My daughter-in-law says I should stop feeding for a while after she saw some of my really fat birds. They were really round like a fluffy ball. What are your thoughts?
Birds have high basal metabolic rates and therefore use energy at high rates. In cold weather, birds must operate at well above their basal metabolic rates in order to maintain their body temperatures. Small species, such as Black-capped that overwinter in Michigan must eat continuously during short daylight hours to stoke their metabolic fires. If they do not, they will not reserve enough energy to see them through the long night. A wintering chickadee must spend something like twenty times as much time feeding per day as it would in the warmth of spring.
This is the time when a lot of high fat foods become more critical in a bird’s diet. Every night up to three-quarters of a bird’s fat reserves are used up; reserves that must be replenished the next day.
Keeping your feeders filled with high energy, high fat foods can provide your birds with the vital nutrition they need to survive. High on the list of best choices to meet this nutritional need is suet and certain seeds like peanuts, which provide 412 fat calories per 100 grams. Other high fat seeds include sunflower seeds (429 fat calories per 100 grams) and nyjer seed (342 fat calories).
What to feed birds in the winter http://bit.ly/tfT7Ca
Where Do Birds Go At Night? http://bit.ly/uoQOBw
How can birds survive this cold weather? http://bit.ly/uKZs6v
Food & water from bird feeders can impact birds’ survival http://bit.ly/tsnvpP