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Feeding birds through the winter

Published: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 4:48 p.m. CDT

Wild animals are facing a strenuous time of year as winter settles in. University of Illinois Extension educator Peggy Doty will offer Winter Bird Feeding, an informational program to guide people in providing appropriate winter food for their feathered friends, from 3 to 4 p.m. Nov. 18.

Doty will display some commercial food types and show pictures of the species these seeds will attract. Information will be offered as to what food to avoid, feeder care, water requirements, and budgeting for the winter commitment of feeding local non-migratory species.

“Many birds become dependent on a food source, so once we start feeding the birds, it can be detrimental to stop before spring,” Doty said.

Understanding a bird’s behavior will help attract and keep many species coming to your feeders, she said.

“Some birds will only feed on the ground, some on flat surfaces, while others prefer a feeder well off the ground,” she said. “Providing multiple feeding options will attract a larger variety of birds for viewing.”

This program also will offer some basic bird watching techniques to help the novice birder better identify their winter guests.

The program fee is $5, and will be taught at the Extension office inside the DeKalb Farm Bureau building, 1350 W. Prairie Drive in Sycamore. Register by calling 815-758-8194 or online at web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo. Early registration is recommended; the program may be canceled if enrollment is determined to be too low by Nov. 15.

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