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Ruffed Grouse Nostril Feathers

12-16-14 ruffed grouse nostrils IMG_2376Ruffed Grouse have adapted to cold winter months in a number of ways, from growing “snowshoe” pectinations on their toes to having their legs covered with fine feathers. Equally effective are the feathers covering a grouse’s nostrils, which are thought to heat cold air as the bird breathes in. (Thanks to Sara and Warren Demont for photo op.)

7 responses

  1. I’m not sure whether your “which” refers to feathers or nostrils. The feathers can’t heat the air being breathed in, since I doubt they have active blood flow in them, but the nostrils with their blood flow can and the feathers would reduce heat loss at that point.

    December 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    • Yes, I believe the feathers just slow the air down, certainly they don’t heat it!

      December 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

  2. Sarah T McArdle

    Imagine growing snowshoes on your feet for winter – wish Petunia could do that!

    Hope all is well up there. The weather sounds disappointing though. Are we going to have a white Christmas?! Chilly here, but there are pansies in bloom. XXOO

    Sent from my iPhone


    December 16, 2014 at 3:31 pm

  3. Gorgeous!

    December 16, 2014 at 4:36 pm

  4. Sara DeMont

    Sweet Sandi! I still look for you every time I walk our land.

    December 17, 2014 at 12:02 am

  5. Such perfectly camouflaged feathers – I love the close-up!

    December 17, 2014 at 2:04 am

  6. Marilyn

    I found a ruffed grouse in my dooryard garden a few years ago. Had no idea what it was, since I’d only ever seen them in motion! It was such an amazing feeling to hold its body in my hands. Eventually I took a few photos and gave it a proper burial.

    December 17, 2014 at 3:19 am

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