“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” (Job 12:7 NKJV)
The last few days, the northern states of the United States and Canada have been experiencing extreme cold temperatures. Watching the news today, our Manatees, here in Florida, are heading in to the warmer waterways. But how about the birds?
Checking articles about how the Zoos protect their avian wonders during this severe cold snap, there were several interesting things that are being done to protect the birds.
In Chicago, they actually closed the “Lincoln Park Zoo …closed at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and was to remain shut on Wednesday, when temperatures are expected to reach a daytime high of around 14 degrees below zero. Brookfield Zoo planed to close its doors Wednesday and Thursday.” [edited to make it past tense, written Jan 28, 2019]
“To ensure the safety of our animals and staff, the zoo will only have a skeleton crew on site who will provide basic core functions, including animal care and to check on the facilities,” said Stuart Strahl, president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, in a statement.
That zoo has closed just three other times in its 85-year history: Feb. 2, 2011, due to a snowstorm; and Sept. 14, 2018 and April 18, 2013, because of significant flooding.”
“Lincoln Park Zoo spokesperson Jillian Braun said the zoo has closed just one other time due to extreme weather in recent memory. ”
Another article by the same source “Shiver, Fluff and Cuddle: How Birds Keep Warm in the Winter”
Even the Penguins in Canada aren’t too sure about this cold weather. See:
“The Calgary Zoo in Alberta had to bring its penguins inside after the weather dropped to -25 degrees below zero Celsius.
The zoo’s 51 Gentoo penguins, Humboldt penguins, king penguins and rockhopper penguins, are usually brought in at some point every year.
“The keepers are able to call the penguins in and they have an instinct to want to be indoors when it gets that cold as well. We do this every winter when the temperature plummets to where it was a few days ago,” a zoo official told InsideEdition.com. “They are cold weather birds, but the temperatures were colder than they prefer.”
Another Zoo, Saskatoon zoo works to keep animals safe in extreme cold weather, says, “The species that might be tropical or from regions that never see minus temperatures have to come inside at the beginning of the winter season.”
The St. Louis Zoo in Missouri says, “On one of the coldest days in over 20 years, employees at the St. Louis Zoo are busy making sure animals are being cared for and protected from the dangerously cold weather….
“A lot of times you’ll see those animals adapted to cold weather actually being more active in the cooler weather than you would in the summer heat,” Anne Tieber, curator of birds. In the historic buildings that house the birds, monkeys, and reptiles, zookeepers keep the temperature around 70 degrees, with a little of humidly for the tropical plants and some animals.”
“One surprisingly warm place the zoo is the Penguin and Puffin Coast, the building is kept at a balmy 45 degrees year-round. So, right now it seems incredibly warm to the 7 degrees outside but flips to feeling cold in the summer.”
Enjoy these articles, plus a few more that tell how the wild birds also survive these extreme cold days and nights.
COLD-WEATHER SKILLS OF FEATHERED FRIENDS – Zoo Atlanta