Even the birds are cold


It’s clear and cold out this morning:  -18°C / 0°F. There are three sparrows huddled on a leafless bush outside my window, with their feathers puffed up in a vain attempt to insulate themselves against the cold. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Stupid birds. If I had wings, I would fly south for two months, January and February.

copyright © 2006, Stephen


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. J
    Jan 15, 2006 @ 11:12:00

    And here I’m about to go out of my mind because it’s a mere 32 degrees F in my neck of the woods! Makes me feel a little bit pitiful. 😉


  2. 49erDweet
    Jan 15, 2006 @ 11:54:00

    I don’t know if this is really a good time to leave CA. If the editorial I just read attributed to the Globe & Mail was accurate, it may be time for pigs to fly in the northern neck of the woods!

    Seeing that occur would be something to tell future grandkids about!


  3. Sadie Lou
    Jan 15, 2006 @ 11:57:00

    poor little birdies!


  4. Q
    Jan 15, 2006 @ 13:06:00

    You’ve left us in the dark. What editorial are you referring to? What does it say?

    I’m guessing, but pigs will fly because the Conservatives are about to form our next government?


  5. michael
    Jan 15, 2006 @ 16:45:00

    Or is it because Canadians like bacon so much that it is flying off the shelves?


  6. Heather
    Jan 15, 2006 @ 18:33:00

    What a lovely photo. Its been weirdly warm in these parts. Its almost unheard of…and faintly apocalyptic…it was +14 yesterday…we should be hovering somewhere where you guys are now…


  7. Q
    Jan 15, 2006 @ 19:27:00

    Although I’m complaining about the weather, it’s a bit unfair of me. It has been exceptionally warm here, too. Last week we were 6 degrees above zero (Celsius, of course). And this cold snap is only supposed to last two days. It is pretty typical for us to get two weeks of -25° or -30° weather.

    Still … whenever the temperature dips below zero on the old Fahrenheit scale, even it’s it’s only for a day or two, I feel justified in complaining.


  8. Jack's Shack
    Jan 16, 2006 @ 13:45:00

    It was a little over 50 when I left the house today. It should hit about 64 and then drop down to 38 in the evening.

    But later this week it is supposed to be back in the 70s which is almost tolerable.


  9. Anonymous
    Jan 16, 2006 @ 16:04:00

    Birds have a higher metabolic rate(37.7-43.50C) than mammals,(36-390C). They have no sweat glands and lose heat through their respiratory system and exposed skin.

    So he is probably more comfortable out there in his down coat, than we would be.

    That said, it is so cold today, if he could read this he would likely think “speak for your self you stupid mammal, and open the damn Window.”


  10. Q
    Jan 16, 2006 @ 16:10:00

    My heart bleeds for you. Really it does.

    Next I need you to explain about the ducks. They sit on the ice, or get into the sub-zero water where the river is open. Why don’t their feet freeze?

    As for opening the window … the house would lose heat, and it’s every creature for itself when the temperature drops this low.


  11. Lynne
    Jan 16, 2006 @ 21:39:00



  12. Anonymous
    Jan 16, 2006 @ 22:02:00

    A duck has many layers of feathers and between each layer is a layer of air. Air is a poor conductor of heat meaning heat does not travel through it easily. The layers of air between a ducks feathers prevents the duck’s body heat from escaping. The feet tuck up under the feathers as the duck coasts across the water.The feathers in effect act as insulation and allow the duck to continue its happy swim.


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