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Birds Don't Like Old Man Winter Anymore, Either


Animals  (tags: animals, environment, suffering, wildlife, death, weather )

Dee
- 200 days ago - news.nationalgeographic.com
Humans in the frigid Northeast aren't the only ones who've had a tough time this winter. Birds are suffering, too. It's killing them. Literally. Robins, wrens, and woodcocks are among those suffering



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Comments

Dee C. (212)
Saturday March 15, 2014, 8:35 am
Eagles, for example, have headed to the coast for food and are fighting over duck dinners. Swans, which typically beg people for food, are more aggressive than usual.

We spoke with Patrick Comins, director of bird conservation for Audubon Connecticut, to see how the polar vortex has affected our feathered friends.

So it sounds like winter is really tough on birds.

The birds are out there; they can't go to their home and get warm. Birds have to deal with the weather. They live out in it. They're subject to the whims of the wind at times, can be blown off course by it. Weather has a huge impact on birds.

Even birds that live in a birdhouse?

They've got to get out and forage. They've got to deal with the snow, the cold, the wind, especially with ice. Ice is a huge issue. In terms of an ice storm, that's extremely difficult on birds. It locks up all the food on the trees and on the ground.

Do we know how many birds have died from winter weather?

It's hard to know for sure. The birds that die out there in wild places often aren't found. But we have some clues. For example, back when there was the warm push in January or early February, a lot of birds [in the Southeast] started moving north as they normally would—they time their movements on the lengthening daylight.

American woodcock males that get to the best ground [in the north] first claim it, and they have the best habitat and a good displaying area to do this intricate flight to impress the girls so they can get the most mates. Then there came cold and snowstorms. You have to assume the woodcocks probably perished.

Read more at site..

 

Sue H. (7)
Saturday March 15, 2014, 9:30 am
;(...
 

Dave C. (214)
Saturday March 15, 2014, 9:53 am
we try to keep our feeders full all winter...and try to make some open water, but not as good/efficient at that....
 

Dee C. (212)
Saturday March 15, 2014, 10:07 am
Yep..same here..Dave..But they are really having a rough winter out there..
 

Judith Hand (59)
Saturday March 15, 2014, 12:52 pm
Man! Many thanks, Dee.
 

Penny C. (80)
Saturday March 15, 2014, 2:39 pm
We try to feed the birds but it has been a cold this winter & we dont see many..
 

Elaine Al Meqdad (227)
Saturday March 15, 2014, 10:52 pm
NOTED! AND, AURORA, MAY THE GREAT BIRD OF PARADISE S**T ALL OVER YOUR MOTHER'S COMPUTER!!!
 

Sylvie A. (138)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 4:12 am
Merci beaucoup.
 

Tanya W. (52)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 4:24 am
Noted & spam reported. Thank you to the fine souls who put food out for our tiny feathered friends.
 

Linda Todd (31)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 5:27 am
I feed birds all the time, especially if the weather is 'fowl', and cold. I feeed more then. And I keep water available always. My state has been in drought condition for several years, and it is 'slim pickings' for the birds. There is Not a lot of food available.

Can humans help by feeding the birds?

You can. I view bird feeding as more for us than for the birds. It's more supplemental to them. But a little extra food can help them, particularly if there's a snowstorm. I tend to throw out seed on the ground as a snowstorm's approaching. You can also offer things like mealworms and raisins, currants in your food to benefit the birds that don't eat seed. Of course that can get really expensive.
 

Dee C. (212)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 5:40 am
That is wonderful Linda..

Sometimes sadly there are people who only feed them in the warmer months and forget about them in the winter..And that is when they really need it the most..I have always had the most beautiful birds..and plenty of them in the winter..They really are beautiful..
 

Rhonda B. (100)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 6:51 am
I flagged Aurora for spam!
 

Dee C. (212)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 7:06 am
Thank you Rhonda..
 

Ruth S. (304)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 7:36 am
I live in Florida and we don't have snow here, but, I still put clean water and food out for our friends the animals everyday.
 

Janis K. (101)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 11:56 am
Thanks for sharing
 

Michael M. (58)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 12:16 pm
Birds are less affected by temperature than by food availability. Birds will remain where food exists.

Humans once occupied rather limited habitat, and could not kill them at a distance (or hardly at all) before guns.

Unfortunately now, vast areas of the earth have become near-exclusive human habitat.

Worse, modern agribusiness uses and further develops tools to eradicate the insects, other invertebrates, carrion and plants which formerly created a long trail of food for migratory species.

The TRUE argument against Genetically Modified Crops and Organisms, is:
1. Many of these allow hormone disrupting and other chemicals to be used. This both results in large-scale monocropping and eradicates plants and insects, pollinators who need original biological diversity to ensure their hereditary food.

Huge areas of the central USA, for instance, have been biologically diminished by this type of human farming, and so you can imagine that vast expanses are equivalent to foodless desert, just where ancient migrations have always previously taken place.

Humans have also reduced wild ungulates to tiny numbers, and the carrion that once supported Condors, Eagles, and other vultures, hawks, and omnivorous birds, is largely absent from modern landscapes.

We have interrupted, overused, and impoverished this continent. Only change from overexploitation can restore the very birds of the air.

I cannot sufficiently express what it is like to be among birds so thick off another nation's wild shore, that you could not see more than 50 to 100 meters.
I cannot paint strongly enough for you to understand the glory of running as a child in mud flats raising what seemed millions into the blue sky, darkening and changing the color of day.
These are among my memories, like the incessant discussion among geese overhead in the clouds and night, now so limited by overlengthy hunting laws, that they cannot return.

In high country, migratory birds gather at open leads in the ice, and the wolf and I stroll over to gather drinking water while knowing ducks move only a few feet, tame in the sharing of journeys in late winter. Here is a lesson: we share the journeying. Wings, memory: every ancient thing is forever new.

Please make it be so again, tomorrow. We do not need that much to exist in joy, in flight. Let there be Others.

 

Stardust Noel (54)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 2:37 pm
I have feeders for seed, suet, sunflower seed, thistle seed, & a fountain that I make sure is fresh water.
 

Stardust Noel (54)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 2:38 pm
Spam flagged
 

Stardust Noel (54)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 2:40 pm
Sorry, flagged spam b4 seeing it was already done.
 

Dee C. (212)
Sunday March 16, 2014, 2:42 pm
Thanks Stardust..
 

John S. (304)
Monday March 17, 2014, 9:49 am
Many birds prefer to eat from the ground, so you should make certain some are there.
 

Dee C. (212)
Monday March 17, 2014, 8:30 pm
That is true John..
 
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