Experts: Birds equipped to survive Minnesota’s bitter cold

Wildlife experts say wild birds are well equipped to handle Minnesota’s extreme cold weather, a particular concern when temperatures dipped to double digits below zero last week.

Andy Forbes helps lead the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Migratory Bird Program. Forbes tells Minnesota Public Radio News that about half of the state’s roughly 300 bird species head south to warmer climates in the winter. Forbes says the birds that stay are tough enough to survive the extreme cold weather, as long they’re able to find food.

He says the birds that remain have high metabolisms and generate a lot of body heat, with their feathers serving as great insulators.

Forbes says species common to Minnesota, such as the black-capped chickadee and Canada jays, often store food in preparation for times when it’s unavailable.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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