Ask the Experts

Wisconsin State Farmer
Birds will flock to a heated bird bath to hydrate and to bathe. Clean feathers insulate birds from the cold.

Q: Are heated bird baths good for birds?

A: A heated birdbath is a great way to provide fresh, open water for birds during the coldest parts of winter. While native birds are fully capable of obtaining water on their own from various sources during winter, they are especially drawn to sources of open water.

Q: I saw a cardinal at my feeder with no feathers on his head. Is this normal?

A: While not considered completely normal, occasionally, songbirds such as cardinals will be infected with parasites that may cause feather loss. Generally, this is only temporary and, as you can see, does not harm the bird. It is, however, shocking to see birds without feathers, especially during cold times of the year.

Q: What birds eat mealworms?

A: Just about any bird that feeds upon insects at any time of year will enjoy meal worms for the protein and nutrition they provide. From chickadees and nuthatches to bluebirds, robins, turkeys and more, meal worms are a tasty treat for our feathered friends.

Q: How can I become a master gardener?

A: To begin, contact your local county UW extension office. The Master Gardener program is operated through the UW extension. They will provide information and details on the program in your county, scheduled classes, and more. Training, dues and projects vary by county, so it is best to begin at your local extension office.