Another sign of Spring is an increase in bathing
While there are some birds, like Bluebirds, which will take a bath any time the water is not ice, Spring usually brings with it an increase in the number of birds bathing in our birdbaths. Of our two birdbaths, this concrete bath is far more popular than our larger green plastic bath. We think that it is because the other bath has steeper edges. The more gradual concrete slope may feel safer for smaller birds (like the out of focus chipping sparrow) worried about getting in too deep.
And no, despite appearances, the Cardinal is not trying to drown itself. Though sometimes the bather has a great deal of difficulty taking off.And here is the greatest threat to the water in our birdbaths, the Brown Splasher (Brown Thrasher).
Birds Don’t Like Hard Water
Our local birds will not be getting one of the things they wished for. They prefer their water to look like this. Unfortunately for them, this is what the forecast has in store for them over the next week. They expect us to fix it. The entails taking some hot water out to melt the ice, or at least loosen it enough to dump out. Then some more tepid water to make sure it isn’t too hot when they come rushing back. If this doesn’t happen soon enough, some of them (frequently cardinals) will start looking in the kitchen window.
Our local birds look a bit worried, or at least hungry
This is a problem that the birds that visit our birdfeeders do not usually have to worry about. Seeing snowflakes is rare enough in this part of the country. A couple of days ago we were treated with enough snow to leave a couple of inches on the ground, and quite a few upset birds. As it stands today, the last few sheltered patches of snow in the shade are losing their fight and are melting away.
We spotted this young cardinal and snapped a photo one summer. It is not long out of the nest and has found itself in a world suddenly larger and more challenging than anything it has known. It looks like it is wondering where its next seed is coming from. Dad will feed it for about two weeks while Mom is probably off sitting on a new nest full of eggs. Soon it will be responsible for finding food and cracking sunflower seeds all by itself.
The world is always changing, full of challenges and opportunities for all of us. Time and practice will teach the young bird how to use its wings to find what it needs. Its beak is capable and very strong, able to easily crack open seeds that are more of a challenge to other birds. Like the cardinal, we need to be ready to look for the opportunities that changes and challenges bring to us. As for where the bird’s next seed is coming from…there is a feeder full of sunflower seeds about two feet away.