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gcrfd red schoolhouseMIDDLETOWN, NJ - As the temperatures and leaves fall and the winds begin to blow, it really becomes a great time to feed the birds.  If you follow the correct autumn bird feeding tips, you will be rewarded with a wide variety of resident species and some migrating birds as well.

There are several bird feeding myths of which you should be aware—the biggest one is that if birds have a steady supply of food, they won’t migrate!  Or, if those feeders are empty, the birds will starve!

The truth is that a reliable food source is only a minor factor that affects how birds migrate.  Climate, instinct and levels of daylight also have important roles to play.  Feeding birds in autumn can help migration, not prevent it!  Because birds often must fly hundreds or thousands of miles, many calories are required for each bird to have the energy to cover those miles of migration.  The feeders also provide food for your resident birds to build up fat reserves so that they can survive falling temperatures.

There is another myth that there are just not any birds around to feed in the fall.  Many birds do rely less on feeders due to the natural harvest abundance of wild berries, fruits, grains and seeds but the feeder, if filled appropriately, will see much activity.  When natural food sources are depleted, supplemental food that  you offer in feeders, is welcomed.

Therefore, backyard birders should provide foods with high oil content and many calories—a variety of different foods to ensure that all migrants find a tasty treat.  Top choices are black oil sunflower seeds, white millet, Nyjer, suet, nuts and cracked corn.  It is possible to attract a wide range of autumn bird species and ensure that they are happily fed throughout the season.

Join the Garden Club R.F.D. members on January 21 to hear David Saidnawey of Wild Birds Unlimited in Middletown.  Have your questions answered and myths dispelled.  Email Ruth at [email protected] to let her know you are coming or call her at 732-671-4410 and leave a message.  Let us help you make your outdoor visitors happy and perhaps join a group that enjoys the outdoors, birds, and gardening.

Garden Club R.F.D., a 78-year-old nonprofit organization, that uses the historic site of The Little Red Schoolhouse in Middletown as their home base.  We are a member of the Garden Club of New Jersey, the Central Atlantic Region of State Garden Clubs, Inc., as well as the National Garden Clubs, Inc. 

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