How Birds Cope With Cold in Winter

How Birds Cope With Cold in Winter

From feathers to fat, birds have multiple strategies for keeping warm when the mercury dips.

By Daisy Yuhas
Published: 12/12/2013
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Daisy Yuhas

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine

Comments

Hi Daisy - My winter job is

Hi Daisy - My winter job is keeping my bird feeders full - 40 pounds a week - as here in Cleveland Heights, Ohio I have a bright green parakeet - budgie - at my feeders for the last 2 months. He/she comes 3-4 times a day even in the cold and snow. I don't know if it escaped or was released, but seems to be happy with all the sparrows, cardinals and bluejays. How it stays warm I can't know but so far so good. Anne

Yes - How can we help

Yes - How can we help hummingbirds who stay the freezing cold state of Washington for the Winter? We want to help these little guys but aren't sure how?

Youtube.com has hummingbird

Youtube.com has hummingbird information which may help. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtNwdmv5IBo

I'm in Western WA and we just

I'm in Western WA and we just had a week long cold snap of daytime high temperatures that did not go above freezing. This is the first year I've had Anna's hummers actually over winter in my yard. (Have had Rufous exclusively before but not any that stayed all year!) I brought my feeders in after dark each night and put them out at dawn each morning with either a pocket warmer or a half of a Thermocare wrist heat wrap taped right to the feeder. I would wrap a washcloth around the whole thing and they were always still unfrozen when I got home from work. I would say only do this when it will be really cold, you don't want the nectar to get too hot. Worked well for me, in fact those guys would be about 1" from my face each morning waiting for me to replace the feeders @ 6 am! Hope this helps!

Here in interior Alaska the

Here in interior Alaska the redpolls dive into the snow near covered bushes and emerge from their little round holes in the daylight to hit the feeders. We see this behavior from about -30F on down to lows of -65F. The amount of light to feed shrinks daily up to 7 minutes per day till Dec. 22 then reverses and the days get longer. Here in the boreal forest/ peat bog our most numerous winter residents are redpolls, common and hoary; boreal and black-capped chickadees, and pine grosbeaks. Currunt temperature____-40F

what does anyone do about

what does anyone do about doves and pigeons eating everything and leaving nothing at all for any other birds. i have flat feeders as well as cottage type and tube feeders and they have learned to balance on those. the only feeder that's safe is the type that's enclosed in wire grid and the larger birds can't eat from those. same for the sock feeders.

what does anyone do about

what does anyone do about doves and pigeons eating everything and leaving nothing at all for any other birds. i have flat feeders as well as cottage type and tube feeders and they have learned to balance on those. the only feeder that's safe is the type that's enclosed in wire grid and the larger birds can't eat from those. same for the sock feeders.

My Mockingbirds stay all

My Mockingbirds stay all winter, they only let a few others eat from the feeder, like red birds and finches. They are very protective of there food source. Noticed also they will fight off bluebirds and woodpeckers, they don't like them much ) To see the Mockingbird in my yard, means everything to me. Folklore tells us, they are much more than a feathered bird <3

Do birds benefit from wool

Do birds benefit from wool houses (or whatever they're called)? Our local bird store sells them. Thanks.

From the Science New article

From the Science New article https://www.sciencenews.org/article/collision-course :
"FEEDING BIRD DEATHS Bird feeders can draw birds toward windows, but are less deadly if placed within a meter of glass. Birds may be drawn to the feeder instead of windows and are not flying as fast if they hit a window while flying away." The graphic shows that the percentage of bird deaths per window collision varies from 0% for a meter or less to 70% for 10 meters.

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