In this post, you will get an answer to one of the most asked questions, do birds get frostbite in winters? There are a variety of methods that birds use to keep their feet warm and prevent them from getting frostbite in winters. The most common way is that the birds simply pull up their feet close to their center of mass. Their body heat and feathers keep their legs warm and off the cold surface. Similarly, other birds crouch down in order to cover both their bird feet with their plumage.
During the winter season, birds can fluff up their feathers to trap the air between the feathery layers to keep their body extra warm. In case there are more birds around, they crowd up and huddle together to keep themselves warm.
But what about their legs and feet?
Speaking about their feet and legs, many birds have their legs covered with a rough skin that prevents heat loss. Their legs have a smaller surface area as compared to their bodies, so a limited amount of skin is exposed to the cold.
What about birds with huge feet?
Now you must be wondering what about ducks and other birds who have huge and flat bird feet exposed to ice-cold water? Ducks have their veins and arteries aligned in such a way that warm blood is pumped towards the feet, and the normal blood gets pumped in the rest of the body. This means that the blood that travels to their legs is warmed before it reaches the core of the bird.
Some birds have an evolutionary trait, and they can control their blood flow to extremities using a series of muscles located at the top of their legs. In some extreme conditions, they can even cut off the blood flow for a short period of time without causing any damage. Despite all these methods to prevent their feet from getting frostbite, birds can get frostbite and die from it, particularly in the harsh winter season.