Helping Birds Survive Winter Nights
Your feeders serve as a supplemental source of food for birds in your yard. During periods of cold and severe winter weather, birdfeeders can become a critical source of food that enables survival from day to day. One study in Wisconsin showed that when the temperature drops below 10º F, chickadees without access to feeders had twice the mortality rate than their feeder-using counterparts.
Freezing temperatures are only one factor that birds must overcome in order to survive winter. Wind, storms and wet weather can also rob birds of their ability to stay warm, even at moderate temperatures.
Plus, Birds have to endure the long period of darkness during a winter night. Depending on its location, a small songbird must sustain itself though 13 - 15 hours of darkness by utilizing only its own fat reserves for fuel.
Songbirds may use up 75-80% of their fat reserves in one winter night. This is equivalent to 10% of their body weight being shed and replaced every day as they consume, store and utilize their body fat. This is comparable to a 200lb person losing and then gaining back 20lbs of fat every 24 hours!
High fat foods that you can provide to assit survival are, specifically formulated Suet Cakes, Bark Butter or WBU’s Winter SuperBlend.