04 November 2011

Feathered Friends

What a glorious Friday morning we had here in beautiful BC.
Idle free BC.
Out in the bog the birds too are preparing for winter. There are some, like the Rufous Hummingbirds, who have long since headed south, whilst their cousins the Anna's Hummingbirds have been seen to overwinter in BC.

Others, such as the Dark-eyed Juncos, who herald the approaching colder weather by coming down to Delta from the mountains, can be heard tzick, tzicking in the trees.

Then we have our homies, the Chickadees and Rufous-sided Towhees, both species stay here all year round. Even now, out in the trees on the edge of the bog, the male Chickadees, can occasionally be heard trying to attract a late mate with their hopeful 'Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger!' call.

Birds are warm-blooded, like mammals, but their normal body temperature is about two degrees higher than that of mammals. In the winter, the Chickadees will puff out their feathers to keep warm, giving them that cute, fluffy look.  In extreme weather, they can lower their body temperature considerably for a while, thus conserving energy when their mixed food source of berries, seeds, spiders and insects becomes scarce. They also have been observed to huddle together in a nesting box or log.

The Towhees are ground-nesters and in the spring they spend a lot of time in the low-growth of the bog-forest floor, scratching around and kicking back the leaf-litter to find food. In the winter, they will shelter in the low growth to conserve warmth - the Salal is evergreen, so provides good cover. If the snow falls, and when it falls in the Bog, it stays longer, due to the refrigeration effect, the Towhees are even snugger, since the snow can act as an insulator, holding in the bird's body heat as in an igloo.

Blog Archive

Our page has been visited times.