Backyard Chirper

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More reports surface on how birds are faring in cold

A week ago, we posted about the importance of helping wild birds during the winter. With the unusually harsh weather this year, more reports are coming out on how the cold has been affecting birds.

For example, in states like Louisiana, rescue centers are receiving many calls about birds in trouble or already dead. One of the rescuers at the center was reported in the Sun Herald saying deaths during the winter are usual.

“We lose a lot of them this time of year,” said Mark LaSalle, with the Pascagoula River Audubon Center. “The young and the old die in the winter.”

But, aside from the things casual backyard observers can do to help during the winter, many volunteers in these areas are taking in birds to de-worm and feed them.

Gathering food during the winter remains a problem for some species. The Evansville Courier Press in Indiana reported that robins have been devouring berries near the Tri-State area. The robins, which usually feed on worms and insects during during warm weather, eat berries in the cold because they are high in fat.

With all those robins looking to sustain their fat intake, there is a shortage of berries in that area. This underlines the fact that constantly keeping your bird feeder full during the winter is vital for the survival of birds. Similarly, planning ahead by planting trees that offer food and shelter will help support birds during countless winters.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.