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Author Topic: Barefoot in the Snow  (Read 485 times)

Arlen

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Barefoot in the Snow
« on: February 26, 2023, 12:31:20 am »

Do wild birds experience cold feet in the snow? This is what I pondered recently while photographing over-wintering robins and black-capped chickadees. The question is not do their
feet get cold. They surely do, even if not as cold as our bare feet would. But what do they experience it as? Pain or discomfort, to be nevertheless tolerated, ignored, all in a day’s life?
Or really no uncomfortable sensation at all, since they evolved under these conditions and an overly negative nervous system interpretation would be maladaptive? Some day after AI
has learned their language, we’ll have to ask them.











« Last Edit: February 26, 2023, 02:30:09 am by Arlen »
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plugsnpixels

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Re: Barefoot in the Snow
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2023, 01:22:51 am »

Those are great shots Arlen! And the timing on the top one is perfect.

Along these lines I have to admit, I've always wondered how dogs can sit in the snow...
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Bob_B

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Re: Barefoot in the Snow
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2023, 07:02:57 am »

Both are winners, but my favorite is the first one. Well done, Arlen. (We, in Maryland, have not seen a snowfall so far; a few flakes, but nothing that accumulates.)
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Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: Barefoot in the Snow
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2023, 03:33:18 pm »

Do wild birds experience cold feet in the snow?

Apparently not, as they have the biological equivalent of antifreeze flowing through their blood and something akin to a separate circulatory systems for their body and their legs and feet - isn't nature an amazing thing?

Beautiful shots by the way.

Dave
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Barefoot in the Snow
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2023, 06:03:28 pm »

Yes, Great shots!
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Arlen

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Re: Barefoot in the Snow
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2023, 07:54:10 pm »

Thanks, guys, for all your thoughtful responses.

Dave, I'm aware of the amazing "antifreeze" system that many birds have in their feet, that can keep them from freezing even when when their surface temperatures are near or below zero degrees C. What I got to wondering about was whether they feel cold, especially in birds that usually migrate but sometimes over-winter in areas that get snow. No way to really know that, of course. Just another one of those more or less useless trains of thought that sometimes run through one's mind. Especially when trying to keep your own feet warm.  :)
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Barefoot in the Snow
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2023, 03:50:13 am »

Well done.

francois

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Re: Barefoot in the Snow
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2023, 05:10:20 am »

Two great shots… They are very different but I'm choosing #1 for my favorite.
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Francois

Mark Nadler

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Re: Barefoot in the Snow
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2023, 08:17:00 am »

I really like the first image.

Mark
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Arlen

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Re: Barefoot in the Snow
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2023, 04:08:32 pm »

Thanks Paulo, Francois and Mark for adding your thoughts.
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