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Fluffy Swallows

Looking like balls of fluffy cotton, this group of swallows huddle together during a winter blizzard. By fluffing both their downy and semiplume feathers, they are able to trap pockets of air close to their body. How much body heat they keep can adjusted by arranging their feathers to trap more or less air. At

Let’s Do The Numbers…

The Blackpoll Warbler, on its 3,500 mile migration, will have flapped its wings about three million times. If burning standard motorcar fuel, its fuel economy would be 720,000 miles per US gallon. Let’s reframe this: The average American drives 12,000 miles every year, and their driveable years is about age 55. This means the average

Whoa! Bad Feather Day Anyone?

Preening and caring for feathers is a crucial part of keeping a bird warm. On a hot day fluffing can also serve as a way to release body heat. This small Sanderling shorebird is in the middle of a mighty shakedown that could be part of its ritual of feather maintenance. Photo Courtesy Of: fat-birds:

Preening Time!

This osprey chick is pretty thorough about cleanliness— Talk about flexible! By carefully preening and oiling its feathers, this large raptor will be able to retain its waterproofing to keep out the wet.