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Watering Your Birds Over The Winter

Did you know that in below freezing and Sub zero temps birds can lose up to 75% of their body weight just trying to stay alive overnight. It is important that they get enough to eat throughout the whole day and especially at night before they roost for the night. Providing food for your feathered friends is easy enough when you can just hang a bird feeder and put some seed in it to help supplement the birds in the freezing temps.

But not everyone knows the importance of adding a water source to your yard for the birds. Especially in the winter when most of their water sources are frozen over. Did you know that it takes birds 3x the amount of energy to convert snow into water. Precious energy when temps drop to -30 degrees!!

 Water is a year-round necessity. It quenches thirst, cools, and helps to keep feathers clean and well groomed. Offering water usually brings a greater variety of birds to your yard because non-seed eating birds will stop by to take advantage of a birdbath. Have you ever been at a football or soccer game when the temperature was low and the wind was blowing? At times like this a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate really hits the spot and tends to warm the whole body. So it is with birds. Water that is warmed to around 36 to 40 degrees is a valuable aid during cold weather.

You can do this by adding a birdbath heater to your existing bath Or add a Heated Birdbath to your yard!! Birds also need water to bathe to keep their feathers in good condition. Clean feathers insulate much better than dirty ones. It is vital to their existence to be able to bathe and preen during cold weather. There has been some concern about birds freezing to death after bathing in winter. This is definitely not a common occurrence and rarely has been reported only after several days of severe sub zero cold.

Birds have natural oils on their feathers to repel water before it freezes. Bathing helps birds spread the natural oils over their feathers with greater ease. You can add some rocks to make the bath shallow enough to be safe for them to drink and shallow bathe!! Or put a screen over your bath to allow them to drink only! At the end of the day The Birds know instinctively what to do to survive!! If it is literally too cold for them to bathe then they just won't. But they all NEED hydration!

Thanks so much for tuning in again! I hope we have helped teach you how to grow your bird population in your own yard!!

Stay warm from all of us here at For The Wild Birds,
—Crinda Williams


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