do birds go into hibernation

When the temperature rises, the days grow longer, insects become more plentiful once more, and the breeding season draws near, the poorwills that endure the winter emerge from their hibernation. and that is something to sing about.

This audio story is brought to you by BirdNote, a partner of the National Audubon Society. BirdNote episodes air daily on public radio stations nationwide.

Scientists call it torpor. It occurs when an animal slows down its bodily processes in order to store heat and energy. The bird’s breathing, body temperature, and heart rate will all decrease.

Researchers believe the poorwill might have benefited from an evolutionary advantage if it could have survived the winter rather than migrating.

Make a commitment to support Audubon in urging decision-makers to pay attention to science and pursue climate solutions.

Sign up or log in Sign up using Google Sign up using Email and Password

Required, but never shown

1 Answer 1 Sorted by:

According to the RSPB, which @muru found spelled out at the bottom of the linked page below as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, there is one species of bird that does truly hibernate. According to the RSPB website, the common poorwill, which lives in the western US, hibernates through the winter.

Further on the website, it states that no bird hibernates in the UK. Rather, they migrate or practice colonial roosting, which is the act of gathering around a source of heat.

Swifts are one species that hibernates in the UK in order to store energy for a brief period of cold, like a chilly night. The majority of torpor research has been conducted in North America.

We appreciate you answering a question on The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange!

  • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!.
  • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
  • expressing opinions and supporting them with references or firsthand knowledge

To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. Draft saved Draft discarded.

FAQ

How long do birds hibernate?

Only one bird species has been noted as truly hibernating – the common poorwill. It is the only bird known to go into torpor for more than a few days, often lasting between a few weeks to months, therefore it is deemed to hibernate.

Where do birds go when it gets cold?

Cavity nesters like nuthatches, titmice and downy woodpeckers use tree cavities and nest boxes to stay warm. Cavities and boxes provide protection from the weather and help birds hide from predators.

How do birds not freeze in winter?

The answer lies in the oil-producing glands birds have. They preen to coat their feathers in this oil to waterproof and insulate their down feathers. In addition, you’ll often see birds fluffing their feathers to create air pockets that trap body heat to keep them warm.

How do you know if a bird is in torpor?

Going into torpor allows the Anna’s to reduce their body temperature from 107 to as low as 48, while their heart rate can dramatically drop from over 400 beats per minute at rest to around 50 beats. Aitken said that in most cases when someone finds an Anna’s motionless, the bird is in a state of torpor.