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Creating a Year-Round Habitat for Chickadees

All wild songbirds, like people, need fresh water, food and shelter in order to survive. You can create a place that will welcome birds to your backyard, and encourage them to stay in your backyard all year long.

In the winter, 47% of the Chickadee's diet consists of insects. That increases to more than 90% in the summer when insects are more readily available.

Winter and spring are the most crucial times of the year that you will want to supplement their natural food supply. By offering a variety of tasty treats for them, they will reward you by remaining in your backyard all year.


The cold winter weather increases the amount of energy required by birds simply to survive. Chickadees will spend up to three-quarters of the day searching for food. Offer them Bird Grub, all high in essential fat and protein. Chickadees also eat seeds in winter. Peanuts are an especially good source of protein


Winter reserves will be at an all-time low when spring arrives. Insects will remain scarce in spring, and seeds have not yet matured. Birds will need a high-energy diet from fat and protein for mating, egg laying and raising their young. We recommend you continue with your feeding program of Hi-Vitality, insects and seeds as the season moves into spring. Add Dried Fruit Tenders to the menu from time to time as a special treat. Eggshell Calcium Amendment will help food digestion, and provide valuable calcium for stronger bones and egg development.


Summertime provides an ample natural supply of insects, but you may want to continue to offer Hi-Vitality, seeds and fruit. Giving Chickadees a variety of foods will help keep them in your backyard.


Most berries and fruits will be readily available to birds in the fall if you have planted shrubs, trees and vines in your yard. Insects are still plentiful, too. We suggest the mainstay of your menu for birds visiting your backyard be seeds… Original No-Waste or Sunflower Meats are good choices.

The Chickadee will be a frequent visitor to homes in both rural and suburban areas throughout the United States if shelter and nesting sites are available. Provide these lovely small birds with the essentials to meet their life cycle needs, and you will be rewarded with many hours of bird watching enjoyment.


All birds need a dependable source of fresh water year-round for drinking and bathing. Keeping a shallow, birdbath, like the Victorian Pedestal Birdbath filled with fresh water will attract birds to your backyard that may not ordinarily come to feeders.

In winter, be sure to add an immersion-style heater, such as the Ice Eliminator to keep the water from freezing. Your Chickadees will have water for drinking and be able to keep their feathers clean and fluffy to provide insulation for warmth.

Be sure to clean the bath and refill with fresh water often.


If your backyard has a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees, plus a few shrubs, you are already well on your way to providing an attractive habitat. Landscaping provides shelter, as well as nest sites.


Cold weather can be difficult for small birds like Chickadees. Birds will look for shelter among pine trees, or an unoccupied nest box left standing from the prior nesting season. They will also take cover from the winter winds in the Winter Roost. It has perches inside to allow as many as eight birds to huddle together for warmth when it is extremely cold.


Chickadees are considered "secondary cavity nesters" Meaning, they will use a hole or cavity left by another bird as a nest site. Chickadees will line these cavities with moss or animal fur, creating a soft spot to lay and hatch their eggs. You can provide an "artificial" cavity by adding a Chickadee Nest Box to your backyard. Add a Baffle if squirrels live in the area.

If you are providing a nesting box, be sure to clean the box when it's not being used.

Click here to read more about caring for your nest boxes.

This will stop the buildup of parasites or disease-causing bacteria and fungus. Checks the nest box periodically to be sure predators do not harm the nesting birds.

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