Cooper's Hawk at bird bath
FEEDING BIRDS. You can attract birds by putting out, thistle, millet, sunflower and fat. The feeder should be kept all year since will maintain a higher carrying capacity over winter. Fleas, feather lice, and pox are a problem at feeders, so be sure to clean them with a Chlorox solution once or twice a year.
PLANTING. Ideally a backyard should contain a variety of habitats-- Russian Olive and Mountain Ash are two good trees to plant.
WATER. A bird bath may often be critical in cold or hot climates. A sprinkler will often attract many birds. It's said birds will never drink snow but it seems common enough here in Aberdeen winters. Dripping water is best. Electric heaters for bird baths are available.
NESTING BOXES. Plans are available from state game fish and parks offices. Bluebird trails often contain hundreds of boxes. You can easily attract chickadees and House Wrens.