Today at Light Future Art, we’re going to take a look at some fun facts about birds who make the cold mountainous habitat their home. You may not have ever heard of some of these amazing birds before!
1. The ptarmigan has white winter plumage to help them hide in the snow. While other birds with white feathers still retain dark remiges (or the long feathers on their wings), because darker feathers are sturdier, the ptarmigan also changes those to white.
2. The alpine accentor, a small sparrow-sized bird, forms mating groups of a handful of females and about as many males. The females will mate with many males and in a nest, she may have chicks from different fathers. The male alpine accentors bring food to the nests that he believes his own offspring are in.
3. Northern wheatears build their nests on the ground, in crevices, or in old rodent burrows. The female lines her chosen nesting area with twigs, weeds, and mosses.
4. Due to the particular acidity of the bearded vulture’s stomach, they are capable of digesting entire bones in under a day. The pH level of this bird’s stomach is estimated to be 1, the most acidic on the scale.
5. The red-billed chough, which is native to Great Britain, was thought of in folklore to be a little thief of small, household items, such as candles and wood. They were also thought to enjoy starting barn fires or setting rooves alight.
6. Mountain bluebirds live in many of the same areas as humans and will often nest in nest boxes and come to feeders, making them easily observable. The mountain bluebird is the state bird of both Nevada and Idaho.
7. The song of the Blockpoll warbler is one of the highest-pitched bird calls known. It is fairly simple and repetitive and is often the only way for people to be aware of their presence, as they spend a lot of their time in dense, dark foliage.
8. The saw-whet owl has an especially keen sense of sound. Their ears are asymmetrical and because of this, the sound reaches different parts of their ears at different times. Using this information, they can locate the prey that they heard with near pinpoint accuracy. They do not require sight to hunt, relying solely on what they hear.
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