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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Air Conditioning for Birds

It was sooo hot today (100 degrees) we were concerned for the welfare of those baby American Robins we mentioned yesterday. We also had baby House Wrens in a nest box hanging on the other end of the trellis from where the Robins are. So how to make them more comfortable? We put a false cardboard roof over the wren box to shade it from the sun. This worked well and kept the front of the box noticeably cooler.

For the Robins, we copied an idea we saw when we were at an outdoor restaurant in Phoenix, AZ in the summer. The restaurant had a device that ran around the edge of the roof and sprayed a fine cooling mist out into the air that cooled us as we sat on the patio. It just so happened our garden hose nozzzle has a "mist" setting. So a number of times today, we went out and sprayed a cool mist on the Robin nest and foliage above it. We could see the babies open their mouths when the mist came. They seemed to be enjoying it. A number of times we also saw one of the Robin parents standing over the nest, shading the babies when the sun was hottest.
Right now, the wrens and Robins have made it through the worst heat of the day with maybe some help from us. It is clouding over and thunderstorms are predicted, hopefully bringing relief from the heat.

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