The morning feeding frenzy at the bird feeder has intensified with nightly temperatures dipping into the 30s the past couple of days. Canadian air has descended on us, and the blustery wind makes daytime temps feel just as cold as the nights, even though the thermometer says its above freezing.
So, this morning, the birds tolerated being closer to one another at the feeder so they could replenish all the fat burned overnight to keep them warm.
Sunflower seeds are a rich source of nutrients, being about 50% fat and 25% protein. Birds fuel their working muscles, brain, and other vital organs with sugars, just as we do, but that is easily converted from the protein and fat absorbed in the diet. Just 2 grams of sunflower nuts (meats inside the seed) yield enough energy to support one Chickadee sitting at rest for 24 hr at 32 F. But what Chickadee sits still? They are always on the move, so an active chickadee needs a lot of sunflower seeds each day, or other seeds coated with suet fat.
Even the squirrels were anxiously exploring the ground under the feeder to get the spilled seed.