Feeding Winter Birds In Texas | Birds Advice
Feeding winter birds in Texas is entertaining and sensational. Around 300 bird species spend their winter here because of the mild temperature compared to other American states. January, the coldest month has an average temperature of 10.2 Â°C to 15.5 Â°C.
However, if you’re planning to feed winter birds in Texas, there’re some things you need to know; for example, what to feed winter birds, how to set up your food station, why feeding winter birds is necessary, and what are the most common winter birds in Texas.
Moreover, if you are from California 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 New York [Full blog here]
What to Feed Winter Birds in Texas
There are a lot of foods you can try for the winter birds in Texas. But, according to our research and observation, these are the best treats you can try on your food station:
- Sunflower Seed
- Crushed Peanuts
- Cracked Corn
- Thistle Seed/Nyjer
- Fat Ball
- Mixed Seeds
- Bread crumbs
You’ll also find some good food in a nearby pet store for your bird feeder. And something from your kitchen or homemade is always a good option.
According to your foods, the visitors will vary on your food station. So, you need to provide food as per your expectation of birds. Here’s our recommendation for high-protein bird food that you can try.
How to Set Up a Winter Bird Feeding Station in Texas
Winter bird feeder needs a little bit different approach than summer. Not all bird feeders can do well during cold days. Although, Texas has more rain than snow in January.
Therefore, you’ll need a bird feeder with a cover to protect the foods from snow or rain. However, there are five types of feeders you can set up during winter in Texas. Those are:
A hopper feeder with a spacious tray is one of the best choices for winter. A lot of birds prefer hopping while eating. Those birds definitely will visit your feeder.
The best way to fill a hopper feeder is to use different seeds (except milo) to attract the highest number of birds. This type of feeder will bring sparrows, titmouse, finches, jays, cardinals, buntings, grosbeaks, and chickadees.
Our recommendation regarding the best hopper feeder lies with this product.
One of the easiest feeders to set up and maintain is the ground-feeding table. You can put it anywhere with food on it and move it as you like.
However, it will catch snow and rain if you don’t use a cover to protect it.
Ground-feeders attract Sparrows, Towhees, Juncos, Doves, and Cardinals. If you’re looking for one, then check this product.
A suet feeder is the best choice for attracting birds that won’t be down for seeds. The woodpecker loves this type of feeder. Besides that, a suet feeder can bring chickadees, jays, starlings, creepers, cardinals, Nuthatches, Wrens, and even kinglets.
You can also try mealworms and peanuts in a suet feeder. They will do fine as well. From our observation and experimentation, we would like to recommend this suet feeder for you.
Although Texas doesn’t experience high snowfall, a tube feeder is an excellent choice during the winter or rain. This feeder can easily hang on a tree branch. And very easy to maintain and clean.
The best way to fill a tube feeder to bring more visitors is to try cracked corn, Sunflower seed, crushed peanuts, and nyjer seeds. This feeder will attract visitors like lesser goldfinches, house finches, chickadees, grosbeaks, American goldfinches, and sparrows.
This is one of the best tube feeders you can buy online.
If you something a little bit different than a tube feeder, the thistle feeder may interest you. It is an excellent alternative to a tube feeder. Although, the main body structure is quite similar to each other.
The ideal food for a thistle feeder is mixed seeds. But you can try peanuts or crashed corns as well.
The thistle feeder attracts Pine siskins, American goldfinches, Chickadees, and juncos. If you happen to look for a thistle feeder, check this product.
Why Feeding Winter Birds in Texas
Texas has a warmer temperature than most other states in America. The snowfall is meager during the winter. Also, the amount of bird species that remain in Texas in winter is high too.
As you may know, during the winter, birds reduce their movement to save their energy and body warmth because there is less access to food at this time.
An adult bird can survive for 1 to 3 days without any food or water. So, naturally, 99% of birds can survive the winter without any help from us. However, the baby birds spending the winter for the first time may face some difficulties.
Also, some birds come and go to different locations to find food. Your feeder can help them to stay in their location and live happily even in the winter.
The weather in Texas isn’t very snowy. The average snowfall during the coldest month in January is 0.04″ while the previous month has an average of 0.12″ snowfall. You can check the above graph for a clear understanding.
And the average temperature in Texas in January is between 50.7-59.9Â°F. As you can see, the temperature is relatively better than in most other states during the winter. Therefore, the presence of birds is also higher in Texas.
However, the main reason for feeding winter birds is its happiness from the feeding and their presence in our backyard. We love and enjoy watching them eating from the feeders. It also brings satisfaction to our hearts.
What are the Most Common Winter Birds in Texas
The above table shows the most common birds you will see in Texas during the winter. It represents data on the percent sites visited during a counted period in Texas during 2020-21.
Here we list only the 8 most frequent birds from more than 300 species. Other than these, you may meet with Robin, Finches, Crows, Titmouse, Juncos, Sparrows, etc.
But, here, we’ve discussed only the eight most common winter birds in Texas.
1. Northern Cardinal:
Red cardinal, common cardinal, and red bird are the usual names for Northern Cardinal. It’s native to the eastern U.S., part of Mexico, and southeastern Canada. NCs are the most familiar face during the winter in Texas.
It’s a medium-sized songbird with a length of 8.2 to 9.2 inches. The northern cardinal has an identical crest on its head. And the female has a grey mask on her face, while the male has a black. The body color of the female is reddish olive, and the male is a vibrant red.
