PNS Daily Newscast - June 27, 2019 

More time on the ground for the Boeing 737 MAX. Also on our Thursday rundown: A diverse group tackles the topic of salmon recovery. Plus, summer bees are buzzing, but for how long?

Daily Newscasts

Tossing Illinois Wild Birds a Winter Lifeline

December 28, 2010

CHICAGO - When the weather turns cold, wild bird populations in Illinois have to work hard to find enough food to survive, so now is the time that people in Illinois can help by putting out feeders and keeping them full this winter.

An estimated 50 million people around the country put out bird feeders this time of year to attract feathered friends to their back yards. 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 you select has to not only appeal to the birds, but be nutritious for them as well.

National Wildlife Federation (NWF) naturalist David Mizejewski recommends a combination of seed and suet. But he says the best way to help wild birds survive the 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 that that the birds are going to be feeding on in the winter."

He says there are some myths to wild bird feeding, like the one that says once you start feeding the birds, you can't stop.

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

The National Wildlife Federation has a Certified Wildlife Habitat program, to educate people about how to safely attract wildlife like birds, even in urban settings. There's an online application to fill out, and the NWF can certify your yard as wildlife habitat. For that, and for more information on winter bird feeding, go to

Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - IL