Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Brrr, there are subzero temps out there. We make sure the feeders are filled. Access to feeders can sometimes mean the difference between life and death to birds, if the weather is very severe. Birds do not store lots of fat on their bodies (unlike humans!), so they need to restock their fuel supplies every day. They often cannot go more than 24 hours without eating in severe weather.
Here are a few tips and things we do to help the birds in winter:
- Keep feeders filled especially in the early morning and mid-afternoon when birds may feed most heavily. When we say filled, I mean filled to the top, so that all the portals at a tube feeder are available with seed to the bird customers.
- Feed lots of sunflower seed, and/or a good mix that contains a high percentage of sunflower, since sunflower is a calorie-rich food with a high protein and fat content.
- Feed suet cakes, they contain mostly fat, a very high calorie food. Birds need to consume more calories in severe weather in order to keep warm.
- Put feeders in a sheltered, sunny spot out of the wind.
- Sprinkle some mixed seed on the ground, if none is there, to provide for species who like to feed on the ground, such as juncos, White-throated Sparrows, etc.
- Keep snow off feeders after a storm.
- Put out litte down sleeping bags to keep them cozy at night (just kidding!)