Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Helping Birds With Heat

Since we are in the midst of one of the worst nationwide heat waves in recent years, bloggers have been highlighting ways to help birds beat the heat. Many birds have delicately-tuned metabolisms so that extreme heat (or extreme cold) can be very stressful for them. Since birds do not sweat, they need to use other cooling mechanisms such as panting, holding the wings away from the body, resting in the shade, and bathing. Here are a few ways that humans can help the process.

  • Birderblog says that the sugar water in hummingbird feeders needs to be changed more frequently. Warm weather encourages the growth of various microorganisms that may be dangerous to the birds.
  • Birding in Maine has recommendations for bird bath maintenance. Like with hummingbird feeders, these need to be cleaned regularly and the water changed.
  • Mike's Birding & Digiscoping Blog extends the cleanliness admonition to bird seed feeders as well as the bird baths.
  • There are more tips from About.com here.
And for your own good, heed the CDC's advice for preventing heat illness.