American Bird Conservancy (ABC), one of the nation’s leading bird conservation groups, is reminding people that we’re not the only ones suffering in the cold gripping much of the nation. This weather can be deadly to birds, some of which are being driven farther south than normal in search of open water and sources of food.
“Birds can survive the kind of severe weather we are seeing, but only if they get needed food and water,” said Dr. Daniel Lebbin, a conservation biologist at ABC. “Their ability to stay warm in frigid temperatures requires them to eat sufficient food.” Putting out extra food on bird feeders and on the ground, including suet and fruit for birds that don’t normally eat seeds, can make the difference between life and death for some birds.
Lebbin said that an ice-free water supply is also critical and often attracts birds that don’t visit feeders. “Water is just as important as food, if not more so. By providing warm water frequently, or installing a bird-bath heater, people can help the birds out substantially during severe weather events,” he noted.