Although wild birds have many ways to keep themselves cool, as a wild bird enthusiast you can help them avoid becoming overheated.
• Provide a Water Source: Provide a bird bath with clean fresh water, and no more than a couple of inches of water in the bath for bathing. The water may evaporate on the hottest days, so you will need to monitor it to keep it filled. Misters and drippers will attract passing birds and allow them a fresh drink or bath. Offering multiple water sources will help ensure that all of your feathered friends will stay cool!
• Provide Shade: Be sure to place birdhouses, bird baths and feeders out of the direct mid-day sun. You can also consider planting trees and shrubs at several levels to aid in shading and shelter from the heat.
• Provide a Constant Food Source: During summer months, wild birds require foods high in protein. When a constant nutritious food source is made available, they won’t be overwhelming themselves in search of a food source. Choose seeds that will not spoil quickly and avoid suet and other various fat-based foods that can go rancid during the heat. Store unused seed in a cool, dry place to prevent spoilage.
Although wild birds have the ability to beat the heat through physical and behavior adaptations, we can help by providing food, water and shade.