Nature – Why Birds’ Feet Don’t Freeze

…for birds such as geese, ducks, and other waterfowl that spend time on ice or in cold water, keeping their legs and feet warm is essential for survival. Birds rely on a vascular system called rete mirabile designed to keep their feet warm.

Nature – Creatures of the Air

Add to this package highly efficient digestive and respiratory systems, a large and powerful heart, and feathers that streamline, insulate, and provide the necessary lift for wings and tail, and it is easy to understand how Solomon could describe a bird in the air as a sight “too wonderful for me” (Proverbs 30:18, 19).

Nature Nugget – Pelagic Tubenoses

Tubenoses are a group of marine birds that spend the majority of their lives at sea, only coming to land to nest. Members of this group include the well known albatrosses and the lesser known shearwaters and petrels.

Nature Nugget – Shorebirds Talents

Shorebirds have an amazing variety of bill shapes and sizes allowing them to feed in various habitats from dry soil to shallow water. Differences in bill length and shape and in leg length allow various species to flock together for protection without seriously competing with each other for food.

Nature Nugget – Are Bluebirds Truly Blue?

The blue coloration of most blue-colored birds such as bluebirds and white birds such as egrets is not from pigments but from structural coloration called schemochromes. This is a result of small changes in feather structure that alters their light reflective properties and results in a preferential scattering of light.

Nature Nugget – The Bird-watcher’s Lifelist

The most important list for the serious birder is his Lifelist. The Lifelist is a running list kept of all new species encountered that one has never seen before. When a “birder” encounters a “Lifer,” as new species are called,…

Nature Nugget – Brood Parasitism

Only the birds that lived deep in the few large, unfragmented-forested areas left were safe from the cowbirds. Most of the eastern host species are slowly adapting to the cowbirds, but a few species are not and are threatened or endangered because of habitat loss and cowbird brood parasitism.