Gift idea # 30: Give warmth
Okay, we skipped a few days getting ready for the holidaze! It can be a crazy, stressful time, running and doing, and going, and fulfilling obligations. With Thanksgiving upon us, it’s a great time to chill with friends, with family, with nature. Look around and breathe, what are you thankful for?
As corny as it sounds, and aside from the usual answer of friends and family, we’re thankful for the habitat in our yard, the characters it hosts, and how it’s grown over the years… simply because it offers an escape from the everyday chaos of life. We’re really thankful for our awesome customers, especially the ones who return again and again! I doubt companies selling electronics are lucky enough to get the same breed of folks, those who are so appreciative of nature.
Whenever there’s an opportunity to sit, be still and just watch the birds, or a butterfly around lantana – there’s a calming effect that’s pretty indescribable. Sometimes ya just have to wonder… am I getting old? Well, with age comes wisdom (hopefully) so receiving joy from something as simple as nature can be a blessing in itself. Sadly, many are blind to it these days.
During frigid winter months, the best hot spot for watching feathered friends has got be heated bird baths (no pun intended). More so than any kind of feeders or birdhouses, fresh water attracts more species and greater numbers for ultimate viewing from your home.
Can’t they just eat snow? Sure, birds do have the capacity to convert the fluff to liquid, but it costs them precious calories in the process. Since calories equal energy, it’s a resource that can cost overnight heat loss. Some birds will feed from sun-up through late afternoon, continuous eating just to consume enough calories for the next freezing night. Essentially, those calories are wasted when digesting snow for water. So offer up a heated bath to help resident birds thrive and bring some new visitors to your place! No need for a whole new set-up, just add a heater, most are safe for all birdbath types these days!
And because Thanksgiving is here, we say Let Giving Take Flight to start the holiday season! For useful and creatively fun ideas for any nature-lover on your list, we’ll offer suggestions to dazzle them and their feathered friends alike! And what would make us an authority? Backyard birding freaks for 30 years 🙂
So when it’s 90 degrees, how useful is that heated bath? Certainly unplugged and cord tucked for the season, it will still see daily activity and may even be life savers for some birds during severe drought. Regardless of seasons, water is a critical life source for all beings.
When folks turn their baths over for winter, the birds who depended on that water source must find another. I wonder what they must think? The birds that is- not the people! “Don’t they understand, we need water in winter too! It really sucks trying to eat snow, takes too much energy.”
Whether you’re thinking of purchasing your first birdbath, or adding an extra one to your habitat, heated bird baths are a wise choice for year-round use. Because another severe winter looms on the horizon, resident birds will benefit as will your whole bird-watching experience!
The polar vortex, record low temperatures in the deep South, gripping snow storms that paralyzed many cities… thankfully we’re finally starting to thaw out! This is when creature comforts of home can be most appreciated, especially if you had to spend any length of time outdoors in this frigid weather.
Birds and wildlife in general have additional stresses during severe cold as they must expend more energy to find food and shelter. Sure they’ve adapted, and use various methods for coping with high winds and biting cold. The weaker of any species may succumb to starvation or predation, thus the old adage “survival of the fittest”.
Wild birds will seek shelter in shrubs, dense foliage, natural cavities, even birdhouses and roosts. Some, like bluebirds, will even huddle together for warmth. Many common backyard birds will spend the entire day at bird feeders packing on calories to make it through another night. Peanuts, suet and black oil sunflower provide power-packed meals for most of our feathered friends! Keeping feeders clean and full greatly increases survival rates of resident songbirds during freak weather like last week.
But what about water – surely with all that snow out there, birds can get water? Yes, they can, but it costs them dearly. The snow must be converted to water, which takes precious energy, and during single-digit temps, every ounce of energy must be conserved in order to survive.
This is when heated bird baths can literally be life savers for some birds since they require water daily. Some baths may even form ice around the edges, but they’ll still leave open water towards the center. Adding a heater to your existing bath is also a great option, or even putting out a shallow pan of warm water several times a day. Hey, if the snow’s that bad you’re probably home from work anyway, right?
Please help birds through tough winter weather by offering food, water and shelter, their lives depend on it!