On The Wild Side: How does our wildlife deal with the summer heat?

This red-tailed hawk cools off in a garden bird bath during a recent spell of hot and humid weather. Photo by Ann Brokelman.


We have now hit the dreaded summer heat waves. I know most people over the summer love the heat, but I love the chilly weather and wind.

But for me it is a fun time to do some editing and cleaning up of old files plus enjoy the silky moths growing in my office. Yes, I have more than 60 silky moths in my office in tents. In the summer I become the crazy moth butterfly lady lol.

But have you ever wondered how wildlife and birds keep cool in the summer? Have you seen squirrels stretched out in full length in a tree or a bird on the ground panting?

I do have water bowls in the front and back yard filled daily with fresh water. I even carry a bottle of water in my car with a small bowl just in case. But most days I just watch and document how they stay cool.

A juvenile red-tailed hawk spreads its wings on a wall to keep cool. Photo by Ann Brokelman.

The photo at right is of one of a group of three red-tailed hawk juveniles. He fledged a few weeks ago and I drove by to see how they were doing. I was not surprised by seeing all three of them stretched out on top of the building with their wings hanging over the side. They also like to sunbath and are often seen in the nest spreading their wings like this.

Another adult red-tailed hawk I saw was taking a bath in a water feature. This hawk landed in the water and spent a lot of time splish-splashing away. I have also seen them in puddles and lakes doing the same thing.

The best part of the hawk cooling off in the bird bath was that the lady who lived there had no idea this was happening in her garden until I left her a photo in the mailbox. I have also seen wildlife getting a drink from water bowls, puddles not to mention going to the lakes and ponds in the city.

Our night cam has many critters playing in the water bowl. Really important to change it regularly.

So how do I stay cool? I have moths inside my office. I must go out to get leaves to feed them. I enjoy watching them grow and finally turn into a chrysalis.

Right now, Luna caterpillars totally fascinate me. The caterpillar changes colours and go from green to yellow to red before spinning a sild nest to sleep in for the summer.

I will add a link of how a Luna emerges from the winter cocoon https://youtu.be/4ptWujEoJvc

So, readers, stay cool and have a wonderful summer.

Was this article informative? Become a Beach Metro Community News Supporter today! For 50 years, we have worked hard to be the eyes and ears in your community, inform you of upcoming events, and let you know what and who is making a difference. We cover the big stories as well as the little things that often matter the most. CLICK HERE to support your Beach Metro Community News!

Click here for our commenting guidelines.

Leave a Reply