Have you priced birdseed lately?
Your migratory snow birds may be out of luck if they are expecting a handout when they arrive.
I feed the birds some store bought rations, but only a little here and there. I find it more economical and more natural to encourage the growth of native bird food producing plants around PFHQ. Through prescribed fire, overstory pruning, and very little mowing, I've cultivated a very edgey forest with lots of open areas for forbs, grasses, and other seed producers. Bordering these open areas are shrubby bushes of yaupon holly, farkleberry, and beautyberry ... all important wildlife foods.
There's also plenty of bugs about for the more carnivorous hungry traveler.
I took a walk last week just to see what was on the menu and to decide if I should pick up the pace regarding birdfeeder filling, or let it sit mostly empty as is my preference.
Every where I went I found the dried seedheads of this fall's flower flush. The beautyberry bushes are sagging with fruit and the farkleberry has a nice crop of juicy black berries dangling from each branch. My yaupons are a little young for a heavy berry crop, but the large East Palatka holly is festooned with red berries.
Let's not forget the acorn crop which makes a stroll like walking on marbles. Amazing abundance this year, but I confess, I don't know if any migrants eat these. I know our local jays and turkeys do ... and the ever present deer.
The photo shows just a small sample of seeds and berries from beauty berry, holly, blazing star, aster, farkleberry, ironweed, etc.
It looks like there is plenty for now, so my feeder may only get a small weekly dose of seed as a supplement.
For now, the migrants will have to work for their meals, but the pickings look good.