woodpecker birdhouse

How to Attract Birds to your Yard in Winter (Expert Tips)

If you want to know how to attract birds to your yard in winter, the key is to plan early and keep your eye on your birds. Winter is the most difficult time for many birds, and their numbers drop dramatically after the migration period.

Wild bird species that migrate regularly are at risk, and rely on seeds, and nectar for survival suffer the most. In the winter months, harsh weather conditions, harsh storms, and limited food resources make winter the harshest season for wild birds.

Common Backyard Birds in Winter

  • Western Bluebird
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • European Bluebird
  • American Robin
  • Brown-Headed Nuthatch
  • White-Breasted Nuthatch
  • Brown Creeper
  • Red-Breasted Nuthatch
  • Tree Swallow

Attracting Birds to your Backyard

To attract birds in winter, you should prepare an area that is protected from bad weather. Choose a place in your yard, that is protected from winds, or somewhere that is close to the house.

Install Bird Feeders

One of the most important things that you need to do is to make sure that there are plenty of bird feeders in your yard. Doing this will provide them with lots of good food, and you will also be able to attract more than enough bird species into your yard.

You should place your feeders near a window so that you can watch the birds come and go throughout the day, but keep it away from anything else on your property like cars or trees where there might be predators lurking.

I would recommend a quality squirrel proof bird feeder like this Hopper Feeder combined with Wagner Black-oil Sunflower Seeds from Amazon. This particular feeder can hold over 2.5 pounds of seed, and provides less waste, so you will not have to keep refilling it daily in the cold weather.

If you decide on feeding the bird’s suet in the winter, then I would recommend the Squirrel-proof Suet Bird Feeder w/2 Suet Cake Trays with these Pine Tree Suet Cakes. Wild birds love these suet cakes.

Install Birdhouses

Most birds prefer a sheltered area for roosting and breeding, so you will probably need to have birdhouses in order to ensure their survival. I would recommend purchasing this Wood Smith birdhouse on Amazon, or you can even make your own if you’re handy with tools and materials.

One of the things that you will need to take into consideration when building your own is the fact that the water should drain away from the birdhouse. If your birdhouse isn’t large enough for the water to drain properly, then they will not be able to survive.

Birdhouses should also be equipped with perches to keep the birds comfortable and safe in their winter habitat. The most common type of birdhouse to use is the box type, which is made of wood. These boxes are quite functional and there is a variety of styles available.

There are bird houses that look like houses and are designed to house several birds at one time. These are often constructed on the sides and the bottom of the box to allow for a safe nesting area for the birds.

Related Post: Do birds use birdhouses in the winter?


You should provide food for your bird’s habitat in case they are hungry. The main reason why birds migrate is that there is a shortage of food in the winter, so this means that they will eat seeds, insects, berries, leaves, twigs and anything else that they can find.

They actually are extremely active in the winter, flying around in search of food. By providing them with suet, peanuts, nectar, sunflower or nyjer seeds in your feeder, they will feel more energetic and capable of doing what they do best – flying!

blue tit
Image by Oldiefan from Pixabay


Winter is when many birds are particularly active, and tend to get very cold. The best thing to do in this case is to provide them with a heated water birdbath, which can be easily installed in your yard.

There are many varieties of birdbaths available for you to choose from, and you will find that they come in all sizes, shapes and designs. They are made from different types of materials, and they are manufactured using different methods. 

However, if you are thinking of having it in the winter, then a heated birdbath is definitely the best choice. Heated birdbaths are usually built with durable materials which last for a long time. I would recommend the Gesail Heated Bird Bath.


Once you have made sure that you have done everything correctly, you can now move on to attracting them to your yard. First thing you should do is to build a shelter for the birds. 

The best type of shelter to use would be natural materials like pine trees, brushwood, and branches. Make sure that the birdhouse is completely covered by branches, which will block most of the bad elements of winter.

Keeping Birds Safe

As we know, the most common winter predators are foxes, hawks, badgers, rats, and weasels. So you need to find some good spots for your bird feeders, because they can provide food for them and help you keep them safe.

Extra Tips

  • I recommend placing your bird feeder in a part of the yard that you can see them fly through. This will allow you to get a better view of them when they are feeding. 
  • Another tip is to make sure you get your birdhouse and bird bath are looking clean. They should be kept as clean as possible. If they are dirty, they will not attract any birds.
  • When feeding birds in the winter is to make sure that the seeds are dry. Discard any seeds that are moist.
  • Finally, one of the most important tips is to create some type of shelter for your birds. You may want to consider installing a nesting box for the birds.
  • It is important to have the nest box large enough so your birds can make it their home when it is cold. Remember birds are very finicky creatures, and they do not like to be cramped, they will do anything they can to avoid being cramped.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for birds to find feeders in winter?

When winter comes, the most common question bird lovers ask is how long it takes for birds to find feeders in winter. It can take anywhere from a few days to weeks before they start finding your feeder. The time of day you put out your seed will also determine when they’ll show up. Birds are active earlier in the morning than later on at night.

What food attracts birds in winter?

Birds that eat seeds will go after suet or black-oil sunflower seeds, which provide energy from fat reserves for warmth during wintertime. Both are an excellent choice of food to put out in wintertime to attract birds.

How do you attract birds to a bird bath in the winter?

Keep it clean – always change out the water every day or two so that it doesn’t get dirty from leftover debris or algae buildup. -Keep water shallow (3″ inches or less). -Provide perches, place logs or branches near the water. -Place some stones in the water so that it doesn’t freeze over completely. – Provide some cover.

What colors are birds attracted to?

The color that attracts the most birds is red. The reason behind this is that it provides a high contrast, and it stands out against the green background in their natural habitat. Other colors like yellow, orange, or pink can also be an attractive option when designing bird feeders.

How long does it take for birds to find a bird bath?

Birds are not just content with finding water to drink, they also need a place to bathe. If you have an outdoor bird bath, it can take up to six weeks for birds to find the bath. You can help make your bird bath more visible by adding something brightly colored (red color) or reflective and placing it in front of the tub or bowl so that when a thirsty bird flies over head he will see the water from far away.