Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

We have had many flocks of birds flying through  in the last week.  Winter, a hard cold winter, came sooner than anyone including the wildlife would have expected so they are traveling under difficult conditions.  My heart goes out to them and I wish them all a safe trip to warmer country ... though at the moment even the southern states are having freezing weather.  That said, I don't have pictures of the migrating birds, but instead I have a picture of our Western Red Tail who stays here year around and for the most part stays outside.  In this case though, because this bird has had a serious injury and the cold effects him more than he can tolerate, he is now inside.  I took these pictures before this week to illustrate the importance of adequate food for the outside birds ... they must have food to maintain their body temperatures  or they will die of exposure (hypothermia).  For our birds that usually means an increase in their diet.  We determine their food portions by their weight.  Based on a healthy winter weight, we increase their food if their weight falls because that tells us they are not getting enough food to tolerate the cold temperatures.   

One fiesty male Western Red Tail

Getting on the scale.  They are weighed and their weight is recorded before each feeding.  Wild birds don't have this luxury, so we just have to make sure there is plenty of food and water out for them when the temperatures drop.  Hope you and all of your bird friends are doing well ...


FYI ... the Western Red Tails live west of the Rockies.  They are darker in color and smaller than the Red Tails in the Midwest, but they are otherwise the same in their habits and behaviors.


  1. just beautiful coloration on him! thanks for sharing this bird!

  2. LOVE the red-tail. We put out extra food (and water) in any extreme weather.

  3. Beautiful shot of this red tail! Am planning another trip to the Texas coast soon to see the coastal birds again. So looking forward to this second adventure. Loved seeing the whooping cranes last year. Remembering your crane adventure too!

  4. I always feel sorry for the wild birdies...... I'm glad some of them have people like you to care for them... special hugs... Ver

  5. Gosh, this Western Red Tail is such a gorgeous bird! Your photos are wonderful. It's so cold here that I haven't even seen any wild turkeys running around. Hmmm, maybe they've all found a warm place to stay. We try to keep out plenty of food out for our birds. I'm going to have to look into some sort of heater for water and possible a new water container. As soon as we put out water, it freezes.

    I'm not crazy about this cold, but when I see how much snow other parts of the country got, I'm trying not to complain. At least we are not buried in snow. I'm starting my Spring countdown now. Only 112 days till Spring. (I think I need to get a life!!) lol.

    You and Izzi have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  6. Such a magnificent bird. I'm so glad he's being well taken care of.

  7. What a fine looking bird - I really like birds of prey!

    I suppose the key not to be in reflections is not to stand directly in front of the reflective surface - but I was sat down when I took the piano shot, so my position was just luck!!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

    PS: sorry for slow reply, I've been away from home because of work!

  8. I grew up knowing Eastern Red Tails and seeing them often. Had no idea there was a different type of Red Tail in the west, and found that interesting. Hope this one does well over this winter. Looks like you are taking great care of him/her.

  9. Gorgeous bird, really stunning colours!
    I apologize for my tardiness, but Thursday and Friday seem to be my best blogging days. The husby uses the desktop only and I have use to laptop, but it is not so easy to work blogging from compared to the desktop~