How do North American birds survive winter storms?


This video from North America is called How Birds Survive The Winter Season – Mini Documentary.

From eNature blog in the USA:

How Do Birds Survive Winter Storms?

Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 by eNature

As our latest big storm, which everyone in the Eastern US hopes is winter’s last blast, barrels down on millions, many folks are concerned about the impact of the weather on their local birds.

It’s cold out..

So where do birds go for protection during severe weather such as blizzards, hurricanes, and tornadoes?

Many birds have an amazing ability to find refuge from storms and use a variety of ways to cope, depending on the species and the bird’s natural habitat.

Bluebirds, for example, often winter as far north as New England. They find protection against the cold and storms by communal roosting, often in a bird house. There are photographs of 13 male eastern bluebirds, all crowded into one bluebird house. This behavior shares warmth, and keeps the birds out of the wind, rain and snow.

Other cavity nesters, such as chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers, also seek out old nesting sites in dead trees or bird houses in which to roost or find protection during a storm. Nuthatches, which sometimes nest behind a loose piece of tree bark, may seek the same kind of shelter against the cold.

Flocks of Rosy finches often roost in an outcropping of rock where they can get out of the cold wind.

Bobwhite make a circle of the covey, huddled side-by-side, with head facing out. This allows them to share body heat, while being ready to escape in all directions, should they be attacked.

Ruffed grouse take a different tactic. They dive into a snow bank, and may stay there for several days until the storm passes. The Ruffed grouse has the largest range of any grouse species in North America and winter hikers have been surprised by a startled grouse bursting from the snow at their feet.

Many other birds retreat to dense, evergreen thickets where they are protected from the elements for the duration of the storm.

We hear from many of our readers takes steps to help the birds and other wildlife in their neighborhoods.

Have you done anything to help your local critters this winter?

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