Help Birds with Molting and Migration

The seasons are changing 🍁 And just as our activities and schedules shift, birds are in transition, too. Parental duties are now just a memory for most. Shorter days lead to restless stirrings in anticipation of their long journey to winter destinations. For some birds, old and worn feathers are still giving way to a fresh set of new plumage. These strong new feathers are crucial for efficient flight and for enhancing a bird’s ability to stay warm and dry.

Transitions bring changes…and changes can be tough. Many birds are undergoing the process of molting. Molting is something every bird does because they always need to have healthy feathers. Feathers get worn down over time, but birds are able to grow new ones to ensure they can still fly safely, insulate themselves from the weather and show off their vibrant colors.


                                                                            Molting Blue Jay

Although it doesn’t happen every time a bird molts, sometimes a bird will lose all of its feathers in one spot, causing it to appear balding. It can look a little frightful. This doesn’t cause the birds any harm, and their new feathers will soon grow back in.

Providing shelter is always helpful for birds and can be especially helpful for molting birds. Missing feathers can make flying and insulation from weather difficult, but bushes and brush piles provide excellent protection from predators and the elements.

Migration is no less intense. Imagine having the need, in just a couple of weeks, to double your body weight in order to reach your winter locale. Incredibly, many birds do just that by gorging themselves to store extra body fat. The drive to pack on the fat required to fuel hours of sustained migration is all-consuming.


                                                                               Palm Warbler 

High fat foods are especially beneficial this time of year, so keep your bird feeders filled and fresh. If your feeder activity is low, fill feeders just half way until you see activity picking up. Seasonally savvy foods include our high-fat Plus Blend bird seed, SuperSuet and Bark Butter Bits, as birds that visit will be looking to fuel up!

Your birds will thank you with repeated visits to your feeders, and you will be able to enjoy the changing season in your own backyard 🧡

Nyjer® is a registered trademark of the Wild Bird Feeding Institute.