WHY DO BIRDS MOULT?
The feathers of birds do get worn, damaged and discoloured. Birds need to be in pristine condition to see them through the long winter which, to birds, is just round the corner.
It takes –
- A certain amount of time to grow new feathers
- A certain amount of protein to grow new feathers
Which is why a lot of birds grow new feathers in one go.
Birds are moulting now. It is amazing how they fit in with nature.
August is the best time for birds to moult because –
- The weather is warm.
- Birds need warm weather when they moult because fewer feathers means they cannot keep as warm – and also means they do not have much energy.
- If they moulted earlier it may be colder for birds
- If they moulted earlier they would not have enough energy to feed their young and moult at the same time
- Birds are vulnerable when they are moulting so they shelter during the day. This is a good time of year for them to shelter – when the young have fledged and they only have themselves to feed.
So birds moult when the weather is warm and when breeding has ended.
So the gardens may seem quiet – but it will still help many birds if we put bird food out.
[ad#125x125square]As the scruffy moulting birds appear at the feeders we’ll know we’re giving them a helping hand and after they have eaten their fill at the bird tables they will hop into a hedge, shelter and rest – and prepare to be at their best and fittest to face the coming winter
So the seasons progress and birds (along with other wildlife) have learnt the only way to survive is to fit in with the seasons.
We are removed from the seasons in a lot of ways. I wonder if we lose something by not being connected to nature.
It is really amazing how they know that August is a good time to moult and how the different seasons give them different challenges in their lives!
So don’t forget to put bird food out – it will help.