WATER is THE Critical Nutrient, especially in this FRIGID weather.
 
Dehydration, the lack of water, kills quicker than starvation.
 
Help your visitors to your yard and farms.
 
Make sure there is free-flowing water available.
 
Here is my front yard, just before I added water to the containers this morning, maybe it will give you some ideas:
My bowls are on the ground, on dark mats (to help absorb what sun gets to them).
I only half fill the bowls twice a day – makes it easier for me to flip out the ice chunks.
Those ice chunks on the grass are from late yesterday afternoon.
I use cold tap water: hot water actually freezes faster than cold water!
The “bowls” are metal pans, clay bowls and ceramic ones – different birds like different styles.
Once the water is drinkable, twice a day, then also check your feeders to make sure the seeds are flowing and the suet is accessible.
BTW the above advice about water goes for dogs, cats, horses and, of course humans.  Let’s help all we can.

A trip to Lake Mattamuskeet needs to be on everybody’s  list.
 
It was at Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge that the Bald Eagle was re-introduced to NC.
 
The Bald Eagles then made their way inland to Jordan Lake.
 
Try your hardest to get there at sunrise – they are almost always spectacular from the causeway!
 
Adult bald eagle way across the front impoundment at Mattamuskeet.  
This time of the year the eagles can be hard to find at Mattamuskeet.
 
The lake and its surrounding area has beautiful cypress trees.
 
 
The still waters of the lake and the impoundments often give reflections that are wonderfully detailed.
Great Blue Heron fishing.
 
 
The insect life at Mattamuskeet is very diverse – with many different dragonflies.
Did you see the dragonfly shadow?
 
 
The white-tailed deer really enjoy the browsing at the lake.  
 
 
The yellow-billed cuckoo is also found at Jordan Lake.
 I hear rather than see them most of the time.
 
 
The zebra swallowtail butterfly is the only swallowtail in our region with white stripes.
 

One section of the riprap at the Jordan Lake dam erupted this morning in gronks and growls and squeals.
Two immature great blue herons were trying to claim a section of shoreline for themselves.
Notice that as the flight continues, the birds’ necks get longer and longer.
Normal flight for great blue herons is with the neck folded back into their shoulders.
The heron with the most elongated neck is proving that he is better than the other.
One of the youngsters actually ends up having to fold his neck back up and drag his toes to maintain flight.
PS: the green and red smudges near the end are leaf fringes that I am shooting through.

4 year-old bald eagle watching an osprey across the cove

osprey determined to get his fish to his mate

trio of red-breasted mergansers

lead bird is an immature male, called an eclipse phase

second bird is a mature female and the last bird is a mature male

close-up of the mature male red-breasted merganser

the red-breasted merganser trio taking flight

double-crested cormorant resplendent in its green black body and neck, accented by the bronze of its wings

the small trees and tall bushes edging the lake in many areas are full of the sweet calls of the song sparrows