Ice presents stressful winter conditions, not only for people, but for wildlife. Though beautiful to witness from warmth and safety, a wintery mix of precipitation that coats food sources presents challenges for bird survival.
In Tennessee we have birds that live here year-around and remain for the winter because of the generally moderate winter conditions and abundance of food. If enough food is available, many bird species can survive temporary plummets in temperature. Extended periods of sub-freezing temperatures, however, such as the single digits that we recently experienced, and a quarter inch coating of ice over everything increases survival challenges considerably.
I'll show you some of those species in the next few posts.
Next: Bluebirds and ice--a special matter
More on wintering birds in this blog
A good article on Winter time feeding and water--Cornell