Pops of Color in Winter Wildlife Garden
Here are a few of my favorites from our winter garden.
During the winter months the pine warblers often forage alongside another insectivore, the eastern bluebirds. Our bluebird population has exploded over the past few years, partly due to nesting boxes that we've added over the years, as well as the increasing number of insects available to them as a result of sustainable gardening practices. Bluebirds sport my favorite color blue, and their cobalt plumage is incredibly brilliant. Even their brick red brown throat and chest is vivid.
Another 'blue' bird, the Blue Jay, can't be missed with its loud call and bright coloring. Not always a favorite, I think they have gorgeous feathers. Visiting feeders in search of suet, sunflowers, or peanuts these assertive birds will certainly liven up the winter doldrums.
Male Northern cardinals provide big bursts of color as they glide from one tree to another. It's hard not to be happy when you see this striking red bird.
Even though the male cardinals are spicier, the orange on the female's beak and wing feathers still contribute a nice bit of color.
Woodpeckers are energetic foragers, scurrying up and down the tree trunks in search of food. The male red-bellied woodpeckers are easy to spot with their bright nape that pops against the gray-brown textured tree trunks.
The smaller downy woodpecker is usually first heard before seen, as it drums vigorously on the side of trees. The male's red nape is easy to spot against it's black and white feathers.
Their pale yellow belly, albeit understated, does add warmth to the somber background while they actively whip their tails around.
The tufted titmouse is another bird that, from the distance, would fade into the background if it weren't for its constant movement and cheery disposition. These small birds don't stay still for long, but when they do, their brownish orange accent stands out against their gray feathers and picks up the tones of the marcescent red oak tree leaves. During winter months titmice join other families of their clan, including chickadees, nuthatches, and small woodpeckers roaming the woods in search of food.
You can invite an abundance of winter birds into your landscape that will deliver those fun bursts of color in your winter landscape by providing food sources for them.
- Keeping a organic, sustainable garden provides food for insectivores.
- Including trees and shrubs that bear fruit during the winter months supports frugivores.
- Incorporating native grasses into your landscape, while not cutting back flowering perennials such as sunflowers, coneflowers, and other wildflowers until spring feeds granivores.
- Hang a few bird feeders that include suet, mealworms, peanuts and seeds.