Nature Walk: Bird Insulation
Survival for birds in winter is about feather design, grooming, available flood supplies, fat reserves and protection from wind. Feathers are a bird's first and most important defense against cold. Birds groom contour feathers with oil to make them water resistant. Beneath this outer covering, down feathers trap air and provide a critical insulation barrier. One can see this cardinal has fluffed its feathers, which increases the dead air space and their potential to insulate.
How are you staying warm on this bitterly cold Monday? Have you seen any birds with fluffed feathers like the above?
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