Hurricane Sandy is on the move and could bring damaging winds and significant rain to the upstate New York area. Here's some advice you won't get on the local news: what to do with your birdfeeders during the storm.
First and foremost - stay informed of the storm's progress and take necessary precautions for your own safety. Strong winds may bring trees down onto houses, cars, etc. Flash floods are a real threat. Please do what you need to ensure your own safety!
Now, about the birds. We found during last year's Tropical Storm Irene that birds will actively feed throughout the storm. If the winds and rain get too severe, birds will seek out a safe spot until things settle down. Woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice, bluebirds and other cavity-nesters might find safety in a tree cavity or birdhouse. Birds will also find safety in a shrub or brush pile, while others will cling on to branches close to the tree trunk or directly under a limb or other cover.
Here's a short video of a chickadee hanging on through the winds of last year's storm.
If you are going to be around to monitor your birdfeeders, consider leaving them out to provide an easy source of food during difficult storm conditions. Feeders in a somewhat sheltered location will probably fair the best; take down feeders that are in very windy locations. Keep an eye on weather guard domes and very large feeder set-ups; even our great Advanced Pole System® cannot stand up to hurricane-force winds*. You might also consider taking feeders down during the overnight hours.
If you are not going to be at home to monitor your feeders, you might want to take down feeders that are not in a sheltered location or that could be caught by the wind. Use your good judgment in order to reduce the possibility of injury, damage, or loss*.
As soon as the storm has passed, refill your feeders with dry birdfood. An easy source of quality food will help them replenish after expending all the energy it took to ride out the storm.
Stay safe out there everyone! Listen to the forecasts and take care. Please share this post with family and friends who feed and care about the birds.
*APS does not carry a lifetime guarantee. Storm damage to WBU feeders is not covered by the Lifetime Guarantee.