Environmental Message of the Month

By Patrick Endres, Rochester Hills Museum Staff Assistant—Environmental Education

Some Michigan winter birds: American Goldfinches, Blue Jay, American Tree Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Screech-Owl.

Interesting adaptations about our winter birds: The feathers of the American Goldfinches will turn a lighter shade of yellow to help them blend into their habitat so they are not seen by predators. Winter birds will also fluff their feather in order to trap warm air around their body.

How you can help and Enjoy Winter Birds: Put out food that winter birds will eat like orange wedges, sunflower seeds (unsalted), nuts (unsalted) and raisins. The food helps them to replenish the energy they need to stay warm.

Purchase a heated bird bath. This gives the birds water to drink and to clean their feathers.

Create a winter bird checklist and go for walk with your family and friends and see how many birds you can cross off your list.

Upcoming environmental programs at the museum

January 16th 1-3 p.m.: Snow Fort and Campfire

January 28th 1-2 p.m.: Nature Walk and Talk

February 25 1-2 p.m.: Glaciers in Rochester

All environmental programs are free for museum members; normal admission rates for non-members. For more information about any environmental programs call (248) 656-4663 or e-mail rhmuseum@rochesterhills.org.

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