The past week has seen temperatures drop to below freezing overnight, and in the early mornings the drive to work has been in beautifully clear, but cold air. It has been disconcerting to be in the warmth of the car, in bright sunshine, but to see -2 showing for the outside temperature.
I love the cold. I always have, it adds something different to the day. The air is still and clear, crisp and fresh, even if I have to wrap up in more layers of clothing than normal.
If you stop and watch for a while, you’ll see birds going about their business as usual. There are few luxuries for birds. Every day is about survival for them. They have to feed to keep warm, and to store enough energy to be able to fly about looking for food – so that they can keep warm. They also need to build up fat reserves for the impending breeding season, and some of the time and energy needs to be spent on finding or repairing nests, and finding mates. Male birds need to spend energy growing the beautiful plumage that will attract females, and they also need to budget some of the energy to advertise themselves to the females.
There can be no budget-cuts for birds; to be able to survive they must be active in finding and budgeting their energy every day.