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Nature and Environment

News about the health and beauty of the natural world that sustains us.


Earth Gauge Tip of the Week — Does Bad Weather Mean Good Birding?

EG

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the bird feeder is so delightful. Well, that's what birds think, anyway. A recent study of 18 Northeastern winter birds found that many of them flocked to bird feeders when the weather went south. So this winter, keep your head up when the temperature goes down and watch that bird feeder like a hawk!

Viewer Tip:  Keep your eyes peeled when the following conditions happen in your backyard this winter: 

Don't have a feeder? Add one! There are many types of feeders available at all price levels. If you don't have a yard, you can still feed the birds — hang a feeder on a patio or balcony, or attach a window feeder for winter viewing.

(Source: Zuckerberg, Benjamin et al. 2011, “Climatic constraints on wintering bird distributions are modified by urbanization and weather,” Journal of Animal Ecology, 80, 403-314, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01780.x; Image of House Finch, courtesy of USFWS.)