Granivorous Northern Cardinal’s diet consists of fruits, insects, and seeds. However, if you want to bring it to your food station, fill the feeder with different seeds or mealworms
From our observation, this is one of the best bird foods for the Northern Cardinals.
2. Carolina Chickadee:
The Carolina Chickadee is a part of the family tit. It’s a passerine common winter bird in Texas. And the natural habitat of this bird is New Jersey, Texas, Florida, and Kansas. Carolina Chickadee prefers living in wood areas.
An adult Carolina Chickadee can reach up to 52 inches in length with around 0.45 oz weight. Its face has white sides with a bib and black cap. The lower parts of their body are white with rusty brown. The tail is moderately long compare to the short bill and wings.
In the wild, the Carolina Chickadee hopes around the tree branches looking for insects and spiders. They also eat different fruits during the winter. However, if you are trying to attract them to your feeder, try seeds, suet, and peanut butter.
If you are looking for something to feed the Carolina Chickadee, check this bird food.
3. Blue Jay:
Another passerine bird you will see during the winter in Texas is Blue Jay. It’s part of the family Corvidae. This bird is native to central and eastern United States, and sometimes in Canada.
The color blue is distinctly identical on its body. The crest is also blue with a white chest and lower parts. The Blue jay has a black-colored U-shaped collar around its neck. It can reach up to 12 inches in length with 3.5 oz in weight.
Blue Jays prefer resident areas for living; deciduous and coniferous forests for breeding. They mainly feed on nuts, acorns, seeds, and insects.
However, to attract them to your food station, fill the feeder with cracked corn, seeds, or suet.
As per our research and observation, we recommend this food for Blue jay.
4. White-winged Dove:
White-winged doves are larger species of the dove family. They have an identical white edge on their wings. The young ones have brown eyes and are dull in color. In contrast, others have red eyes with blue eye-ring.
The white-winged doves are native to Central America, Southwestern USA, Caribbean, and Mexico. For living, they choose a variety of locations, including urban, scrub, and desert.
In the wild, the diet of the white-winged dove consists of seeds, agave, ocotillo, nectar, and different fruits. However, if you’re interested in bringing it to your feeder, fill it with wheat, corn, millet, milo, or sunflower seeds.
Moreover, the white-winged dove will love this food too in the feeder.
5. Carolina Wren:
One of the most familiar faces of the wren family is the Carolina Wren. They live around Canada, the northeast of Mexico, and the Eastern half of the USA, and South Carolina declared this one as a state bird.
The Carolina Wren can reach around 14 cm long. And, there are seven subspecies that are known, and most have similar growth. However, the Carolina Wren differs slightly from the other groups in songs and appearances.
Carolina Wren spends most of their time on the ground searching for vines and vegetation to eat. They also eat different invertebrates. Anyway, for your feeding station, you will need suet, fruits, peanuts, or sunflower seeds to attract them
As per our observation, you can try this highly rated food for Carolina Wren.
6. House Finch:
This bird is from the family of finch and is native to Hawaii and western North America. The House Finch is considered a part of the American rose finches.
House is one of the smallest winter birds in Texas. They can reach up to 15 cm in length with an average weight of 22 g. A mature House finch has a long tipped brown tail with dim-brown color on its backside.
And, most of the time, heads, shoulders, and necks are a bit reddish for the male House. Also, the coloration of male house finch varies with season changes. The House Finch prefers urban and suburban areas for living.
In the wild, the diet consists of seeds, grains, berries, fruits, and forage for vegetation. The change in their color comes from the fruits they eat at different times. They also eat small insects and aphids.
However, to bring House finch to your feeder, Nyjer is the best choice. Different seeds with high oil content can be an alternative too. From our experience, we suggest this bird food for your food station.
7. Northern Mockingbird:
The Northern Mockingbird is a permanent resident of North America, except for the visit to the south during the harsh weather. The mimicking ability of this bird is famous to people.
The pale belly with brown to gray upper feathers is noticeable. The Northern Mocking bird has white patches on its wings and tails that are easily visible during flight.
The mocking bird is an omnivore bird species. And their diet includes seeds, fruit, and insects. However, you can use seed or suet feeder to attract them. Sliced fruits like apples and oranges may interest them too.
This is the best bird food for Northern Mocking Bird to buy.
8. House Sparrow:
Another frequent bird around the USA is a house sparrow. It’s a small bird that can reach up to 7.1 inches long with a weight of around 1.39 oz.
The male Houses are brighter black, while the young and females have pale brown and grey colors.
The House sparrows are native to a large part of Asia and Europe. And prefer living in rural and urban settings and avoids the woodlands and wide grasses.
The diet of this bird consists of weeds, seeds, grains, and insects. However, if you want to bring them to your food station, try birdseed, sunflower seed, milo, and millet.
If you wanna buy food for House sparrow, our recommendation lies with this product.
Feeding winter birds in Texas is a very much enjoyable leisure activity. It’s not only for this state but for any other place as well. You can feed them suet, seeds, peanuts, cracked corn, peanut butter, etc.
And the best way to set up the food station in winter, you should choose among ground, suet, hopper, and tube feeder. Even the thistle feeder will do fine in Texas weather.
Therefore, the expected visitors you may receive on your food station are Northern Cardinal, Carolina Chickadee, Blue Jay, White-winged Dove, Carolina Wren, House Finch, Northern Mockingbird, House Sparrow, and others.