This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6
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Monday, December 21, 2015

Where do birds sleep in winter?..............

Do you ever wonder how birds survive in winter?
Well firstly their feathers are made in such a way that they provide insulation especially when they fluff them up. I didn't know this but each feather has it's own muscles and so they can raise and lower each feather, air is then trapped between them and so insulate the body and prevent loss of body heat. Feathers are also waterproof. That does not guarantee that they don't get wet through but most birds can find a dry spot to get them through a storm. They tuck their feet and beaks under wings to keep them warm or draw the feet up close to the body. They look so cute all fluffed up.
This Woodpecker who came in today was not cold even though it was raining.
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You wonder why ducks don't freeze standing in frigid water, often enough they will stand on one foot while tucking the other one up and sticking their nosed under a wing. That is a cold bird.
The smaller birds will often gather together and snuggle up in a thicket, brambles or piles of wood. Sometimes close to the the trunk of a tree. I wonder if they take turns being on the outside?
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If its at all possible we can provide cover for birds by leaving piles of sticks or brush for them and small animals to hide in. Pine trees are a great place for them to sleep. The outside branches overlap and provide a nice wind break. I read a story once about why pine trees should touch the ground. The small animals can sleep under them in the leaves and stuff on the ground so I let my trees grow down to the ground. I will sadly have to trim them up this year.
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The small birds seem to flock together in winter. I see the Chickadee, Junco, Nuthatch, Titmouse all hanging out together this time of year. I can just imagine them all trying to settle in at night. Sparrows especially can be very vocal about settling in for the night.
I like my grapevines on the side of the deck. The birds love to play in there when they come to the feeders, they hang out and grab a snack and take it back into cover to enjoy it. Even on wet days it keeps them pretty dry. Bud asked us to trim them this year. I would not have done so but Gerry did. I told him I wanted it for the birds and Bud rolled his eyes. Hmmmmmm. No idea why he cares its not on his property.
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I try to provide fatty treats like peanuts and suet for the birds. The Jays love the peanuts. The Woodpeckers like the suet. The bigger birds can roost in trees and shrubs to stay warm and many will sleep in holes in trees, especially the Owls and bigger birds. Even small birds can huddle in a cavity or hole. So maybe it's a good idea, if you are a bird/animal lover, to provide cover within your landscape for them.
I think the Mourning Doves must flock together this time of year too. I usually only have them two at a time, but this year they are in flocks.
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Evergreens and Ivy are a great landscape addition for a bird friendly garden. I think of this when I plan mine. I keep my feeders full and take pictures every day. The birds and squirrels know where to come. I also get Raccoons, skunks, rabbits and Possums come visit. They usually come when I cant see them though. They are camera shy apparently.


Merlesworld said...

Our garden is alive with birds but it is summer here and the living is easy many are gone in the winter.

Magic Love Crow said...

What a great post! Thank you for all the information! Beautiful pictures my friend!