prolonged snow cover and cold affecting bird survival

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by centrarchid, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    We have had > 18 inches of snow on ground for a week now. Songbirds now getting hit hard. While driving home from work I saw multiple smaller birds on road flying very weakly. I doubt they will survive night. When I checked on chickens in pens, they jumped down from roost looking for food even though almost dark which is a sign of major hunger. Upon looking at snow around pens, a very large amount of small bird feces was evident and it was reddish because they are consuming the calf manna used as part of my chicken feed mix. The songbirds are eating a very large portion of my chickens feed. I have seen anything like this since after blizzard of 1978-79.
  2. Chihuahuamom444

    Chihuahuamom444 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2011
    Oh wow I was wondering why the bird feces were reddish , we have almost 2 feet on the ground also for weeks now. What can be done? I feed my chickens all they want and the wildbirds also, I have 4 feeders around, however I have a lot of crows and they eat among the chickens.
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I have kept the feed inside the shed now after seeing LOTS of prints around the outside. I just put grit right outside the chicken shed.

    I also put out a suet block and bird seed but was getting way to many squirrels,house sparrows,and starlings. I just left the suet for MR and Mrs woodpecker,lol.

    I give scratch in the pm before sunset and give fresh foods when I go out 2 times a day to give warm water and collect eggs. I put a lot of straw in the shed for them to nest in during this cold.
  4. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    That suck and i'm am ready for it to thaw out even here in Texas!
  5. Talihofarms

    Talihofarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    2 feet is what I wish I had.

    I lost 4 chickens due to the crazy cold we have here in on the N.Il/Wis border. -5 to -15 then add in a wind chill of over -25 and snow 3 feet with drifts up to 7 feet.
    I can not remember any extended fridgid weather like we have now, includin the blizzard of 79. ( which I fondly remember as 3 great days of no school)

    After last weeks storm it took 2 days for the county to open the roads by me. They were impassable. 4-8 ' drifts in the road.
    Only way to travel for 2 days was with a snow mobile.

    When is Spring?[​IMG]
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Yesterday I had to take wood ashes out and dump them on the garden which meant walking where the snow hadn't been disturbed since the last time the ground was bare--Jan.2. The snow was up to midthigh so that means we have at least 30 inches on the ground. We also had about 3 days in January that topped 32. The birds don't seem to be especially bothered by it but maybe here in the Great Northeast they've adapted. Those that we see in flocks on the road(siskins, gold finches, chickadees and juncos) and are picking up gravel for grit mostly. My chickens have not been out for over 2 weeks and don't seem especially stressed about it either.
    BTW, we had a Carolina Wren show up at our feeder last week--first one I've seen here in 45 yrs of having a feeder out.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Birds in our area do not typically weather such snow events. I am also seeing hundreds of juncos all day long in a 6 acre feild. Forage above snow must be nearly depleted. Birds seemingly hit hardest are the starlings and some the native true sparrows. Birds suited for handling large hard seeds (cardinals) and specialist in woodland habitats doing just fine. Somebody avian predator is taking them from roosts in cedar trees pretty regularly now, I suspect a screach or saw-whet owl. I maybe dreaming but I thought I saw a hawk-owl other evening stalking song birds cleaning up around chicken feeding station. We are a bit for south for that species. May start seeing merlins next.
  8. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    We have a flower crab just off our sunroom that has one end of the pulley system we use for our birdfeeder. Had a merlin sitting in it the other morning waiting but the songbirds managed to avoid it.
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Knee deep here and the ground has been snow covered since early December. Non-migratory Canada geese (the population is out of control) are starting to die of starvation. A friend of my wife's had two yearling "development" deer die in their back yard from starvation. Winter is hard on everything.
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    How about putting some birdfood out? [​IMG]

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