Winter is for the Birds!
December 18, 2014
Winter might not be your favorite time to be outdoors, but the birds sure do like our North Texas climate this time of year. Our mild winters are perfect for overwintering birds and birds that pass through on their way south.
Each window in your home can be a window to the outdoors. Keep an eye out during the mid-morning hours for a variety of our winged friends as they gather to feed, take a drink of water or forage for twigs to make nests. Winter is a wonderful time of year to watch for birds in trees that have dropped their leaves, and you’ll be delighted to see them visiting your landscape to eat suet, dried fruit, seeds if you’ve put out feeders.
Many birds such as ducks and gulls migrate to North Texas for the winter, and other birds who call North Texas their home stick around all year and never leave. From November through early spring, you’ll see a variety of colorful creatures around your landscape, in parks or around our inner city lakes.
A few of our favorite birds include:
The Tufted Titmouse is a small grey bird with orange flanking and a black tufted forehead. Listen for her calling song of “peter peter peter” through the cooler months. She may be tiny,but we think she’s one of the most beautiful birds we encounter.
The American Goldfinch can’t be missed! Hesports bright yellow feathers with black wings and a black forehead. The ladies are a paler yellow color. Their song sounds like “toWEE toWEE toWEE”.
The Carolina Wren has a reddish brown backside, with characteristic spotted wings and a rich, deep orange
breast. A distinctive white stripe is present above the eyes which leadsto a long down-pointed bill. You’ll hear them before you see them with a call that sounds like “pidaro pidaro pidaro”.
Keep the birds coming back to your garden by planting trees and shrubs that offer berries for food and foliage for shelter. Yaupon Holly, Beautyberry and Viburnum are easy to grow shrubs that are not only loved by birds, but well-suited to our tough Texas summers. For a list of trees that grow well in our landscapes and bring the birds, visit our past blog post here.
Don’t forget to put out a water source for your local and migrating birds. A small birdbath can be a much needed resource for our winter friends.
Love birds as much as we do? The 61st Annual Christmas Bird Count starts now through January 5th.For 61 years, bird watchers, professional ornithologists and nature lovers around the country have counted birds in their area for conservation biologists to study the migration pattern and long term health of birds. Join a local group for the Dallas count on December 20th. Get the whole family in on the fun for a full day of birding! Results will be turned in January 5th. For more information and to register, visit the Dallas Audubon.