Friday, August 19, 2011

Brewer's Blackbird - Panting

I remember thinking it wasn't that hot of day when I saw these Brewer's Blackbirds panting along the short of Fernhill Lake at Fernhill Wetlands back on July 31st. But I guess when you don't sweat, you have to release heat somehow.
Wikipedia states; "Birds do not have sweat glands, but they may cool themselves by moving to shade, standing in water, panting, increasing their surface area, fluttering their throat or by using special behaviors like urohidrosis to cool themselves."
Urohidrosis, now that's a big word. Wikipedia defines it as; "Urohidrosis (sometimes spelled "urohydrosis") is the habit in some birds of defecating onto the scaly portions of the legs as a cooling mechanism, using evaporative cooling of the fluids. Several species of storks and New World vultures exhibit this behavior. Birds' droppings consist of feces and urine, which are excreted together through the cloaca. The term is also used to describe the analogous behavior in seals that cool themselves while basking by urinating on their hind flippers."
Yuck! :-)

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