Friday, January 8, 2010

Beneath Our Wings.

"I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn."

~ Henry David Thoreau

As the temperatures dip throughout the Winter months, let's not forget our little feathered friends.
There are many species of birds who do not migrate for the Winter, but instead depend on the habitat they are most familiar with throughout the year, to survive.

During the Winter months the mortality rate of the bird population reaches dangerous levels when the temperature drops.
It is a fact, that a bird can use up roughly ten percent of it's body weight trying to keep warm, on a cold Winter's night.

One of the easiest things we can do, is to provide food and water, during the Winter months.
Hanging suet cakes, and bags of nuts and seeds from branches, are an ideal food source, and easy to get to.
Bird feeders can be stocked with a mixture of seeds, and a bird feeding table can also be stocked with kitchen left overs including fats (from meats etc), potatoes, cheeses and pastries.

Just like all other animals birds need water too. Provide a small shallow bowl, filled with gently warmed water. Check the bowl several times a day if possible, to ensure the water is not frozen.

If possible consider a small bird bath which will allow the birds to wash their wings: an important requirement in Winter as their wings become clogged with mud etc.making it difficult to fly.

Lastly, shelter.

Despite their ability to nest in trees and shrubs, providing a warm, draft-free bird house will provide them a safer, and warmer home in these cold months.

Stay warm, dear sweet little friends.....


Michelloui said...

Excellent post, a great reminder. I was just sipping a morning tea and looking out the widow when I saw several long-tailed tis in a hazelnut bush clearly looking for food so Ive made some quick feeders with pine cones and peanut butter and hung them in the bush. Must remember to do more, and do it regularly.

Winifred said...

Lovely photos especially the little robin.

That's a good posting. In the past I've never encouraged the birds into our garden because of having killer cats! Now the two moggies are aged and going out very little I'll be able to get a bird table. I'm putting food out for the birds but none of them are taking up the offer. The water keeps freezing as fast as I put it out!

cilla said...

hello your site is lovely,im also from Tennessee ,i love it here,i would love to visit England someday seems like such a sweet place stop by sometime and visit my blog ,Cilla

matron said...

I have 6 bird feeders out filled with nuts and seed,I also have fat balls hanging everywhere.I put bread crumbs out on the shed roof ( so the dog won't get it )
We seem to be keeping the whole of the local area's bird population at the moment because of the adverse weather conditions.I love the birds and can see them while on the computer as i have my desk by the window.At this moment I can see blue tits,coal tits,siskins,gold finch,blackbirds and thrushes.We also have a colony of magpies and even get a jay visit sometimes.
I have food out all year round,but this winter is particularly hard for the poor creatures.

Russell said...

Good thoughts.

I live in the country and try to put bread and bird seed out for the birds.

I am amazed they can survive in such harsh conditions as we are having here in Iowa.

Take care and enjoyed this post.

Sunny said...

Lovely pictures of our feathered friends, and that's a great Thoreau quote.
Keep warm.
Sunny :)

DJan said...

What a sweet post! Of course I can't help but feed the birds and am addicted to it! I love your pictures, they are so gentle and caring.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Such a beautiful reminder. Our birds have a birdfeeder full, as well as enjoying the dog's food and water. We have snow starting once again. Perfect day for staying in and enjoying the birds play their games.. hugs ~lynne~

L. D. said...

A wonderful reminder. I am trying to keep water open for the birds. I have two pair of cardinals and a pair of blue jays. The suet is drawing in two different woodpeckers and I can't identify the little ones so well. Your two bird photos are great. Thanks for sharing.

Monts said...

I agree birds need all the help they can get during the hard times, I have all the usual feeders uppeanuts various seeds etc, I also get Marrow bones from the butcher cook them and drill the bone thread it with string and hang then on the branches. The birds love all the great lumps of fat. Great post.

The Retired One said...

Such a sweet post!
I worry about the birds when we go on any trips in the winter,because we feed them and we know they are dependent on us for their food.

Thanks for reminding everyone to feed them during the winter.
They give us so much pleasure and joy all year round!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

I went in reverse order, Jo... I read your suet one first. YES---we do need to take care of our little feathered-friends in winter.


Betty Manousos said...

What a lovely and heartfelt post!
That is a beautiful photo, indeed.
First time here, came by from Richard's site.

Kathleen said...

I enjoyed reading this info, I too love to watch/feed the birds in our garden. Didn't know that bit about washing their wings. I really enjoy your blog.