Hot Weather and Drought Impact Wildlife Too

By Joe Murgo

Published 06/04 2014 09:06PM

Updated 06/04 2014 09:11PM

The Baltimore Oriole may be Maryland’s official state bird, but its summer range is much larger, encompassing the northeastern United States, the Appalachian Mountains, the northern parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, and the Midwest and parts of the Great Plains. During migration, Baltimore Orioles can be seen farther south and west of their summer range.

Summer is a crucial time to supply your backyard birds with water for drinking and bathing. This season is generally the driest time of year, with scarcer rain and lower creek levels, and the hottest time of year. Just like humans, wildlife (including birds) need a supply of clean water to survive periods of extreme heat and drought. You can lend a hand to wildlife in your own backyard this summer with these simple tips:


·  Keep bird baths full of clean water. Don’t have a bird bath? Adding one to your yard is relatively inexpensive and provides great bird watching opportunities.

·  Create a “drip jug” to hang over your bird bath. Fill a plastic milk jug with water and poke a tiny hole in the bottom. The dripping sound of the water will attract birds to the bath.

·  Put a few water-filled containers of different depths on the ground to help out ground squirrels and other small mammals.

·  Remember to change water frequently to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yard.

·  Change nectar in feeders three times a week in extremely hot weather.


Spot any birds in your backyard, a park or forest? Take a photo and upload it to the Eyes on Central PA Mission on Project Noah, where you can also see what others in our area are spotting. Your photo may be featured on this blog or in Chief Meteorologist Joe Murgo’s next on-air broadcast!

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