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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 07:07 PM
Original message
"Where do the birdies go when it rains and when it's cold?"....
Edited on Wed Dec-20-06 07:11 PM by Radio_Lady
Please tell Grandma and Gabrielle, my eight-year-old granddaughter, who asks this question.

We have year round activity with little birds here. They were very busy yesterday (it was sunny). The birds are small ones which I can't identify, as well as Stellar Jays. How do they make it through the winter? It's almost freezing here tonight.

Let us know if you do!

Thanks a bunch!


Birds! (Not necessarily NW ones...)
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. They hide under stuff if it gets too rainy
Many birds use rain showers as a chance to get wet and preen their feathers. If the weather is bad enough, or the birds don't want to get wet, they hide under things--roof overhangs on houses, on a branch under a larger branch, or near the center of a conifer tree where there is some shelter from weather are all common places. (Butterflies, incidentally, land on the underside of a leaf, fold up their wings, and wait it out.)

Cold-climate birds are really well-insulated against the cold, so they usually don't have a problem with low temperatures. If it gets *too* cold they huddle together and share body heat.

Tucker
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks so much for your post! We love the birds in our backyard.
But even with the Oregon natural bird guide, we can't identify many of them.

We did have a pair of House Finches that nested right on our porch in a sconce filled with artificial flowers (and sphagnum moss). That was a few years ago. The pair were devoted for the weeks they were parenting. My husband took a look one day when they were both away. Four little mouths open VERY wide!

A few days later, they all flew away, leaving only their broken shells (and a lot of poop)! Someone should invent bird diapers!
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Someone has!
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Patriotic poop catchers! I think I saw these on CNN one day ---
but duly forgot about them.

Do they come in sizes? How about P for parakeets or H for hummingbirds?
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. A pair of wrens turned an old sparrow nest into a roost...
They've only had to use it a couple of times.
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Flaxbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. thanks for asking -- I wonder this, too.
I know animals are incredibly well adapted to their environments, but still, when it's sleeting or 10 below or ... I worry about all the birdies around here, too. We're in western NC and have some truly lovely visitors at the bird feeders. But I love them all, colorful or not.
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Oh, western North Carolina! I lived in Flat Rock, NC, near Hendersonville,
Edited on Wed Dec-20-06 10:34 PM by Radio_Lady
in 1970, while separated from my second husband. I fled the heat and humidity of Miami, Florida, where my husband had told me he didn't love me any more. Put the two small kids in my Volvo, filled the trunk with Pampers (newly on the market) and headed north. We arrived in Flat Rock in late August 1970, with just $80 in my pocket. Luckily, I got a job as a cashier to support myself and the children in daycare.

My husband came up in early December; I quit my job and returned to Miami with him. Two months later, the marriage was officially over. It was a difficult period in my life, but the beauty of the summer and fall seasons was very comforting.

I went back to visit, with my current husband, while on our way to the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville. I gave a big hug to the man who had employed me when I was so broke and hurting very much.
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Flaxbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. wow -- sounds like a harrowing time
it is lovely here, at least there was some natural beauty around you! Much more developed now, though, I'd imagine. We're a little west of Asheville, and have been here about 2 years. It's a bustling area now. I really like the drive through Flat Rock, going south toward Greenville (we have friends there and I like the 'scenic' route through the towns rather than the highway).
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I did some interviews for WHKP-AM radio in Hendersonville, NC, run by a man whose first name was
Edited on Thu Dec-21-06 06:34 PM by Radio_Lady
LAWTON, I believe, but I can't remember his last name. Funny how memory works... looks like they're in a new building! Sadly, they broadcast right winger Rush Limbaugh. :-(



http://www.whkp.com/
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Silver Swan Donating Member (805 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. Birds in winter
This reminds me of one cold winter night when I left my house by the front door, and saw what looked like red ear muffs hanging in a bush.

On closer inspection, I saw it was a Cardinal, with his feathers puffed up and his head tucked under his wing. I thought night fall must have taken him by surprise, so he fell asleep in plain sight.
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. We observed cardinals in pairs each winter in New England.
Edited on Wed Dec-20-06 10:37 PM by Radio_Lady
Sadly, they live only in the east; no habitat in the west, or so I've been told.

They are my favorite birds!
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Robeson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. A lot of them stay in my back yard. They're not stupid....
...they know where they can get fed... ;-)
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Thanks, Robeson. We feed them, too! Interestingly, we get hungry cats looking for their
their birdy dinners, but we've never seen an actual capture!

