Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dawg Dayz of Summer!

Whew! I don't know about where you live, but here it has been hot, hot, hot! And it is
only June!

In addition, the past four days we have had major late evening thunderstorms. That = muggy.

What about our birds and the heat (or cold for that matter)?

The majority of our birds are able to withstand quite a fluctuation of temperatures. My experience over the years has been that, if acclimated, my birds have been fine in temperatures from the 50's to the high 90's farenheit. Although I don't like to push it at either extreme.
But if I am hot, I figure they are too; if I am cold, I figure they are as well. And I keep my eye on them closely (perhaps more closely then they would like)! Of course, the young and the elderly get even more attention and due caution.

In the lower temperatures, it is important to keep them sheltered from the wind or drafts; in the higher temperatures they need plenty of access to shade and air circulation.

Naturally, we watch closely for signs of response to the environmental conditions and distress. I keep a large thermometer in the bird room at all times that can easily be seen at a distance.

If a bird is overheated, it may begin to breathe with an open mouth (panting) and may also hold its wings away from the body (it appearing as if they are attempting to air out their armpits). These can also be signs of illness.

North Carolina is a bit of a temperate climate compared to many others throughout the United States and world. Although this week our heat indexes have reached into the high 80's and low 90's. The bird room is not air conditioned, and does not have ceiling fans, but I do utilize box fans. (In addition to the birds being flighted, prohibiting the use of a ceiling fan, the bird room's heating system is electric ceiling heat. So poking holes in the ceiling would not be a bright idea!)

In the winter, the bird room stays between 65 and 70 degrees. In the summer, the mercury reading is commensurate with that of the outdoors. I provide air movement and circulation through the use of box fan(s).

As I type this, the outdoor temperature registers at 74 degrees, while the bird room is 78 degrees. As the coolness of the evening sets in, the bird room temperature will begin to drop accordingly.

Leaving the sliding glass doors open, and with a fan blowing into the hallway, I can pull air from outdoors, through the bird room, and into the hallway. This keeps a nice amount of circulation and flow keeping the room comfortable.

On many days, Coco chooses an afternoon shower, which provides some fun refreshment.

The awning on the deck prevents the room from getting direct sunlight during the hottest time of day.

Plenty of circulation, and keeping a close eye by monitoring behavior, habits and body language are all important to me.

On an unusually warm day, we can close the curtains and add an extra box fan for more air circulation.

It does seem (at least in this area of the jungle), like it is going to be an incredibly hot summer. The flowering plants and trees appear quite happy, as they have been receiving daily rain to match the heat.
Me - I can handle the heat easier than the cold. The one thing I miss about living in Florida is the mild winters. But the mountains have their own appeal. When we do get snow, it rarely stays on the ground more than a day. There is an old wives tale that says 'if the snow stays on the ground for more than 3 days, it is waiting for more'!

Time to head for toward the 'cool' part of the room!

"Hey, look Coco... we both have yellow on top our heads! Do you suppose we are related?!"


Arlene said...

Good summer tips. I especially loved the last picture when they head toward the cool part of the room. That's really too cute. :)

Anonymous said...

The picture of the flowering tree is just gorgeous and the last one...hehe... funny looking fids.
Thank you Robin for yet another blog entry.

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