Bird WatchingChristmas is for the Birds

As winter and Christmas is approaching, many people are under the wrong impression that all the birds that are up north for the warm spring/summer months have gone south for the winter. This is a mistaken assumption. Many birds stay up north during the winter months and, indeed, are very grateful for the nutritious meals in the winter when insects are few and far between.

Many holiday songs are written with bird themes. All of us know of the “partridge in a pear tree” that was given by a “true love” and many are the bird ornaments found on Christmas trees throughout the country. Indeed, birds have been a part of Christmas celebrations for many a year and, if there are enough caring bird watchers around, birds will be around for Christmas for many years to come.

So, how do we care for our feathered friends during the holiday season and throughout the winter so that we may gain the most from their amusing games and joyful songs? Following, you will find a bunch of tips to get all of you through the winter.

As winter gets closer, many birds change their eating habits. Their supply of insects dwindles away and so, the birds will turn to colorful berries to provide them with winter survival energy sources. Birds, also, have a tendency to form flocks in the fall as flocks have a tendency to better find food and protect themselves against predators.

Life for birds in the winter is, indeed, a difficult time. Days are short and nights are long and cold. The natural food supply has been consumed or hidden by snow. Insects are long dead or dormant. Water is, usually, difficult to find. Consequently, food needed to give birds energy and keep them warm will be scarce.

Finding natural shelter is, probably, a difficult fete. These non-migratory birds will, naturally, be looking for man-made houses to protect them from the wicked elements. Alas, bird houses are more important than ever.

Birds are warm-blooded creatures. This means that they maintain their body temperature at a certain range depending on the temperature the body can produce. This depends on the energy level the bird can produce while feeding on nutritious food. Birds, also, fluff up their feathers creating air pockets that keep them warm. The more air pockets, the better the insulation. To keep up the metabolic rates birds need for all their physical activity, most of these wintering birds need rich, energy foods made up of made up of insects and suet. Changes in temperature and sudden winter storms make finding this food near to impossible. At such times, feeders need to be full so birds can, readily, find the food. Birds will returning to these full feeders on a regular basis and those, considerate enough to keep them full are in for a long winter of entertaining delight.