The warmer weather is upon us in Southern California. My outside birds are up early and stay up later, because during the middle of the day, the oppressive heat makes any actions difficult. Misters help to keep the birds cooler, but in a drought area, I only use them when the temps reach 100 degrees plus.
So far, we’ve stayed in the 90s but that’s still a pretty miserable level of heat. All the outside birds have what we call splash water, bathing dishes that are separate from their drinking water. They have shade and fresh greens to help keep them hydrated. I can’t imagine putting sunscreen on all those feathers.
A factor in how they survive is the wind. Sometimes a nice, cool breeze blows all day, and the temperature is easier to bear. But on still days, the heat becomes a blanket you can’t kick off.
The inside birds fare about the same or even less comfortably than the outside birds. They all have splash waters, but they don’t have greens all the time and they don’t have a breeze. We do keep fans on since we don’t have air conditioning, but I don’t like pointing them directly at my flock. Oscillating fans are best so that the birds have time when they aren’t in a draft.
I spend time at least twice every day on water bottle patrol, walking around with a spray bottle filled with ordinary tap water, spraying the birds down. Spraying cockatiels is the most fun because they love it. They spread their wings, lean forward until they are facing downward, then start rubbing their heads into the wet feathers on their chests, sides, and backs. So cute! I guess it’s just nice to be appreciated.
My main worry right now is birds that are sitting on eggs or young. I believe one of my pair of zebra finches has young, so I make sure they have extra food in the form of millet spray, and lots of cooling water available. Outside my cockatiels are caring well for their two chicks. Cockatiels take so long to wean that I believe I can pull them in three more weeks, at one month old, and still have sweet pets as a result.
My button quail hen laid almost a dozen eggs since I took her last clutch away, and started sitting on them as soon as she liked the size of the clutch. I believe she chose the back corner of the aviary to nest in because it stays in the shade all day. Smart little mom bird.
Hope you all are staying cool. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.