15 Unusual Ways Some Birds Beat the Heat
Birds are warm blooded and try to keep the inside of their bodies at a constant temperature. They pant through their mouths, fluff their feathers for better circulation, lift their wings for air flow, seek shade, and take baths. Here are some of the more unusual ways birds beat the heat!
1. Pelicans flap their bill pouches to cool off.
2. Some birds wet their feathers and dampen their nest or the ground.
3. Some birds will use abandoned burrows to escape the heat.
4. Desert birds feast on juicy insects and succulent-like plants, both contain water.
5. Wood Storks and Vultures will actually pee down their legs. The evaporation of the urine keeps them cool!
6. Hummingbirds fly through any moving water, like sprinklers, to cool off.
7. Cormorants and Vultures chill out by perching and holding out their wings wide out to catch the breezes.
8. Shorebirds often stand in the water; Western Seagulls will raise their wings to shade their chicks on hot days.
9. Soaring birds fly higher to catch the cool thermals.
10. Some birds take a dust bath; it cools them down by soaking up excess moisture.
11. Speaking of dirt, some birds dig a depression in the dirt or sand and get into the hole.
12. Double-crested Cormorants actually transport water to their chicks by using their bills.
13. Grebes have lobbed toes with flaps and can be seen waving their feet around to dissipate heat.
14. Some birds vibrate the muscles and bones in their throats, called gular fluttering, which gives off heat.
15. Other birds may lift their feet off the hot ground, I assume only one foot at a time!