July 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm #5713
It hit 95 degrees here today with full sun from dawn to dusk. The heat index was over 100. I saw Mama and Papa feeding the babies throughout the morning. At around 1 p.m., I thought I would take an umbrella out to give the birdhouse some much needed shade. I easily attached a small umbrella with zip ties. Unfortunately, the parents were totally freaked out by the umbrella. They flew up to the house with food in their beaks and fluttered around the house for a bit before leaving. I imagine they may have adjusted to it over time, but I was concerned that they were overexerting themselves in the terrible heat, so I took the umbrella down and they went right back to feeding. I hope I did the right thing.
PennsylvaniaJuly 19, 2017 at 9:10 pm #5714Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Susan. we too had about 98 degrees today, heat index way over 100 degrees. I believe you did the right thing by taking umbrella down ans it was good that you watched and saw they did not like it! Those babies could have starved. Did you ever put any kind of shield on the box? I have had a foam heat shield on for several weeks. Since I was also concerned about the extreme heat, I put an extra layer of styrofoam on the lid with VERY large overhangs to try to shade somewhat. All we can do is our best, but we must be cautious about trying to fool Mother Nature. My pair are taking worms to babies so I am hoping they can make it a few more days through this heat spell. They aren’t due to fledge for another 10 days or so. Hope yours make it through this spell, also.July 19, 2017 at 11:52 pm #5715MaybelleParticipant
I think you did the right thing. Survival may depend much more on juicy mealworms than extra shade. We use the moveable extra shade shown in the photo.
Willamette Valley, OregonJuly 20, 2017 at 6:40 am #5717
Hi Carol: Yes, I do have styrofoam shields on the top and west-facing side of the house with about 1 inch of gap between the house and the shield. Right now, the wren guard is providing a good deal of shade to the front of the house, but that will come down soon, and this heat wave is predicted to continue into next week. The eggs hatched last Sunday (16th). Should I remove the wren guard this Sunday at 7 days? I also don’t think that my bluebirds are getting meal worms because the mocking birds and blackbirds keep stealing them. I tried one of those feeders with the plexiglass sides and smaller holes on the ends, but my bluebirds just can’t figure it out! They don’t even notice the feeder, let alone the meal worms that keep drying out in side of it. I have been putting blueberries out on my deck, but the mockers eat those too.
PennsylvaniaJuly 20, 2017 at 8:16 am #5719Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Susan, that is great that you have a styrofoam shield on – that is definitely a great help, but I can understand your worry about this excess heat. I did put another layer of foam on the top, with LOTS of overhang, a couple days ago for extra protection. Don’t know if this was needed but I felt for sure it wouldn’t hurt anything. Just made SURE the air gap between the wood & foam wasn’t compromised. This is about all we can do, is our best as we know what to do. We just have to have faith they will make it. By the way, you really need a cage feeder for those worms because those other large birds will always steal them! You really are wasting your money on the worms if you want to feed only your blues & they aren’t getting them. Good luck!July 20, 2017 at 10:11 pm #5725LisaParticipant
Cage feeders are worth every penny!July 21, 2017 at 5:31 am #5729
I am ordering one today. :-)
PennsylvaniaJuly 21, 2017 at 12:30 pm #5736dogsandbirdsModerator
Susan, if wrens aren’t active where you are this Sunday is fine. I like 10 days here.
Atlanta, GAJuly 22, 2017 at 9:27 am #5751
Thanks, Gin. I will probably take it down tomorrow to make feeding a little easier for mama and papa. They are truly heroic out there–hanging in all day long in this oppressive heat–and never a cloud in the sky. The sun is just blazing. Poor birds just can’t get a break. I just hope these babies can hang on. There is just no end in sight for this miserable weather.
PennsylvaniaJuly 22, 2017 at 9:24 pm #5752LisaParticipant
Cage feeder is also great amusement watching the mockingbirds try to get in….July 25, 2017 at 10:25 pm #5813DeneParticipant
I have used an umbrella ever since it got hot and the blues don’t mind it at all? I did put it up though before they laid any eggs but noticed them building a nest and just kept it up on and off, but all the time once the nest was finished when the sun was shinning all day because I know Texas gets just a touch toooooooooooooooooooo hot! I do take it down at night just before dark and back up in the mornings we now have this last batch 2 hatched and 2 not yet and reaching well over the records of heat this year (high 90’s with up to 110 heat index every day and usually full sun) so hoping they can all make it being the hottest part of the summer yet to come to Texas before they fledge.
I sure hope yours make it Susan and will be watching to see how you also fair. God Bless ^j^July 26, 2017 at 6:57 am #5820
Thanks, Dene. The humidity dropped here a little yesterday, and today is supposed to be much more comfortable. So far, so good. It sounds like your babies have an even tougher go of it in Texas. Whew! 110 heat index is sick! Good luck to you and your little ones.
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