when can bird feeders go back out

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Rather than providing winter suet and seed for a few selected bird species, think about managing your backyard habitat to ensure that all birds have access to food all year long. It’s likely that you have observed that certain bird species avoid feeders, and some are unable to properly open or consume seeds. Certain species are more interested in tiny seeds, while others hunt for dormant insects or enjoy winter berries. Improving and enhancing habitat is the most comprehensive way to support local birds, and it starts in your backyard.

The DEEP Wildlife Division advises against feeding birds during the warmer times of the year, typically from late March into December. Feeding during these times often leads to conflicts with black bears. In winter, bears are usually less active and spend most of the time in their dens. If you live in an area with low bear activity, bird feeding can be done responsibly during the winter months (mid-December to late March). In parts of the state with frequent bear activity, some bears are likely to remain active during the colder months, and the winter feeding of birds can become problematic. Check our map of current bear sighting reports to find out if you live in an area with frequent bear activity.

More ideas about seed and feeder types for birds can be found on the Project FeederWatch website. Keep in mind that not all feeding setups are appropriate for responsible winter bird feeding in Connecticut. For example, putting out large quantities of seed on the ground or on a table to attract ground feeding birds will also attract more rodents and predators.

Many trees and shrubs in Connecticut bear fruit, seeds, and other edibles well into the fall and winter. Numerous native hollies, such as winterberry, junipers, sumacs, and bayberry shrubs yield an abundance of late-season fruits that are consumed by robins, cedar waxwings, and other birds that are not frequently observed at bird feeders. A list of companies in Connecticut that cultivate and/or market native trees, shrubs, and perennial plants can be found by consulting the Connecticut Native Tree, Shrub, and Perennial Availability List.

The added advantage of growing natural winter bird food is that it offers year-round habitat for birds and other wildlife without the problems that come with bird feeders. Additionally, you will be able to enjoy viewing a wider variety of birds from all of your home’s windows, not just the ones that have feeders in front of them.


What month do you put bird feeders out?

Bird feeding is most helpful when birds need the most energy, such as during temperature extremes, migration and in late winter or early spring, when natural seed sources are depleted. Most birds don’t need your help in the summer.

What month should you stop feeding birds?

Some people prefer not to feed birds in the spring and summer when there is abundant food. However, leaving your feeders up year-round is not a problem as long as you keep a few things in mind: If bears live near you, you should not keep feeders up during the warmer months.

Is it safe to have bird feeders out now?

However, feeding and providing water to wild birds is generally discouraged because the increased congregation of wild birds at bird feeders and bird baths may lead to fecal contamination of the local environment, which can aid in disease transmission.

Do birds stop coming to feeders in summer?

Sure, winter is a prime time for feeding birds—natural foods are less abundant and cold weather makes windowside birding that much more inviting. But birds flock to feeders in summer, too—especially in midsummer, after they’ve fledged a brood from their nest and they’ve got new mouths to feed.