Take notice of the birdhouses you put up. Did the intended birds use them? If not, you might consider changing the location of the nest box. For example, if a birdhouse is too close to your house, or too close to other nest boxes, House Sparrows tend to take over. Also, perform any maintenance on the birdhouses now and give them a thorough cleaning using a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water. Be sure to use a scrub brush and rinse thoroughly. A toothbrush is a great tool for those hard-to-reach places.
The bird feeders and the feeding area should be given a thorough cleaning as well. In fact, the feeders and bird baths should be cleaned regularly (weekly for feeders, daily for bird baths) throughout the year, but now is the time to do a little extra cleaning and maintenance. Scrub the feeders thoroughly inside and out with the bleach mixture, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely before refilling. Any moisture left in the feeders will lead to mold and can cause serious illness in the birds. Clean the perches and bird baths, as well, and collect and dispose of the empty hulls and the spilled, uneaten seed.
Mice are actively searching for food sources at this time of year, so be sure to store your seed and suet in a secure container. Mice can carry diseases that affect birds so you'll want to keep them out of the birdseed.
Watch for sales at garden centers on native, bird-friendly plants. Berry bushes, for example, are wonderful for birds and provide treats for you, too. Plant a few!
Those migrating birds may only stay in your yard a day or two, but they are a joy to behold and you certainly want to see them again in the spring! Please be sure to make their pit stop a safe and healthy one; keep the feeders, feeding area and bird bath clean.