Indian summer can come unexpectedly in Utah, and cool nights can quickly be followed by warm days even in October and November. The clue I use to know when winter is truly on the way, however, is the first time the bird bath freezes. It did so several weeks ago but a crowded schedule kept me relying on morning sunshine to melt the water, until last week when an afternoon of winterizing was at hand.
Preparing my backyard for winter birds is more than just plugging in my heated bird bath. To be sure my birds are well cared for even in the coldest temperatures, winterizing includes...
- Removing the concrete bird bath and putting it in storage.
- Stacking the deck furniture in a sheltered corner.
- Moving deck feeders further under shelter to protect them from snowfall.
- Vacuuming the deck and under feeders to remove excess hulls and debris.
- Swapping my deck bird bath for the heated bath.
- Checking my bird seed storage for good quantities to last all season.
Of course, refilling the feeders is part of the task as well! With so many changes at hand, it often takes a few days for the birds to lose their wariness and return to the feeders, but they're now coming back in flocks - finches, juncos, sparrows, jays, magpies, and doves. The sharp-shinned hawk has buzzed the yard a few times, and without a doubt other birds have flitted by. Whenever they want a rest spot on a cold day, I'm ready!