[CT Birds] drought & birds

Tammy Eustis teustis at killingworthlibrary.org
Tue Jul 6 13:47:39 EDT 2010

I have a summer job watering gardens for friends, which basically involves setting up sprinklers and moving them around (cushy job!). I've noticed this summer that the birds (robins, sparrows, flycatchers, hummingbirds) are much more present when I'm there, purposefully planting themselves under the spray to bathe and forage. The hummers are the most remarkable, sitting on rosebush leaves and using them as miniature birdbaths!
At home, we have 3 stone birdbaths that I clean and fill at least twice a day, and I can tell from the "detritus" that they're getting a lot more usage this summer. (And now we have a "feral chicken" in the yard - an ameraucana that ran away from our neighbors and decided that it prefers our yard and woods to any other option. She roosts in our dogwoods at night and makes the birdbath her first stop in the morning.)
I'm sure more evidence of drought-related behavior will crop up as this week wears on.
- Tammy Eustis, Chester
-----Original Message-----
From: Carrier Graphics [mailto:carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 11:46 AM
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: [CT Birds] drought & birds

As we go through this heat wave, we are also experiencing a real serious drought as well. How is this effecting birds? I have a pair of Robins nesting in yard. These birds have been looking strange for awhile. They seem to be friendlier than they should be. I see them often come very close to me when I am watering the plants. I finallyfigured it out. These birds are suffering from the drought! When we are in a drought, the water table and available moisture goes deeper, (thus my empty pond) leaving the top most soils dry, or drier than average. For Robins, who depend on earth worms for a majority of their diet, and to feed young, its become sparse and much more difficult to find worms in the top most layers of soil. Thus the gathering of Robins near me when I am watering plants. Also, My vegetable garden is being visited at night by my local Skunk, who is rooting large deep holes in the soils I just watered for grubs and worms. The worse the drought, the deeper the holes, and some are over a foot deep! Anyone else seeing these signs of drought and wildlife? I wish them all luck in their constant fight for survival. Paul Carrier - Harwinton, CT _______________________________________________ This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org 

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