The New York Times – In the winter, feeding the birds enlivens a garden like nothing else. Here’s how to make the most of peak bird-feeding season. “…First: It’s important to understand that a seed- or suet-filled feeder provides supplementary food, and is not a substitute for the best all-season feeding plan — creating a landscape that supports birds. Many people offer that supplement year-round, but there are crucial exceptions. In areas where black bear are resident, feeders are best stored during the bears’ active season. I feed when the coast is likely to be clear, from around Thanksgiving to sometime in March, with a risk on either cusp of bent poles and destroyed feeders.
If you haven’t fed birds before, or want to fine-tune your offerings, Project FeederWatch at the Cornell Lab has a chart of the food preferences of 100 bird species that can be filtered by food type for your region…”