has a U-shaped collar around its neck that is black. Moreover, it can reach around 11 inches in length with a weight of 3.5 oz.
The Blue Jay prefers the residential area for living. And for breeding, the coniferous and deciduous forests. It primarily feeds on insects, acorns, seeds, and nuts. Moreover, to attract Blue Jay to your feeder, fill the feeder with suet, cracked corn, and seeds.
However, as per our research and observation, we recommend this food for Blue jay.
4. White-breasted Nuthatch:
Another common New York winter bird is the small songbird from the family of Nuthatch. The White-breasted Nuthatch is frequent in the warmer regions of North American areas. This songbird has a strong bill, stocky, short tail, and a large head.
The White-breasted identical visuals are- white face and chest, black cap, flanks, the blue-gray upper body with chestnut lower parts.
In the wild, like any other nuthatches, the white-breasted birds forage for insects, branches, and trunks. Moreover, the seeds make up a substantial part of their diet during the winter. The White-breasted Nuthatch is the familiar visitor of the bird feeders with peanut, suet seeds in them.
Want to have more white-breasted on your feeder? Try this bird food.
5. Northern Cardinal:
The Northern Cardinal is one of the most common birds throughout the USA. It’s also a frequent bird in the New York area. Also, it’s a very popular feeder bird in the eastern, central, and southern USA. Northern Cardinal is medium-sized with a long tail and a nifty crest on the head.
However, compared to other songbirds, it’s relatively large. The male Northern Cardinal has a brighter color than the female ones. Also, the bright red with black feathers is usual for males with a heavy bill. Moreover, females have grey masks, and males have black.
The Northern Cardinals have a body length of 8.2-9.2 Inches with a weight of about 60 g.
Different sorts of seeds are favorite to Northern Cardinal in the wild, especially safflower, sunflower, and large ones. However, 90% of their diet consists of grains, fruits, weeds, and seeds. Also, they prefer ground feeding and hopping around while eating.
To attract more Northern Cardinal, we recommend this product that may help you.
6. Dark-eyed Junco:
The Dark-eyed Junco is a small and grayish species of the junco family. It’s a part of the new world sparrow, and that is related to fox sparrow. This bird is native to the Arctic during the summer and warmer parts of North America.
For most adults, Dark-eyed Juncos have gray heads, breasts, white bellies, and necks with brown or gray wings. And they can reach around 5.2-7 inches in length with an average weight of 30 g.
The Dark-eyed Junco’s primary diet consists of seeds and insects. However, if you want to attract these birds to your feeder, try cracked corn, millet, and mixed birdseeds.
This is one of the best products that’ll help you to bring more Dark-eyed Juncos.
7. Mourning Dove:
The Mourning is also known as American dove, rain dove, turtle dove, and are part of the dove family. It’s one of the most common and plethoric birds of North American areas. Also, it’s well-known to all and the leading gamebird in the USA.
The mourning dove has a mild brown color and dull grey. However, there is no visible difference between male and female doves. A mourning dove can reach about 28-32 cm in length and fly at 80-90 km/h speed.
Various seeds consist the 95% of the diet of a mourning dove. In the wild, they munch on grass, berries, herbs, and weeds. To attract more dove to the feeder, fill it with mixed seeds.
However, the presence of mourning doves will increase if you put this bird food in the feeder.
8. Tufted Titmouse:
Tufted Titmouse is the small songbird of the chickadee family. It’s from North America and is also known as the black-crested titmouse. Tufted Titmouse is native to central and southern Texas.
It can reach about 16 cm. The Tufted Titmouse prefers living in areas with woods, gardens, parks, and scrublands.
Tufted Titmouse is a gray bird with large black eyes, round bills, and small in length. And it’s a frequent visitor to your bird feeders in winter. The primary diet consists of insects, bugs, and seeds. However, insects are the main food source of Tufted Titmouse.
Therefore, to attract them to your bird feeder, try seeds and peanuts. According to our research, the Tufted Titmouse can’t resist this bird food.
9. Red-bellied Woodpecker:
The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker from the family of Picidae. The male has a murky belly because of the adjacent feathers. And the plumage on the head is more eminent than the belly of Red-bellied Woodpecker. There, you could say the name is somewhat misleading.
The Red-bellied is related to the redheaded woodpecker. However, the difference is identical between these two. The back of the Red-bellied Woodpecker has a black and white pattern that is quite visible. Its length varies from 22.50- 26.5 centimeters.
In the wild, the Red-bellies diet consists of plant or plant matters that are more than 50% of total intake. However, if you want to attract them to your food station, try seeds and crushed nuts.
From our experience, the Red-bellied Woodpecker loves this food in the feeder.
10. American Goldfinch:
The American Goldfinch is a small feather friend from the North American areas. They are the migratory bird to North Carolina, Mexico, Canada-US border areas, and Alberta.
The male finch has a vibrant yellow in summer and turns olive color during the winter. However, the females have faint yellow-brown that brightens a little in the summer.
In the wild, the American Goldfinch prefers open country with thriving weeds and meadows for living. And finches are strict vegetarians. And their diet consists of trees, sunflowers, tree buds, and plants, etc.
However, to attract them, try different small seeds in your bird feeder.
This is the number one selling and top-rated bird food that you can buy for American Goldfinch.
Mother nature is kind enough to provide everything you need to survive. But there is a time when you may need help from others. This is the same for the birds too. So, feeding winter birds in New York is a great thing to do.
There are different bird species you will encounter than summer. Those winter birds need or prefer different foods and feeder setups. Therefore, as per the discussion above, you can see seeds, peanuts, suet, corn, and mealworms are the usual bird food.