how do birds get water in hot weather

Even in extreme heat, local bird populations can be helped by providing water and shade. To truly protect wildlife, however, requires coordinated action. Although it begins in your own backyard, change need not end there.

Heat waves usually occur in the breeding season, when caterpillars from butterflies and moths are the primary source of food for 96% of native bird species in North America. Cultivating native plants will help those birds feed their young when the temperature rises.

In addition to bearing an abundance of seeds, berries, and fruit, native plants also serve as a home for insects, which are a valuable source of food during periods of intense heat.

Next, coordinate with your community to influence local government. Campaigning for the creation of a native plant corridor can be another excellent way to support birds and insects. Marlene Pantin, partnerships manager for Audubon’s Plants for Birds initiative, asks, “In your community park, are they putting in native plants? Or are they still putting in non-natives?” Advocating for native plants in municipal landscaping, for example, can be a great way to make a difference if you don’t have much space for planting of your own.

When natural resources are few, a straightforward bird bath can make a significant difference by providing water for drinking and bathing. To stop the spread of disease, clean your bird bath frequently, whether you make one at home or buy one.

Sleep It Off Image:

Certain birds, such as the cedar waxwing, have been known to nap in the hottest parts of the day.

By incorporating siestas into their summer routine, birds can also avoid oppressive temperatures. Many birds reduce their heat exposure during the warmest months of the year by moving around during the cooler hours of the day and napping during the strongest part of the sun’s rays.

Take a Dip Image:

Cool water helps birds regulate their body temperatures.

Did you know? Birds, like mammals, are warm-blooded. This implies that they generate heat from their own bodies rather than depending on their environment. Indeed, certain untamed avian species in your backyard, such as blue jays and robins, produce so much heat internally that their typical body temperatures can reach 109 degrees Fahrenheit, or 42 degrees Celsius!

Fortunately, birds have some reliable ways to avoid overheating. A quick soak is one of the best ways for birds to stay cool. Their feathers’ moisture allows heat to leave their bodies quickly. When the heat gets too intense, backyard birds can find refuge in fountains, birdbaths, and other water features.


How do birds get water in the summer?

Birds get the liquid they need from their food and by drinking. Many insectivorous birds get most of their water from food. Seed-eating birds have a dry diet and they do need to drink more. Water is freely available to small birds at the shallow edges of ponds and streams.

Should you put water out for birds in hot weather?

Just like you, the birds in your garden need water to survive – so it’s important to leave some out for them, especially during a heatwave. If you’re not sure how to put out water for birds to drink and bathe in, read our Bird Bathing Guide or contact the Really Wild Bird Food team for expert advice.

How do birds get water in a drought?

Birds have excellent eyesight, and can spot the tiniest trickle of water from the treetops. So, any spring or creek, a river’s edge, or a backyard birdbath will get their attention. Water that is kept agitated will stay liquid at lower temperatures, so waterfalls, streams, and fountains provide water.

How do birds survive the hot summer?

Birds keep cool by taking a bath or going swimming just like we do. Submerging exposed skin helps birds to dissipate their body heat to the cooler water around them. Some birds fluff up their feathers after a bath and open up their wings to catch a breeze, helping them cool off even more.