Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cold Snap

As frequently happens this time of year, the temperature can vary a lot in a short time. We had a cold front come through the other day, dropping the temperature 20+ degrees during the day.

At this time of the year, I feel sorry for the little birds. If you have ever had a small bird in hand, you know just how delicate they seem to be. Obviously, they aren't as delicate as they look, because they seem to do just fine. They do avoid the worst of the weather, but otherwise, seem to do very well. Feathers trap air and provide good insulation. But in order to maintain a high body temperature, they do need food--not always easily found in the winter.

We do have it better here than up north. What snow and ice we get usually don't last long, so food remains accessible. Insects may be active on warmer days. No wonder many birds from the far north travel here for their winter homes.

But because I wouldn't want to live outside in the winter cold, I feel compelled to put out food for the birds. And they do go through large amounts. Last Sunday I had 33 white-winged doves at one time. I need a part-time job.....

Good birding!

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