Monday, January 13, 2014

Cold (not Angry) Birds

After wrestling with last week's "polar vortex," I'm pretty much sold on the idea of migration. I'm 200 pounds of poorly adapted flesh that would be much happier in the tropics every January. That makes it something of a blow to my ego that many of my feathered friends tipping the scales at somewhere between four nickels (Dark-eyed Junco) and two tennis balls (Mourning Dove) choose to stick around and tough it out.

We all know about all the adaptations birds have to survive the frigid cold: circulatory adaptations for the feet, torpor, communal roosting, good old-fashioned shivering.

I ventured out on a day with the temperature lingering around -18°C (0°F) and snapped some photos of birds employing my favorite cold-weather strategy: layering and fluffing!

I present to you: The Fluffy Birds of the Polar Vortex!

Dark-eyed Junco doing the spherical thing.

The rare neck-less Mourning Dove

Fluffy Mourning Doves are the best

Northern Cardinal displaying Mr. Olympia pecs

Blue Jay and Northern Cardinal chillin'...literally


  1. Absolutely stunning images of spectacular & gorgeous birds !

  2. Great photos of birds trying to keep warm. I can relate. I would to spend more time in the tropics in the winter too!

  3. Beautiful shots of the puffed up birds. Tell them to come down to Florida. Sunny and 75 degrees today.

  4. They do look beautiful all fluffed up. I don't know which would be harder - your cold, or our heat - 43C in Melbourne today.

  5. Brr, I felt a chill while scrolling through these excellent photographs. Beautiful birds! Wonderful!

  6. Those colourful birds really are fascinating - we don't get such colours here.

  7. I like their fluffed up look. They are really cute.

  8. So beautiful birds.
    Great job.
    From Hilda

  9. Fantastic, fantabulous, awesome...add all the adjectives shots. I love the last picture best with two different birds chilling. You should send them to some competition, win prizes :-). What sort of camera do you use, if I may ask.

  10. Beautiful shots and no wonder they are all fluffed up with that sort of temperature. BRRRRR