Depending on how long spring holds out on us, February means either we are in the homestretch of winter, or smack in the middle of it. About this time is when certain birds, like Cardinals, really appreciate something to eat besides seed in the feeders.
Lots of ornamental crabapple varieties hold onto their fruits through the winter, but only a few will the birds actually eat. You can clearly see how the flesh of these Red Jewel Crabapples are pretty hard. Now see the plump and squishy fruit of the Redbud Crabapple. Fluctuating temperatures have repeatedly frozen and thawed the fruits to the point where they are nice and soft. Very tempting for a bird tired of a seed diet.
Some crabapple varieties that will provide food in February and March are: Bob White, Harvest Gold, Sentinel, and Candymint. Plus, they are disease-resistant and will brighten your yard with their flowers in spring.
Learn more about Crabapples for Birds.