Birds and the Heat.

To: "" <>
Subject: Birds and the Heat.
From: John Harris <>
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 2014 01:41:34 +0000
I have found several small birds dead behind my place and I have no doubt they died of heat exhaustion.  I back onto a nature reserve and many smaller birds inhabit the stretch of grassland between me and Ginninderra Creek which is now very parched.  I noticed that the small birds  were starting to come to my veggie garden early in the morning after I watered it, which has not been their custom. before  So I have been putting  the sprinkler on before 6.00 am to wet my shrubbery and small trees. Late in the day I have also been hosing the shrubbery for a few minutes (Is that illegal?)
Anyway, this has attracted large numbers and a wide variety of small birds who fluff themselves up and flutter among the wet leaves to cool off.  
So far these are the species and numbers I have observed, the numbers not being totals but the greatest number seen at any one time over the past 3 days: RB Finch (30) including dy, SF wren (20), Silvereye (20), Striated Thornbill  (15),  YR Thornbill (12), Sparrow (12), BR Thornbill (10), Brown Thornbill (8), Grey Fantail (6), WT Gerygone (4), Weebill (4), EY Robin (3), European Goldfinch (3), Western Gerygone (2), DB Finch (2), Eastern Spinebill (2), W Wagtail (2), A Pipit (2), Striated Pardalote (1).
The larger birds still just go and immerse in the bird bath  - Magpies, Pied Currawongs, Red Wattlebirds, Magpie-Larks, Ravens etc. So the oppressive heat of late has added to my GBS, not diminished it!

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