It is hard to believe that summer has gone so quickly. With August now here, we are entering some of the hottest days of summer. In fact, locally here in southern Alberta, our forecast for this week is very hot with temperatures going to 39 degrees by Friday.
Hot days are tough on all of us, but they are especially tough on wildlife. Here are some tips to help your backyard birds survive the heat:
- Provide a birdbath in your yard: A birdbath is a welcome treat in the backyard for all birds as birds will drink and bathe at the bath. Now is the time to run out and get a birdbath for the backyard. However, when selecting a bird bath, you need to remember that a birdbath should be shallow so that small birds can easily use it and should have a rough bottom so that birds do not slip in the bath. (You can always adapt a deeper bird bath by putting rough stones in the deepest area). Put the birdbath in a shady part of the yard to reduce heat evaporation and algae growth and put it some distance away from your feeders to reduce competition for the birdbath. If commercial bird baths are too pricey for you there are some great DYI ideas on the internet these days for how to create your own birdbath. You can get inspired by checking some ideas on the internet. For example: see https://morningchores.com/diy-... .
- Ensure hi-protein food is readily accessible in your yard: Sometimes we neglect our wild birds in the summer believing that they will be able to forage on their own. This is true but remember that when birds are feeding their baby chicks and during hot times of the year, it is nice for birds to not have to travel too far to find their food. Provide nutritious black oil sunflower seeds for the seed eaters; and suet and Mother Nature’s Grubs for the insect lovers.
- Provide shade in your yard: If you don’t already have much shade in your yard, now is the time to plant some plants for next year. Plants provide shelter, shade and nutrition sources for birds. Do some research and plant some trees and tall bushes that attract the birds you want to attract to your backyard.
Those are our quick “Heat survival” tips for keeping birds happy and healthy on hot summer days. Happy bird feeding!