THE DIRT ON GARDENING: Wintering birds are a beautiful sight
PHOTO CONTRIBUTEDA SMALL BIRD fluffs up to insulate itself from the winter cold.

Awe-inspiring beauty is as close as outside our back door. If you are a bird lover, you’ve no doubt witnessed all kinds of them that stay the deep freezes of our winter months and may be seen perched on a tree branch fluffed up like a soft pillow. This fluffing enables them to better endure the cold because it serves as a layering effect much like a down-filled jacket. Even try as they might with this fluffiness, they still have an uphill battle to survive the cold throes of our winters.

Providing birds with their needs can make the difference between survival, death or simply doing as some of us humans do and that is go south or to a warmer climate. This takes energy and endurance to travel long distances and may be why so many are sticking it out and staying. Not only energy, but the lack of and competition for food while traveling long distances.

One of the reasons more birds are sticking it out may be that more of us are providing a food source for them to help make their survival possible.

Garden centers normally will shift their storefronts from their main thrust of growing and selling flowers to seed centers, a vast variety of bird feeders and winter-survival products geared to keeping our…