Birdwatcher Mike O’Connor

If you think this winter has been especially tough on you, try imagining what it’s like for the birds. With many ponds and embayments covered with ice, it’s been tough, if not sometimes impossible, for sea birds to access their feeding areas. So they not only burn through fat reserves, they become weak and vulnerable to predators who are also starving.

The frigid temperatures, the strong winds, the repeated storms, and the deep rock-hard snow cover have hammered the backyard birds as well, freezing whatever berries might be left on branches, flattening bushes where they might find shelter, and encasing bird feeders in blocks of ice. Some birds migrate, of course, but even among those that do, the weak, the old, and the youthful often can’t make the trip and face increased competition for the meager resources available.

So now that I’ve thoroughly bummed you out, we’re going to talk about what to do about it with one of our favorite guests, Mike O’Connor, founder of the Bird Watcher’s General Store in Orleans. Mike is the author of the bestselling books Why Don’t Woodpeckers Get Headaches? and, most recently, Why Do Bluebirds Hate Me?

The Lowdown with Ira Wood, Tuesdays at 12:30 PM and Saturdays at 5:30 AM on WOMR-FM, a Pacifica Radio affiliate station. Streaming and podcasts on WOMR.ORG.