Thank you to Stokes Select® for their Bird Feeding Tips. In this article, Lillian and Don Stokes talk about the top ten ways to keep birds cool from the hot summer sun.
1. Bird baths, bird baths, bird baths! Birds need water to bathe and drink in hot weather sobuy a bird bath. You can even use any wide flat container for a bird bath, such as the lid of a trash can or a large saucer that is used under a flowerpot.
2. Choose a bird bath that is shallow and has a non-slip surface. Small birds do not like to bathe in deeper water. You can add flat rocks to a bird bath that is too deep in order to create a shallow ledge for small birds to land on to drink and bathe.
3. Add a dripper or bubbler to your bird bath. The sound of moving water will be a magnet for the birds and alert them to the presence of a water source.
4. Keep the water in your bird bath cool by adding ice cubes several times a day, or refilling the bird bath with a hose.
5. Birds will feel safer if the bird bath is placed in a more open area so no predators can hide nearby. Provide a stake or branch placed in the ground near the bird bath, if no landing places exist near it, so birds have a place to wait their turn at the bath.
6. Air condition your bird houses. We nail on a piece of plywood, using long nails and only
nailing them part way into the original roof. This leaves airspace between the two roofs of about an inch. The second roof shades the first roof plus the airspace between the roofs acts as an insulator, keeping the bird house cooler. In some cases we have just shaded the roof of a bird house with piece of cardboard.
7. Misters are coolers. Misters can be bought to attach to a bird bath, or clip to shrubs near a bath. They spray a fine mist that birds can fly though, or rub against the wet shrubbery. Hummingbirds will often fly through misters, or even a garden sprinkler.
8. Use a mister on a hose. Our hose has a mist setting on the nozzle. We have misted the foliage and area above a robin nest to cool off the babies in extreme heat.
9. Think Shade. Birds will seek out shady areas and lie low in the worst heat of the day. If you do not have shade on your property plant some shade trees and big shrubs. Place bird feeders in a shady area during summer.
10. Shade hummingbird feeders. Place them in shade. Some feeders, such as our Stokes Select® Jubilee Hummingbird Feeder, comes with its own shade/rain roof, including and ant moat on the roof. You can buy also by baffle-type shields and hang them above a feeder. Don’t forget to change your hummingbird nectar solution every 2 days in really hot weather.
And tips for you….
Stay out of the sun and heat in the middle of the day, wear a hat and sunscreen when you do go out, and at the end of the day, after you have taken care of the birds, have an ice cold beverage…aaahhh!