Learn about feeding backyard birds at the library at 6 p.m. Tuesday

    It's one of the fastest-growing outdoor recreation activity in America.  In fact, it's second only to gardening.  And according to CBS News, more people do it than watch professional football.   

    Yes, bird watching has gone mainstream.  Just about everybody's doing it.    

    Why?  Attracting wild birds brings color, drama and music to your backyard, and it has other benefits too.  In the spring and summer, songbirds consume huge quantities of insects. And and watching wild birds is just plain fun.   

    With the subzero temperatures we've had this winter, birds need your help more than ever. But with the price of bird seed going up, too many bird feeders sit empty.      

    Now's the time to fill your birdfeeders.   

    If you want to get started feeding wild birds - or just want to learn more -  Agassiz Audubon Society's Heidi Hughes will be presenting a free program on birdfeeding at the Crookston Library Tuesday at 6 p.m.  She'll will show you how to save money, and get the birds you want to see.    

    Hughes, author of "The Expert's Guide to Backyard Birdfeeding," will explain how to identify the birds that visit your backyard.  And everyone who attends will get a free backyard bird identification poster to take home.   

    And she'll also tell you how to solve backyard bird problems, how to outwit squirrels  and how to hand-tame chickadees.    

    Bring your backyard bird questions, she's got the answers.

Winter backyard bird-feeding myths   

    *  A good quality “seed mix” attracts the largest variety of birds to your feeder.
    * Winter finches prefer nyger (thistle).
    • You should wash your bird feeders at least once a month and you don’t need to wash suet feeders at all.
    • Doves and most sparrows prefer to feed on the ground.
    • Birds can choke on peanut butter can stick to the roofs of birds’ mouths and cause them to choke.
    • Start feeding wild birds in the winter and you have to continue until spring or they’ll starve to death.
    • Outdoor cats do not kill birds at the feeders in the winter
    • If you continue to feed backyard birds in the spring, they won’t migrate
    • Homemade suet recipes are nutritious for woodpeckers
    • Metal bird feeders are dangerous in the winter – birds’ feet freeze to the perches.
    • Stale bread and other pastries are perfect for feeding ducks and geese.
    • Birds don’t need water in the winter – but heated birdbaths are perfectly safe for birds