I got this search on my blog which took the reader to How Do Birds Keep Warm in Winter. I did mention that birds shiver, but they use flight muscles to do so.
It is not like I watch if they are shivering or puffed up to stay warm in the wild, but I do have a tropical cockatoo that will shiver when cold. So to answer the reader’s search, yes birds do shiver.
On January 24th it was really cold outside and many species of birds were coming to the feeders. The wind was wicked and I refilled the feeders constantly. Today, it is 10°F and it is another day of in and out feeder filling.
My cockatoo is happy to be indoors and eating his steak and eggs as the outside birds have seed and suet, fare the cockatoo turns his beak up at. Well anyway, this is the bird species that visited on Friday, snow flakes flying on and off all day.
Looks like from today on through Wednesday that temperatures remain a hair-raising low with snow and wind gusts of up to 45 mph.
So much wind-blown snow drifted that the doors to the house were partially blocked. The storm doors froze shut and blocked by three to four-foot drifts – front and back! I have been digging myself out from the house! Once outside, my Jeep plows through the snow to get me on the move. Oh, do I love, love, love four-wheel drive.
Birds were having trouble flying to and from the feeders or staying perched on limbs in the wind. Hawks like in this post, will take off by facing into the wind as the crow is doing above. But the wind is not a friend to photography…
I could only take decent photos when the wind subsided.
Nobody liked the wind today, me or the songbirds. So I took most photos when it calmed for brief moments.
Honestly though, it was a bit comical how the birds feeding seemed annoyed.
I was annoyed too having to raise the ISO so high to compensate for all the movement of crests and tails blowing.
Not to mention the wind was tossing me around as well. So I was between being in and outside the house photographing. Below outside the house – inside through a window above. Nicer photos are taken outside, no?
Some of the birds take it in stride dealing with this weather, it never fazing them.
The pear tree was filled with woodpeckers and nuthatches. A flock of eight goldfinch was in residence too, along with many very chilled doves.
The garden had five pair of cardinals, three pair of Downy Woodpeckers, six nuthatch and a large flock of starlings during the day.
The hawk came in and cleared everybody out but only until moving on did the birds return. The little birds still looked skyward to see if he would return. I am his biggest nemesis when I am outside with the songbirds.
He is looking for unsuspecting ground feeders and I ruin his bird buffet often. There are many hawks too.
All the birds were back minutes after it left though. That is unusual coming back that fast after a predator was around, but I guess they like me as a guard dog.
Some were caching food in the pear tree like little machines. It was a very busy bird day, expected due to how hard it was to find food for the birds in their natural wildlife habitats.
Feeders are often filled with mixed birds when the temperature sinks and the snow covers landscapes.
Some dined in, others enjoyed a drink at the bar…
Singing, Hail, Hail, The Gang’s All Here!
Conservation Landscaping up in February in a three-part series.