Do you love watching birds fly through your yard? Do you actually make note of the different types of birds you might see? Maybe you even have your favorites? They are delightful creatures, aren't they?

There are a few things that you can do to help your feathered friends maintain and possibly even thrive over the colder months. Here are just a few that you might see other bird people do:

  • Bird Houses. They aren't just for decorations. Not all birds migrate, if you find that you have a bird or two left and still hanging out in your yard, put up a bird house. Bark and wood shavings can be introduced to the house as well. Think of this as furniture for your bird guests. don't go overboard, as birds like to decorate their own houses.
  • Keep access to water for the birds, with feeders, etc, because birds to need access to water, because they need to hydrate.
  • Provide high calorie foods for the birds, like suet. I have tried buying the chunk at the butcher, but find the ones that I get at the home center easier to deal with and less stinky. Here is a tip, throw them in the freezer for a few minutes before you put them into the hanger, it just goes smoother. If they are stored in your cold garage, you won't have to do that.
  • Before it gets too cold, leave a little bit of leaves and brush set aside in a pile at the edge of your yard. This tip from the Audubon Society. They suggest this, because it is a great place for birds to not only source potential bedding material, but it will also make a nice environment for bugs, which are a natural food source for birds.
  • Learn about the birds that are common to your area. That way you know about what kind of food to help them out with. For instance, if you buy a big bag of black sunflower seeds, that's great, but only if the birds in your area actually like them.

Send us pictures of your birds! I would love to see who is paying you visits.

13 Upstate Food Favorites You Can't Buy Outside of New York State

Upstate New York is the home to many fantastic food favorites. Mention sponge candy to somebody 100 miles outside Buffalo and you are probably going to get a blank stare. Mention a Michigan hot dog to anybody not from around Plattsburgh. Same stare. So here is a list of 13 regional food icons that you cannot buy outside of the empire State.

I will add this asterisk. You certainly can buy some of these items online, like the Saratoga Peppermint Pigs. Perhaps the Stix and Sauce item is known by another name somewhere in the country. Salt potatoes may have gravitated elsewhere but if so nobody knows where they started. And Grandma Brown. Well, you can buy that sweet lady's baked beans on eBay. But for the most part you would have to walk into a store or restaurant in Upstate New York to enjoy these "regional" fan favorite foods.

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