Tuesday, 5 December 2023
With summer temperatures soaring again, the heat is on for Australia’s birds.
With El Niño conditions set to affect Australia in the coming months, with hot, dry weather set to dominate much of the country.
Hot and dry weather always takes its toll, but if the heat only lasts for a day or two, birds can usually survive until the weather cools down again. However, during a prolonged heatwave, when it’s hot for day after day, like the rest of us, they inevitably begin to feel the effects.
Like everyone else, birds need to drink lots of water and shelter from the heat during the hot weather. However, unlike the rest of us, they can’t turn on a tap for some cold water, or switch on an air conditioner to cool down.
Birds need water to drink every day, and when the wetlands dry out, they need to find water somewhere else or they will die.
The best thing people can do for our birds is to place a dish of water in the shade so that the birds can have a drink or cool off in it. And make sure it’s not too deep so that birds won’t drown in it! Or place a stick or stone in the water so that smaller birds can get out again if the water is too deep for them.
Also, if you have a bird bath in your garden, make sure it’s topped up regularly and placed in the shade so the water doesn’t heat up too much.
It’s also important to keep the water out of the reach of the neighbourhood cats, as heat-stressed birds are easy prey for them.
If it’s too hot for us, it’s too hot for the birds as well. This simple action can save a bird’s life.
Click here for a comprehensive list of things you can do for the birds during this summer’s hot weather.
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