JOPLIN, Mo. — As winter approaches, the cold weather isn’t the only thing that will be showing up outdoors.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says now is the perfect time to start winter bird feeding.

Francis Skalicky with the Department of Conservation says you’ll be surprised by the number of birds you’ll see in your yard.

He says black oil sunflower seed is a common feed for the birds and to put the feeder somewhere you can see it.

Winter bird feeding has two benefits, one for the birds, and one for you to get closer to nature.

“And the more you learn about it, the more you’ll realize there is to learn. Cause you really get it wrapped up in the different types of species. Then you get wrapped up in where they nest in the summer, where they’re going in the winter, their habits. There are just all these details of bird life that you get involved with through bird feeding. And it all starts with hanging that feeder in your backyard,” said Francis Skalicky, MO Department of Conservation.

Skalicky says the Shoal Creek Conservation Center has a number of programs about bird feeding in the month of December. You can read more about it on the Missouri Department of Conservation website, here.