Monday, January 6, 2014

Birds in the Winter

 As our  winter  temperatures take its normal roller coaster ride from the 60's to the teens within several days, I watch out little bird friends and wonder how they tolerate the frigid part of the ride.  Their tiny little bodies seem as if they would freeze solid in those sub freezing temperatures.  I replaced my Christmas flags with some winter bird garden flags and then did some research. I found that nature has given them lots of tools to help them keep warm.

Their feathers are perfectly made to help keep them warm and work even better when they do their fluffing, which creates air pockets among their feathers to create even better insulation.  Who doesn't love to see them all puffed up, they look so adorable.  They also use dense bushes where we've all seen many birds in one bush filling each available cavity and all fluffed up, it makes such a
wonderful vision.  Also I read, special scales on their legs and feet help slow heat loss and that if food was readily available for them in the fall, they have a nice little layer of fat that also helps to keep them warm.  These and other gifts from nature help them through the winter, but there are things we can do also.

Offer a good quality winter bird food and keep the feeders full.  Make sure they have access to plenty of water.  During continuous below freezing temperatures, they may have trouble finding water sources that are not frozen.  There are even warmers you can put in bird baths to make your job easier.  Give the birds shelter in both the form of bird boxes and in your landscaping. 
welcome winter birdhouse garden flagBushes and shrubs offer refuge as do brush piles.  We keep an ongoing brush pile in the back corner of our property.  We have constant debris in our yards from all our trees.  Instead of worrying about having it hauled away we just keep an ongoing brush pile.  There is always a lot of chattering coming from the pile, especially in the winter.  We know it is well used.

Welcome Winter Birdhouse Garden Flag

Here is another of our decorative winter flags that features a carinal perched on a snowy evergreen branch.

Snowy Perch Applique Garden Flag

Thank you for reading.
Marilee & Josie
Custom Flags and Gifts