PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 

Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

Daily Newscasts

Tossing Michigan's Wild Birds a Winter Lifeline

December 27, 2010

LANSING, Mich. - An estimated 50 million people put out bird feeders this time of year to attract feathered friends to their backyards. They may not realize that a bird's diet must fuel a metabolism that can require up to a whopping 10,000 calories a day, so the kind of food selected has to not only draw birds, but be nutritious as well.

National Wildlife Federation naturalist David Mizejewski recommends a combination of seed and suet. However, he says the best way to help wild birds survive winter lies in what you plant around your property.

"What you want to think about doing, first and foremost, is adding plants to your landscape that have berries, seeds, nuts and that kind of thing. Those are the foods birds will feed on in the winter."

He also notes people have some misunderstandings about feeding wild birds. One is that once you start feeding them, you can't stop.

"It is something of a myth that birds will become dependent upon your feeder and if you stop feeding once you start, the birds will suffer and maybe even die. That is a myth because research shows that birds really only use feeders as a supplement to the natural foods they find in the landscape."

The National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat program educates people about how to safely attract wildlife like birds, even in urban settings. It may be ordered online by filling out an application at The Federation also can certify yards as wildlife habitat.

Amy Miller/Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MI