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.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Photo Share: Cold Sparrow

Small birds face many challenges during the winter, including short days and long nights, tough weather conditions and food shortages, along with the risk of becoming a meal for hungry predators. In North America there may be some local movements in response to weather changes but House Sparrow populations do not migrate extensively. The hunker down in thick bushes and bird houses to wait out a storm.

Fortunately birds have many adaptations to stay warm in the winter. When fluffed up, feathers act as a buffer from the winds and wet; think downy coat. Then there is a gland at the base of most bird species tails that produces a special oil. When a bird preens they spread this on their feathers with their bill to help them become weather proof and shed water.

Also birds’ feet are made up of mainly bone, tendon, and scaly skin. And unlike humans, birds don’t have sweat glands in their skin to produce any moisture to freeze.
 
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

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