Birds have a greater need for shelter from the elements in wintertime, especially in northern regions. Since you don't do much gardening during the winter months, you need to think about it ahead of time. Even if you think it won't do any good to plant a tree, right now in the depths of winter, it will in the future. So plan ahead and figure out what you want to do. You know you want birds..
A great natural cover is an evergreen. We plant evergreens to block wind for our houses, and they do a great job blocking wind for other creatures as well. They have the added benefit of also having small seed bearing cones for wildlife to nibble on. Many birds that winter over will eat those seeds. Other plants like Holly provide fruit to eat as well as dense, waxy leaves for cover. Ornamental grasses are summertime accents, but provide cover and seeds if not cut down in the fall. For this season, a real Christmas tree can be re-purposed to make shelter, by placing it in your yard, perhaps against an unused clothesline pole. Have fun and decorate it with popcorn chains and edible birdseed or suet ornaments.
So now is the time to take a look at your yard, or wherever you could plant some winter cover for the birds, and think what you could do. Then plan ahead and make plans to make it happen. I know as a kid, my Mom would notice that a hard cold spell would leave fewer birds coming to the bird feeders, even with outbuildings and evergreens. So grow winter cover for birds. They'll thank you for it.
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