Can we really help?
I just heard about the attempts of a woman, Julie Zickefoose, on NPR trying to save the song birds from this awful cold snap we're having here back East. Basically, the birds which migrated back to the East are suffering because nearly all the insects have been killed/gone to sleep from the cold. Apparently, she flicks spoons filled with dead crickets for the woodcocks because they are only attracted to flying insects. I hope this helps. Now, supposedly what usually happens is migrating birds will move back to warmer places but not always.
I don't know too much about the woodcock and apparently it’s even worse for the gnatcatchers but I do know robins. I saw a bunch of them pouring over my compost these last few days. Then, it dawned on me as I listened to NPR. They're trying to get to the bugs/worms in this little warm spot. So, of course I just ran outside and dug up a bunch of the compost and plan to do so till warmer weather reaches us. I don't know if it will help a lot of birds, but the few that frequent my backyard, I think it will help.
Then, I got to thinking why can't more people do this? So, if you have a compost or were planning to start a path in your yard, why not turn it now so a few birds can get some grub? ;)
I hope more people will read this and share the info to other bird lovers or those who have a bit of earth to share. I don't know if this will really help in the big picture, but in the small one, it just might.
(above photo is my first visitor to the tilled compost)