Birds are an essential part of nature and the environment, making an important contribution to the ecosystem across various habitats. In addition to pollinating with seeds of many favorite fruits, they also keep pesky insect populations balanced and in check. Plus, they’re lovely and colorful creatures that often brighten the world with their beautiful songs.
History of Feed the Birds Day
First established in 2016 by Bob Matthews from Rochester, New York, Feed the Birds Day is celebrated annually as part of National Bird Feeding Month that occurs every February.
National Bird Feeding Month has a much longer history, dating back to 1994 when a concerned citizen named John Porter read a resolution into the US Congressional record in defense of the birds. These efforts to stand up for the creatures of the sky have made a difference in the lives of these little animals who live in backyards all over the world.
While the effort of Feed the Birds Day is to encourage people to engage in bird feeding on the day, the hope is that everyone will use this day to launch a habit that will last through several months into the spring. This kind of daily feeding will help keep those birds happy and thriving until the weather gets warmer and they can function on their own in the backyard!
Feed the Birds Day is here to raise awareness and act as a reminder that the birds need a bit of help from their human friends in the cold winter months. Show appreciation to these little ones by celebrating the day.
How to Celebrate Feed the Birds Day
Feed the Birds Day comes with all sorts of different fun ideas for enjoying and celebrating. Consider implementing some of these ways to make the most of the day:
Put Bird Food Outside
During the last several weeks of the dark and cold winter months, birds need to be given a bit of a boost. Feed the Birds Day is the perfect time to get motivated to hang up that bird feeder, or fill up the one that’s already in the backyard. The kind of high-energy source of food that birds need to help them get through the winter includes nutrient-rich seeds and suet, as well as grains, beans and even some vegetables. Certain birds might even enjoy dried fruits!
Get Creative with Bird Feeders
In honor of Feed the Birds Day, perhaps consider making some interesting and creative styles of bird feeders to hang in the backyard or front yard. Bird feeders can be made out of all sorts of different objects that can be found in the house, in the garage or in the shed. For instance, an empty wine bottle, an old teacup and saucer, a mason jar and even a stack of Lego!
When making a new bird feeder, it might be helpful to remember that using narrow wire to hang it at least 5 feet from the ground will help protect the bird feeder from getting raided by squirrels.
Get the kids involved in making bird feeders by making them out of birdseed shaped with cookie cutters. This toddler-friendly craft uses a recipe of birdseed and gelatin to create a sticky mixture that can be molded into cute little shapes. Don’t forget to poke a hole in the top so it’s easy to run a string through it for hanging from a tree or pole.
Plan a Bird-Friendly Backyard
Looking forward to the spring, perhaps Feed the Birds Day would be a nice opportunity to think about ways that it would be possible to turn that backyard into a place that is more attractive for those fine feathered friends! Consider planting some flowers that are bird friendly, setting up a bird bath, building a brush pile in the corner of the yard, creating nesting boxes, or leaving dead trees that allow birds to hunt, roost or nest.
Learn Interesting Facts About Birds
Feed the Birds Day is an ideal time to get motivated to learn just a little bit more about these inspiring creatures that keep the air filled with beautiful songs. Consider some of these interesting facts about birds:
A bird’s eye takes up about 50% of its head. This is in comparison to the human eye, which takes up about 5% of the head. In fact, if human eyes were comparable to bird eyes, they would be the size of baseballs!
When it comes to male and female birds, the males are usually considered more “attractive”. They usually have brighter and more interesting feathers and they also have fancy songs and even dances.
In proportion to its size, a bird requires more food than a baby or a cat, so the phrase “eat like a bird” is a bit of a misnomer.
Birds are the only animals that have feathers, but they don’t have any teeth. Instead, they swallow their food whole and then they have an organ called a gizzard that grinds the food for them.
Share the Love for Feeding the Birds
It’s important to remember that Feed the Birds Day is meant to be enjoyed and shared! Raise awareness for the day by spreading the word about how important the day is. Perhaps take some time to let other people at work know about the day by passing out bird seed in cute little bags for everyone to take home.
Or, teachers can have the kids at school build bird feeders that can be hung in the green spaces in the schoolyard or on the playground! Feed the Birds Day is even better when it is enjoyed by more and more people all over the world – especially in the colder climate.
Feed the Birds Day FAQs
When can I feed the birds?
Bird feeding is most helpful when birds need more energy, such as during cold temperatures and while resources are depleted, like early spring.
Can you feed birds bread?
Bread offers no nutritional value to birds and moldy bread can even harm them. 
Should you feed birds in the summer?
While you can feed birds in summer to attract them to your garden, it isn’t necessary because they can find their own food. 
How do birds feed their young?
Most babies are fed by mothers who eat food and then regurgitate it into the babies’ mouths.
How to keep squirrels off bird feeders?
Many tricks can be used to keep squirrels away from bird feeders, such as using cayenne pepper, installing a special pole or certain kinds of soap.