February brings new challenges for birds
Birds bring a welcome dash of color, flash of motion, and splash of sound into our lives, particularly in the gloom of winter. But this also is one of the most difficult seasons for birds to survive in the wild in much of North America. It often gets worse in February. Natural food supplies have been depleted, and ponds are thick with ice, making it difficult to forage in the wild. That’s why the National Bird Feeding Society has designated February “Wild Bird Feeding Month”, to call attention to the birds’ need for food and water. Consider the following:
- A typical backyard bird weighs less than two nickels,
- Birds spend most of their waking hours searching for food,
- In below-freezing temperatures, snow is the only “water” birds may find, and
- Birds can use up to 15% of their body weight overnight just keeping warm.
Help birds this winter by keeping fresh seed in your feeders, offering suet as an extra energy entree, and replenishing the water in your birdbath. Please don’t forget to celebrate Wild Bird Feeding Month in February – all it takes is putting out another feeder or block of suet, hanging up another bird feeder, or providing open water for our backyard birds.
Sue Hayes – Wild Bird Feeding Industry