In this heat wave, you can do several things to make your garden more pleasant for birds. You can add ice to your bird bath, put extra water in it, and minimize pruning. You can also add a small fountain for the birds to enjoy. Misters help birds stay cool in hot weather. Besides, they are also a lot of fun to watch! Here are some tips to help wild birds survive the summer heat:
Wild Birds Suffer From Heat And Drought To
The current blazing heat wave is taking a toll on many species, including birds. But unlike us, birds do not sweat and pant. Their bills are proportional to their external temperatures – larger birds live in warmer climates. Larger bills are also helpful to birds, as they allow blood to flow to their beaks and reduce their body temperature. A tropical toucan’s large bill also helps them cool down.
The rising temperatures are affecting the survival of many species, and many birds are already dying during heat waves. The water requirements of small birds are predicted to increase with hotter temperatures, reducing their chances of survival. And scientists predict that these conditions will only get worse – the planet is already warming a few degrees Celsius since 1880. NASA reports that the warmest years have occurred in the past 35 years, and 15 of the last 16 have been warmer than average. In fact, 2015 was the first year where global temperatures exceeded 1880-1899.
In Portland, the Audubon Society picked up 100 Cooper’s hawks on August 1st, a record-high number for the region. Normally, they get twelve Cooper’s hawks every year. The young birds of prey have also suffered from the heat wave. Those deaths are just the tip of the iceberg, and experts are worried about how climate change is affecting the health of wildlife in the Pacific Northwest.
Provide Extra Water And Add Ice To Bird Baths
Winter weather can be particularly challenging for backyard birds, who require liquid water to drink. While they can drink snow, this requires a great deal of energy and body heat to achieve. Keeping bird baths full of liquid water can help them survive the winter. It’s best to winterize birdbaths in autumn, which will give birds a head start on the first freezing temperatures.
To keep water cool, fill a bird bath to a depth of two inches. Water that is two inches deep takes longer to heat up, so you’ll want to make sure the water level stays that low. Add ice cubes for even cooler water if necessary. Another way to keep bird baths cool is to purchase a dripper, which attaches to an outdoor or indoor faucet. The water dripper leans over the bird bath and drips slowly down the hose.
While birds can melt snow and ice, liquid water is safer for them. Snow and ice require energy to break down, and this energy is better spent for foraging. In addition, drinking barely melted water cools the bird’s body temperature, making it more vulnerable to predators. Provide extra water and add ice to bird baths in hot weather to provide your birds with a safe and convenient source of water.
Provide Good Quality Food
In summer, provide your backyard’s wild birds with high-quality seed and fresh fruit. If you can’t provide enough natural food for your backyard birds, consider providing mealworms, a great source of protein. These are often scarce in summer, so they can serve as a substitute. Fatballs are a good choice for summer because they contain essential fats that birds convert easily into energy. Suet products for birds during hot weather should be hard and non-melty, such as summertime suet. You can also offer fruit on the ground or in a fatball cage.
Fruit is also an important dietary element for birds, and should be offered at least three times per day. In addition to sliced fruit, you can also place a container of grape jelly or a half orange on a limb of a tree. While the weather in South Florida is warm, you should change your fruit offerings regularly to avoid attracting unwanted birds. If you can’t find fruit in your backyard, consider providing fresh fruit slices or a grape jelly in a mesh onion bag.
Another option for feeding birds during hot weather is suet, a mix of fatty, high-calorie foods. Suet is very popular with wild birds during winter, but can also be offered in the summer. Suet is sold in commercial feeders or can be hung from a branch. However, suet should never be left out during high temperatures. High temperatures will spoil it and melt it.
Minimize Pruning And Create Shade
While you may want to prune your trees and shrubs to keep them from growing too tall, remember that a good tree will shade other areas. Planting native plants will provide shade for birds, but you should minimize the amount of pruning during the hottest months of the year. Leaving a few trees and shrubs unpruned during the hot summer months will provide secure nesting areas for birds, cover from predators, and more.
Move Bird Feeders To Shade
If your bird feeders are in a sunny spot, you might want to consider moving them to shade during hot weather. It can be challenging to fill the feeder if it requires special tools. Additionally, it may take some time for the birds to find your new location. If you’re unsure of how to move bird feeders to shade in hot weather, consider reading this guide first. It will help you keep your feeders in good shape and keep your backyard birds happy.
A common mistake is to place bird feeders in direct sunlight. However, this solution can work as well. Indirect sunlight is cooler for humans and birds, so placing bird feeders in shade is beneficial for both of you. It will also protect your seed from rotting. It is also easier to spot garden birds in a shadier area. In addition, moving your feeders to shade will allow you to enjoy the cool temperatures of spring and summer.
If you’re not sure whether or not you should move your bird feeders to shade in hot weather, check the temperature of your local area. Keep in mind that 90 degrees Fahrenheit is just as harmful to hummingbird sugar. Indirect sunlight is even better, as it does not have the same effects on the sugar content. If you’re worried about the dangers of direct sunlight, you can also try putting your bird feeders in a tree or shrub.