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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chickadees Should Freeze Solid

How do they do it?  Chickadees, kinglets, nuthatches, creepers and small finches, are all tiny overwinter resident birds around our lake.  Like the birds, we brave out the winter, even through temperatures sometimes drop below -30 C with the wind chill.   If I wasn't wearing my heaviest down parka, snow mobile pants and moon boots - life would soon become problematic after 24 hours outdoors in minus 30 temperatures.  Imagine living in minus 30 degree temperatures, when you weigh less than an ice cube and have only a puff of feathers between you and that brisk air.  No wonder these species have such energetic, enthusiasm in their foraging, burning calories (and in some species - brown fat) like a tiny lamp.   The odds would seem against it and yet, these birds make it look easy.

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