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Backyard Bird Life: December

It’s fitting that at Christmastime we continue to see cardinals outside our windows. Many people believe these vibrant birds come as a reminder of those loved ones no longer with us. Their bright red feathers stand in defiance of December’s cold, dark days. One more reason to keep your feeders full in winter – you never know who you might actually be hosting in your backyard!

Who says wreaths always need to be made of pinecones and greenery? Pine Tree Farms has a fun, festive selection of décor made from bird seed. They’re filled with the treats your backyard birds love – black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, safflower, red millet and more. Don’t just decorate for the holidays. Welcome the birds with creative, nutritious seed creations – available at your #1 neighborhood wild bird store. 

The Downy Woodpecker is a small but striking bird that is commonly found in New York. In the winter months, they are frequent members of mixed species flocks and are a familiar sight at backyard feeders and parks where they will feed with chickadees and nuthatches. 

It is the smallest woodpecker species in North America, barely outsizing it's adopted flock. They are mostly black with a white back and bold white spots in their black wings. The male has a striped black and white head and red nape. Despite its small size, the Downy Woodpecker is an adept climber and can often be seen scaling trees in search of food.

suet holder

Wired for Winter
Ideal for holding suet during the cold winter months, you’ll keep hearty birds coming back all season long.


Invite the Angels
Give the gift of hummingbirds! We have the specialty feeders and nectar to be sure you’re ready when these elegant little angels arrive.

bird seed

Bird Lover Bundles
With so many seeds and suets to choose from, you can build a bundle for every backyard birder you know. 

bird feeder

Woodshop Wonders
Made in the USA right here at CountryMax, these rustic bird houses and feeders are specially designed for the bird types of our region. 

Seed Cakes

Whatever type of bird you want to attract – from Cardinals to Juncos to Warblers – there’s a seed cake blend they’ll love. Easy to handle in square or round stackable shapes, seed cakes make a great addition to any backyard birding strategy.

Seed Bells

What could be more festive? Seed bells are packaged with a colorful net that’s ready to hang on trees and shrubs. They fit easily in a stocking…and double as holiday décor!

Squirrel-Resistant Feeders

Santa’s reindeer aren’t the only animals coming to your house in December. Squirrels are suddenly looking for a free meal. Protect the seed you put out for the birds with a proven squirrel-resistant bird feeder. Or maybe pick up a feeder just for the squirrels! How generous are you feeling this holiday season?

Squirrel Baffles

Okay, these might not fit in a stocking. But if you or someone you know is in a serious December showdown with the squirrels, these tough, tested baffles can help safeguard those bird feeders.

Why do birds like suet?

Animal fat is easy to digest for most birds. It provides energy quickly, which is key in cold weather. Birds that like suet the most include: woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, jays and starlings. If you have a suet feeder, you may also see wrens, kinglets and cardinals stop by for a visit. 

While there are some choices for just straight suet cakes, the vast majority of suet cakes include some sort of seed, nut, berry, insect, or virtually any combination you can think of those ingredients. Some ingredients are traditionally thought of as bird specific – like peanuts for woodpeckers, or mealworm cakes for bluebirds – but the reality is that most birds will eat just about anything.

Between December 14 and January 5, participants will join the world’s longest-running wildlife census, which contributes invaluable data to bird population research.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a community science project organized by the National Audubon Society. There is no fee to participate. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels and Audubon’s free Bird Guide app makes it even easier to learn more. For more information and to find a count near you visit

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