Monday, January 6, 2014

Cardinals and Blue Jays Have Frosty Eyes at 22 Degrees Below Zero

 This Cardinal was at my feeders this morning with a temperature of 22 degrees below zero F.  Both the Cardinals and the Blue Jays had frost around their eyes.  I have not seen this before.

The moisture from their breathing must have condensed in the extreme cold onto the feathers around their eyes.

After an hour or so the frost particles were gone, and did not seem to effect the birds in any way, but it made them look odd.
 The frost was on the feathers around both eyes, and broke loose in little pieces.
 At these very cold temperatures the birds need to eat to stay alive, so I was able to get close to take these pictures.
 This Blue Jay had quite a lot of frost at first light, but did not sit still to pose for pictures.  Grabbing a mouthful of seeds it would fly away and eat them, then return for more to hide or eat.
 I think the picture below pretty much gives a sense for how these birds feel about this very cold weather.

This is the true test for survival for these birds and all living things needing to find food on an hour by hour basis in this cold.

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