Cold Snap Will Be A Killer For Birds, Group Warns

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

American Bird Conservancy (ABC), one of the nation’s leading bird conservation groups, is reminding people that we’re not the only ones suffering in the cold gripping much of the nation. This weather can be deadly to birds, some of which are being driven farther south than normal in search of open water and sources of food.

“Birds can survive the kind of severe weather we are seeing, but only if they get needed food and water,” said Dr. Daniel Lebbin, a conservation biologist at ABC. “Their ability to stay warm in frigid temperatures requires them to eat sufficient food.” Putting out extra food on bird feeders and on the ground, including suet and fruit for birds that don’t normally eat seeds, can make the difference between life and death for some birds.

Dr. Lebbin said that an ice-free water supply is also critical and often attracts birds that don’t visit feeders. “Water is just as important as food, if not more so. By providing warm water frequently, or installing a bird-bath heater, people can help the birds out substantially during severe weather events,” he noted.

Weather events such as what is being experienced now are not unusual, Dr. Lebbin added, and are not expected to significantly affect wild bird populations. However, he added that taking steps to mitigate the expected mortality on birds is something his organization is routinely asked about when the weather breaks bad.

“People care about birds and other wildlife in this country. We get calls all the time from people wanting to know what they can do to protect our wildlife. Right now, there is a greater sense of urgency,” he said.

Waterfowl are affected greatly when the water bodies they depend on freeze over. In response, birds such as ducks, geese, swans, and mergansers normally escape such danger by traveling further south to find ice-free water. Ground-feeding birds such as cardinals and sparrows are also affected when snow covers the ground and stays in place, reducing available food resources. Prairie-chickens, on the other hand, will dive into deep snow where they can keep much warmer unexposed to colder surface temperatures and wind chill. Kinglets will huddle together at night to keep warm. These tiny birds are able to more efficiently conserve heat by crowding together.

“The impacts of the intense cold are complex, but there is no question that there will be mortality for birds and other wildlife. It is a part of nature. How much mortality will be a function of the intensity of the freeze, how long it lasts, and the birds’ condition. Providing food and water might help some birds better survive this deep chill,” he said.

“Homeowners can also plant native trees and shrubs in their gardens that will provide food and shelter to wild birds year-round. Plants that bear fruit or provide seeds in the winter are an especially helpful resource to birds,” added Dr. Lebbin. 


TFWC Creates A CWD Deer Hunting Unit And Implements Science-Based Regulations For Disease Management

Invasive Tick Detected In Tennessee

“Mountains Touched With Fire” Confederate Artillery On Lookout Mountain Program Set For June 8


The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission has made changes to deer hunting regulations in continued response to chronic wasting disease (CWD) which was found in three southwestern Tennessee ... (click for more)

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, Tennessee Department of Health, and University of Tennessee Institute ... (click for more)

On Saturday, June 8, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will conduct artillery programs at Point Park on Lookout Mountain. Demonstrations, each lasting approximately 30 minutes, ... (click for more)


Outdoors

TFWC Creates A CWD Deer Hunting Unit And Implements Science-Based Regulations For Disease Management

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission has made changes to deer hunting regulations in continued response to chronic wasting disease (CWD) which was found in three southwestern Tennessee counties last winter. The commission approved the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s recommendation to establish a new CWD deer hunting unit for the counties in which we have found CWD-positive ... (click for more)

Invasive Tick Detected In Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, Tennessee Department of Health, and University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) on Friday announced the detection of the invasive Asian longhorned tick in Tennessee. The Asian longhorned tick has now spread to 11 states. The Centers for Disease ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Person Pulled From Burning Home On Airport Road Saturday Morning

A person was pulled from a burning home on Airport Road on Saturday morning. Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to 900 Airport Road Lot #92 on a residential structure fire with entrapment at approximately 9 a.m. Incident Commander Lieutenant Jack Babb reported fire and smoke showing upon arrival. Two residents had exited the structure prior to firefighters arrival, but ... (click for more)

Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department Saves Boat From Fire Saturday Afternoon

The Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department saved a million-dollar boat Saturday afternoon. A boat owner called 911 reporting a boat fire located at the Chattanooga Yacht Club at 9400 North Hickory Valley Road. The Dallas Bay VFD responded by boat and arrived on the scene reporting smoke and flames in the engine area. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire due to 900 gallons ... (click for more)

Opinion

It Is Outrageous That County School Administration Used Our Tax Dollars For Political Lobbying

Dear Dr. Johnson, The campaign central at HCDE headquarters needs a Tennessee Little Hatch Act study time and education. The heart of the issue is that HCDE utilized our tax dollars to lobby against vouchers with employee time, equipment, and lobby payments. Here is my point, I supported ESA vouchers for Hamilton County, and so did a lot of families that desired parental ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Easy Way To Win

Within hours after the shocking news came Tuesday that a Twin Cities university was booted out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference “because St. Thomas won too much,” some of the talking heads in the news media put the blame squarely where it belongs. In a nation where 35 percent of the population is on some type of welfare and more than 10 million illegal immigrants ... (click for more)