Backyard Birds Newsletter
Attracting and Feeding Birds in Your New Zealand Backyard


        Winter - 2012

Providing Winter Food and Shelter
This is the hardest time of year for the wild birds. The days are short, and nights are often cold and long. The natural food supply is scarce just when the birds need high energy food the most. In some of the coldest parts of New Zealand it is estimated that up to 50% of all small birds die each winter.
The best food to provide the birds is high energy, high calorie, high fat foods such as Suet or commercial birdseed. A fast,  easy recipe is to mix  some dripping and bird seed together along with any biscuit, cake or cereal scraps you may have. Another easy winter treat for the birds is to pour melted dripping or any cooking fat from your roast meat over bread, and let it go hard. Keep in the fridge until needed.
Remember that there will be more birds at your feeders during this period and they will each be eating more, so keep an eye on the food levels and maybe consider getting one or two more feeders
Birds, like all animals, burn up energy staying warm. Putting up a few nesting boxes to give the birds warm, sheltered places to snuggle down in on cold winter nights can really help them.



Special Offer
In this issue we are trying to help our customers feed and shelter the wild birds during the cold winter weather.
Not all of New Zealand will be buried in snow during the next few months but many places will and the rest will still have extremely cold weather and strong winds.

Our Winter special is a Free Suet Feeder when you purchase one of our selected nesting boxes which is a saving of $18.00
Special Offer is available at
This special is only available until 30 August 2012

The special offer above is available to all our customers, so for our loyal newsletter customers we are also offering a 30% discount on any products purchased before 30 August 2012.
To be eligible for this offer you must have been on our newsletter list before 1 July 2012 when this newsletter came out.
Please email us to place your order.

Pine Cone Feeders
This is a good, easy project to do with the children on one of those long winters day when everyone is stuck inside.

1) Find a pine cone.
2) Tie a piece of string around the top to hang it with.
3) Mix two tablespoons of peanut butter with two tablespoons of butter or margarine.
4)Spread the peanut butter and margarine mixture onto the pine cone.
5) Pour some bird seed into a shallow dish and roll the pine cone in it.
6) Place the seed-covered pine cones in the freezer for about an hour or until it is firm.
7) Hang it outside in a tree and watch from inside as the hungry birds find it.


Winter - A Good Time to Start Bird Feeding

Winter is probably the best time for a newbie bird feeder to get started, or for an old hand to add extra feeders. At this time of year birds are hungry, they are actively looking for any food they can find and so are that much easier to lure into your back yard or onto a new feeder.
As any backyard bird feeder knows, a single birdfeeder is rarely adequate once you get hooked on feeding the birds. Sooner or later you will want a larger feeder to accommodate more birds, or different types of feeders for different types of seed or just more feeders for a growing amount of visitors.
 It is important to choose a feeder style that will be attractive to birds. In some backyards, it will take birds only a short time to begin using a new birdfeeder, while in others it may take days or weeks before they are comfortable with a new design.
To get birds to use a new birdfeeder…

  • Place the new feeder in the same general area as old feeders if possible. If the feeder needs to be located elsewhere, move it away from the old feeding station gradually so birds know to follow it.
  • Position the feeder in an attractive, safe location, preferably near a bush or other type of shelter.
  • Adding a nearby birdbath can also help birds notice and visit a new feeder.
  • Fill a new feeder with the most popular type of birdseed you offer your backyard birds, even if it will eventually be used for another type of seed or food. Gradually mix in the desired seed to switch the feeder’s composition as the birds get used to it
  •  Spread some seed on the top of the feeder, on a nearby platform or on the ground near the feeder to draw more attention to the location as a new feeding spot.
  •  Temporarily remove other birdfeeders offering similar seed to limit the choices birds have of where to feed. As they become accustomed to the new feeder, other feeders can be returned.
  • If you don’t see birds at the new feeder after several days, take careful note of the seed levels to determine if they’re visiting the feeder and you simply aren’t seeing them.
  • Check the seed quality you are offering in a new feeder. If the seed has not been eaten after several days, it may have become moldy or attracted insects and is thus less desirable for the birds. It is a good idea to put out a small amount of fresh seed daily until the birds become familiar with the feeder.

It takes time for birds to become accustomed to a new feeder and to visit it regularly. Patience is essential when using a new birdfeeder, but by taking proper steps to make the feeder attractive to the birds, you will soon be refilling it frequently.

Bird Feeder Placement Where to Put Bird Feeders


Photo of the Month

We love receiving photos from our customers and have decided to include the best ones in each newsletter, so please send us your photos.
This one is in keeping with our newsletters winter theme. It was taken by Wilma in Otago during the first heavy snow of the winter.
She feeds out homemade suet, fat trimmings that she gets for free from the local butcher, and fruit.


NZ Backyard Birds


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