A jewel-like little hen is getting help surviving B.C.’s unusual cold snap, with chicken lovers knitting cozies, warming feeders, and even feeding them by hand. One other essential cause is that wild birds are bug-consuming machines. The birds you entice to your feeders and backyard may even hunt down mosquitoes, caterpillars, slugs and snails to dine on. These a lot-maligned starlings wandering over your lawn will eat Japanese beetle larvae and likewise go after gypsy moth larvae, which most native birds scorn. A Baltimore oriole can eat seventeen bushy caterpillars a minute, and a pair of sparkles can polish off five thousand ants as an appetizer. Hummingbirds have the best relative food consumption of any hen and eat half their body weight (about two ounces) in meals each day, most of that being smooth-bodied insects (mosquitoes!) and spiders.
I’ve had a number of praying mantis in both my back and … Read more