Birds in the heat
We are only half way through summer here in South Australia and already we’ve had some very hot days and several heatwaves. (In this part of the world a heatwave is considered to be five or more consecutive days of 35C (95F). ) During this last week we had several days where the maximum hovered around the 42 -45C mark (45C = 113F).
During our hot days, and especially during a heat wave, our native birds suffer terribly. Many beat a path frequently to the various bird baths we have in our garden. On a few occasions some of them have gathered near the windows where the cool air from our evaporative air conditioning leaves the house.
A few days ago I saw a different technique for keeping cool. The wind was blowing a gale from the north and the temperature reached 45.2C. A flock of 17 Yellow-rumped Thornbills, two Brown-headed Honeyeaters and a Willie Wagtail gathered on the leeward side of the house in the shade. It seemed to do the trick on a very nasty day.