A Photoblog by Monte Stevens

A place for my photos and random thoughts

Staying in Balance

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Staying in Balance

Staying in Balance

The reason Canadian geese, and many other birds, will balance on one leg is not because of boredom. It seems the birds’ legs have an adaptation called “rete mirabile” that minimizes heat loss. The arteries that transport warm blood into the legs lie in contact with the veins that return colder blood to the bird’s heart. The arteries warm the veins. By standing on one leg, a bird reduces by half the amount of heat lost through unfeathered limbs. So when temperatures drop birds will stand on one leg to stay in balance with the natural world around them.


Written by Monte Stevens

January 31, 2009 at 12:01 am

Posted in Avian

Tagged with , , , ,

One Response

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  1. Very interesting information. Nice shot – the bird really stands out. Is that snow all around the goose?

    I ponder how our creator knew that geese would need that fancy circulation system, but we do not. Geese may enjoy standing in a snow bank, but my creator knows that I will find a nice fire to sit beside.

    Opa Wayne

    February 1, 2009 at 5:00 pm

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