Oh, the life of predator and prey. It's nature's way, you bet.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, hearty, holiday season... from Radio_Lady Ellen and Grandpa Al in Oregon

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BikeWriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Not Nature's way when the predator is an alien. Here's a link...
Edited on Thu Dec-21-06 06:37 PM by BikeWriter
to one of the top birding sites in the world.

http://www.fatbirder.com/
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Thanks for the great link. Do you mean that cats are aliens?
Please explain. Thanks in advance.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. yes, of course, cats are an introduced alien predator species to north america
radio lady, these are very basic facts, i have to think you are teasing us a little bit

of course cats are introduced pest species in north america, sheesh, they are a domestic animal, the ancestral cat species is from a relatively small area in the middle east

they do not belong outdoors in north america and they kill untold numbers of birds each year, usually at the fledgling stage when otherwise young healthy baby birds are just learning how to fly, a process which takes several days -- you see, birds are intelligent creatures and have to learn by practice, they do not know everything just by instinct

how many times have we discussed this on du, seriously? about a zillion?

i wonder how we would like to have to learn to walk while giant introduced aliens were grabbing and eating us -- just for fun because they were also pampered and powerful and well fed aliens
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BikeWriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Thank you, you explained that better that I could have. :-)
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Pitohui, I never discussed this on the DU and honestly don't recall talking with anyone about it
during my radio career. Thank you for the information. I am not a student of history or animal husbandry and I have much to learn.

Personally, I am allergic to cats. They make my eyes itch. Also, I can't accept any animal that can leap up high enough to get on my kitchen counter (or further). So I really had no reason to know this. On second thought, we did see the cat representations in Egyptian tombs. But didn't everything come from the Middle East, including humans? The Tigres and Euphrates Rivers -- what we know as "The Cradle of Civilization" mentioned (is that today's Iraq?)in the ancient texts.

Radio Lady listens...





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BikeWriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Everyone has their own specialties. I'm sure...
you could teach us college level courses in broadcasting, publicity, and other topics. :-)
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BikeWriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Yes'm, our birds evolved to evade our specific predators...
They're not equipped to compete with well-fed feral or roaming domestic cats. I'm glad you liked the link to Fatbirder's. He's very good at birding and personable besides. :)
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Wcross Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
15. The Cats eat them.


Yes, we eat them.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
17. you're kidding right? they fly south for the winter if it bothers them
you do know this and you're just teasing with us, right?

the birds in your photo, scarlet tanager, indigo bunting, and thr oriole whose name i'm blocking in a senior moment are well-known MIGRATORY birds, they are currently enjoying a fine vacation in mexico, cuba, or other southerly climes

many small birds couldn't give a flying crap about the cold and the rain, they are adapted to it, i have seen tiny tits (chickadees in america) playing happily in the snow in europe, they have a very hot body temperature (almost 110 degrees fahrenheit) and they are really not bothered by cold, birds who migrate mostly do so because there is not sufficient food in the northern hemisphere for all of them in the winter months, not because they are bothered by cold in the same way that we are

hell, we would have parrots in north america, the reason we don't is not because of cold winter but because the farmers and other colonists of north america thoughtfully killed every last one as a crop pest






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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. No, I just posted a picture of birds. I didn't expect them to match anything.
Your accusations are extremely hostile. Please accept my apologies for my ignorance.

Good night and good luck.

Radio Lady listens...
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
23. They huddle deep in the bushes
Their feathers are very insulating, so what would be painfully cold and wet to us is usually only inconvenient to the birds that don't migrate.

Ducks and loons can swim in near-freezing water and not get wet. I have seen dippers (a robin-sized basically aquatic songbird) swimming in tiny, tiny areas of open water when everything around them was under many feet of snow.
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Never thought about the feathers' ability to conserve heat and keep out the cold.
Edited on Thu Dec-21-06 11:49 PM by Radio_Lady
I do know that their little hearts beat so fast. I had a little parakeet when I was a young girl. He was pretty tame and I could hold him in my hand and feel his heart.

We have hummingbirds here in Oregon, and our neighbors have a special feeder that contains sweetened water, I think. Their ability to hover and change direction is truly amazing.

We feed the birds all year long in two feeders. We put peanut butter out for them today and they took to it immediately.

Hope it doesn't stick to the roofs of their... beaks?

I wonder if they'd like it with jelly????? :rofl:

Radio Lady listens... with a smile...
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