January 2023 Newsletter
Helping to Tame Winter for Your Birds
A high fat diet…the medical books say it’s just not good for us. Well, it’s a good thing that birds can’t read! Because a diet high in fat is an absolute necessity for many of them to be able to survive the rigors of winter.
For birds, fat is fuel. It is the most concentrated energy source that a bird can consume and it is the only dietary component that is absorbed completely intact by their body. Stored body fat is the primary energy supply that fuels a bird throughout the winter. Keeping warm is costly. A bird expends about 60% of its energy generating body heat. To stay warm, songbirds may use up 75-80% of their fat reserves during a single winter’s night. That’s equivalent to shedding, and then replacing 10% of their weight in the form of body fat, every twenty-four hours.
Even in areas lacking bitter temperatures, the most overlooked winter survival challenge for birds is having to endure the long period of darkness during the night. While roosting, a small songbird needs to sustain itself for 13-15 hours, solely by using its fat reserves for fuel. For these birds, the daily challenge is to find enough food to not only make it through each day, but to also replace their fat reserves for the coming night -- all in the course of limited daylight hours.
So, this is where you come in. Have you noticed how ravenously the birds eat at your bird feeders during the winter, especially first thing in the morning and just before dusk? Your birds are probably taking full advantage of the high-fat foods you are offering to quickly replenish their much needed fat reserves. High fat foods are a critical necessity that you can provide your birds to help them survive the challenges of winter. By providing a reliable source of these foods, such as all types of suet, Winter SuperBlend® SuperSuet® and Bark Butter® products, you can truly make winter a little tamer for your backyard birds.