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Bird Alert

Caring for birds during extreme heat


Birds need to get through our blowtorch summer, same as we do. Unfortunately, they don't have AC in their homes. A few spend summers where it's cooler – like Canada – but most tough it out right here. If you're a good "landlord", they'll reward you by hanging out in your yard; maybe even raising a family there.


First and foremost; they need water. Lots of water – clean water. Without it, they may not make it to Fall. They'll be bathing in it, drinking it and splashing around in it. A typical birdbath is fine, but it should be no deeper than about 2 inches. Moving water is even better for many reasons. The temperature is always cool. The mosquito that causes West Nile can't lay eggs in moving water. The continual movement keeps it fairly clean. And the sound attracts curious birds. A birdbath can easily be fitted with a dripper or mister that just clips on the side.


Some birds of summer:

Common yellowthroat
Scissortailed flycatcher
Eastern kingbird
Eastern bluebird


Especially during the heat of summer, birds absolutely need shade. They need shrubs, trees and tall grasses (over a foot) where they can get away from our relentless sun. Very, very few birds are attracted to a manicured lawn, where there's absolutely no shade, and they're easy picking for a hungry hawk.


Fresh food is vitally important to birds. It provides energy to fight off disease, supports reproduction, and fuels all other aspects of their incredible little bodies. If fresh food isn't available in your yard, they'll simply go somewhere else to get it. Unlike humans, birds can instantly tell if a seed is stale or dried out. So avoid any kind of seed that's been sitting on a shelf or in a warehouse too long. Even if it's a little cheaper.


Oh, did we mention that WATER is essential to birds? And emphasize again, keep that bird bath scrubbed every few days so the water stays healthy. Don't be surprised to see all sorts of insects stop for a drink and the occasional squirrel hop up to the bath for a cool down.






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