About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why birds don't stick to metal

Do I have to worry about my birds sticking to my metal birdbath?

Unlike humans, birds don’t have sweat glands in their skin to produce any moisture to freeze to metal in the winter. Heat and moisture are accumulated in sacs, transferred to the lungs and eliminated through the mouth. The only way a bird's feet would stick is if they were fell asleep there during freezing rain, and the rain froze around their feet.

But birds have a few tricks to prevent their vulnerable legs from freezing. First they can stand on one leg and pull the other up under their feathers when one leg starts getting too cold. And if it gets really cold, they can squat to cover both legs with breast feathers. If you see a bird doing this, they may be getting uncomfortably cold legs.

Also birds’ feet are mostly bone and tendons, so unlike mammals, they have a limited supply of nerves, blood vessels or muscles to freeze. And their feet are covered with scales which isn’t a living tissue and less susceptible to freezing.
  
Related articles:
- Why Don't Birds Freeze After They Take a Bath in the Winter? http://goo.gl/5ydpvy
- What’s the best suet for Michigan wild birds? http://bit.ly/z7Eurx
- Filling Up on Fatty Foods http://bit.ly/xbZ9lR
- Product Highlight: Solid Seed Cylinders http://goo.gl/HbISQR
- Choosing the best bird seed http://goo.gl/jrpDX
- How can birds survive this cold weather? http://goo.gl/4v2d4