Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring reminds me more that I LOVE BIRDS!!!

As I crawled the Virtual Dumpster I call the Internet...
Enjoying a moist spring morning, I observed my flock of robins raiding our unknown cranberry like ornamental tree that has dried like berries on it, I wondered how do birds that stay north keep warm in the winter and what kinds of birds actually stay the winter?I really don't think they are eating the berries (wish they would they are a mess)? I also wonder why the squirrels don't eat the berries? I looked up trees and suspect it is a Spring Snow Crab Tree only because the land owner said she bought it for the wonderful blossoms.

Of course, I scared away the birds. I will catch them (like I have wanted to catch that Crow) on the camera someday! I have got to admit that I love birds the most and should consider joining the Audobon and going on old lady walks with big binocs!
I would never own a bird, though because of all the crap. Have you ever been crapped on by a bird as you leave your house? I have twice in my life. Once when I was in high school I was wearing my favorite blue shirt with a lace window around the cleavage that I really didn't think about having at the time. I get on my bike and plop on my shoulder! The next time I was sitting on the porch with my buddy Rodney and bragging about how I only got crapped on by a bird once and told the story. Less than 5 mins later a bird craps on me. Fucking funny! Parrots that talk are tempting, though. I have met a couple in my life in passing. I wonder what the shit maintenance is on one. I do know that they need a lot of attention. What do you think?

I have posted this link before and here it is again.
If you ever wonder what the song is of a bird look it up on E-Nature [here]

Here is a sample of a common song round here : [meadow lark]

Here is a handy website with quick lists about your state and well all 50 (they got cams!): [link]
(if you want to check out your state bird-Idaho's is the Mountain Bluebird).


A bird's feathers provide alot of insulation.
Birds fluff up their feathers and trap air between the feathers.
(This works just like a down-filled sleeping bag.)
The ptarmigan has feathers on its feet to help keep warm.
Birds huddle together for warmth.
The grouse will hide in snowdrifts to keep warm.
Shivering helps to keep some birds warm because it increases body heat.

* Feathers: Birds’ feathers provide remarkable insulation against the cold, and many bird species grow extra feathers as part of a late fall molt to give them thicker protection in the winter. The oil that coats birds’ feathers also provides insulation as well as waterproofing.

* Legs and Feet: Birds’ legs and feet are covered with specialized scales that minimize heat loss. Birds can also control the temperature of their legs and feet separately from their bodies by constricting blood flow to their extremities, thereby reducing heat loss even further.

* Fat Reserves: Even small birds can build up fat reserves to serve as insulation and extra energy for generating body heat. Many birds will gorge during the fall when food sources are abundant, giving them an extra fatty layer before winter arrives.

Behavioral Adaptations

* Fluffing: Birds will fluff out their feathers to create air pockets for additional insulation in cold temperatures.

* Tucking: It is not unusual to see a bird standing on one leg or crouched to cover both legs with its feathers to shield them from the cold. Birds can also tuck their bills into their shoulder feathers for protection.

* Sunning: On sunny winter days, many birds will take advantage of solar heat by turning their backs to the sun (therefore exposing the largest surface of their bodies to the heat) and raising their feathers slightly. This allows the sun to heat the skin and feathers more efficiently. Wings may also be drooped or spread while sunning, and the tail may be spread as well.

* Shivering: Birds will shiver to raise their metabolic rate and generate more body heat as a short term solution to extreme cold. While shivering does require more calories, it is an effective way to stay warm.

* Roosting: Many small birds, including bluebirds, chickadees and titmice, will gather in large flocks at night and crowd together in a small, tight space to share body heat. They can roost in shrubbery or trees, and empty birdhouses and bird roost boxes are also popular locations to conserve heat. Even individual birds choose roost spots that may have residual heat from the day’s sunlight, such as close to the trunk of a tree or near any dark surface.


Many birds will enter torpor to conserve energy during cold winter nights. Torpor is a state of reduced metabolism when the body temperature is lowered, therefore requiring fewer calories to maintain the proper heat. Most birds can lower their body temperature by a few degrees, but torpid birds have lowered their body temperatures by as much as 50 degrees. Torpor can be a dangerous behavior, however, as the reduced temperature also leads to reduced reactions and greater vulnerability to predators. Hummingbirds, chickadees, swifts and other types of birds regularly use torpor as a way to survive cold temperatures.
To find out what you can do to help winter birds in your yard [read more at About]
This is a video of winter birds in Ontario, Canada.

Enjoy this playlist that has 31 songs with bird in the title!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

1 comment:

Bouncin' Barb said...

Bruce and I love birds. I've never in my life seen so many beautiful birds in one place as here in Myrtle Beach. We are amazed every single day. We listen to them in the morning with no other sounds. It's Mother Nature's music box.