How to help birds survive in freezing weather

We Irish actually are bad when it comes to winter and snow.All it takes is

for a single flake of snow to fall and freeways are jammed for hours, schools are shut down and people shut themselves in with sufficient food to last them a year.This is the circumstance that deals with Ireland today as warm temperature levels have reached the Polar circle and displaced the ‘Polar Vortex’ (a big location of polar low pressure that keeps the Arctic cold) further south.As a result, the forecasters are predicting a week of bitingly cold easterly winds and snow in Ireland. This is further complicated by the imminent arrival of Storm Emma later on in the week. This will track up from the Bay of Biscay bring wetness that, when meeting the polar conditions, is forecast to discard large quantities of snow in blizzard-like conditions.While we can in some way manage such unanticipated freezing weather condition, how do birds handle these conditions?The reality is that birds discover such climate condition

truly challenging, specifically at this time of the year when natural food products like berries and wild seeds are now depleted.By now, there is little food left for them out there. Birds require to constantly consume to

maintain their body weight. They require to pack on sufficient calories every day to sustain them through freezing night -and the temperatures are forecast to drop as low as 10 this week. Some birds need to eat as much as one third of their body weight each day just to survive.In such weather, birds in Europe can survive for affordable time periods, offered there is adequate food however, with those food materials now gone and Europe gripped by the polar conditions, birds may be forced to sweep westwards searching for food and milder conditions. A Skylark forages for food in the ice Typically they will find these conditions if they get here into Britain-however it too is now grasped by freezing conditions. So the birds might continue pouring out of Europe and Britain, and started getting here into Ireland. Our climate is dominated by the warm Gulf Stream so, despite our high northern latitudinal position, we typically enjoy mild, moist temperate winter seasons. If birds show up into Ireland this week, they will discover that, along the east coast at least, we will also be suffering serious weather.Thankfully, it appears that this will be a short-lived extreme weather condition system. When such occasions are extended, the influence on birds can be really dramatic and the’ big chills ‘throughout the winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 will be long remembered for the toll they handled our birds.In those winter seasons, the entire of Europe remained in the grasp of extraordinary winter weather condition and, as snow began falling in Ireland,’winter season thrushes’ like Fieldfares and Redwings were putting into the nation. Tune Thrushes, and Blackbirds seemed to be everywhere. Individuals reported that their bird

feeding stations were heavy with Siskins, Goldfinches and Redpolls with even Bullfinches reported extensively. It appeared that thousands of birds were getting here along the east coast of Ireland and moving far from the freezing conditions in Europe. It was obvious that the European weather condition was driving huge numbers of birds westwards.While lots of snowy revellers developed snowmen and took pleasure in the fun of the snow, they were uninformed that a terrific bird tragedy was starting to unfold. In Kerry, birdwatchers experienced thousands of birds in such a weakened state after weeks of freezing weather, they began to lift them out of the method of automobiles in the parks around Killarney. These birds were unable

to fly. They had actually used up all of their reserves. Others reported seeing 10s of countless thrushes, desperate to discover food, actually flying out into the Atlantic Ocean from headlands along the Cork and Kerry coasts. These birds, having crossed the entire country in the hope of discovering food and respite from the weather, felt they had no choice however to continue westward.They stood no chance- they were doomed as they went out into the vastness of the Atlantic. These suicidal flights were experienced off lots of headlands. Just the number of birds died throughout those winters we will never know but it had to have been in the hundreds of thousands. Such scenes of absolute desperation in birds are uncommon events and it is not expected that the’ Monster from the East’ is going to have such a significant impact.So what can we do to assist the birds this week?Make sure your feeders are full, spread some seed out on the ground, stick some apples on the trees and put out some fresh water each early morning. If such basic acts make a difference to just one compromised, hungry and exhausted bird running away the severe European polar weather condition,

then that is a distinction worth making.