Hello, again!

There is something fun about wildlife in the backyard. Living not too far from the Arkansas River in the Indian Hills/Riverside Area, it’s not uncommon for me to see red fox, whitetail deer, and even hear reports of coyotes in the neighborhood. We often see raccoons, squirrels and all types of birds, including bald eagles (which should be hanging out at 21st and Amidon on the lake at Twin Lakes this winter). Naturally my Great Pyrenees, Coulter, has a favorite: the squirrels that taunt him from just a few feet higher than he can reach.

Winter is an important time of year to feed our wildlife, especially birds because their natural food source becomes limited. Insect activity is scarce during the cold winter months, and seeds from our naturalized perennials have been consumed during the fall. Each of these normally provide food for the birds. Birds need a food that has a high fat content. That's where we can help.

Black oil sunflower is a great overall seed to offer in the winter. Suet is another high fat food to offer birds that will visit backyards in the winter. With several flavors of suet cakes on hand, we have options for your birds. Peanuts are another great food to offer birds in the wintertime. Johnson's Gardener’s Choice bird food blend is a no germination, 100% consumable blend containing not only sunflower chips and peanut parts but hulled millet as well. We have this specially blended for us and once you get your birds on it, they’ll be back for more.

Providing fresh shallow water is equally important during the winter months. Keep a bird bath from freezing during cold spells with a de-icer. Thermostatically controlled, it only heats when it's needed.

Stop by the stores for all of your bird feed, feeders and accessories; we even have squirrel feeders as well.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center

P.S. - We’ve received our first shipment of Christmas greenery and fresh cut Christmas trees. If you haven't yet, be sure to sign up for one of our holiday workshops. We are having our first off-site Trolley Christmas Wreath Workshop on Wednesday, December 2nd at the PourHouse. Details and signup here. Limited at 15, it’s sure to fill up fast.