Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Don't Forget the Water this Week

Starting sometime Wednesday evening it looks like the southern Piedmont is in for about 60 hours of sub-freezing temperatures. Local wildlife can generally withstand the cold, but local birds can get stressed when available water is iced over. Water is harder to find than food.

Not all birds visit feeders, but all of them require water. Cedar waxwings and American robins seem to absolutely flock to water sources when temperatures are below freezing. By providing water you not only increase the potential to see some new species, but you provide an essential need for their survival.

With Thursday's highs predicted to be in the mid-20's it can be a challenge to keep water thawed. There are heated birdbaths on the market, and I hear they work wonderfully. The more ingenious and handy of you can probably come up with a way to heat your own container of water. Whatever, the result is likely to be dramatic for the rest of the week.

These cedar waxwings and american robins over ran a back deck a few years ago during a heavy snow. Those species do not normally visit feeders but are among the most frequent visitors during freezing weather.

Cedar Waxwings and American Robin by Jeanne Davis