Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sleep is for the Birds

You may have never come across a sleeping bird. And that’s the way that birds like it.

Nature writer and bird surveyor Val Cunningham recently
wrote about the life of sleeping birds for the Star Tribune.

Most birds keep their sleeping spots well hidden. They’re fearful of becoming a predator’s late-night snack. So they may roost in the same kind of secluded areas that they would use for a nesting site.

But there is great variety in where they choose to sleep. They may lock their feet onto a branch in a dense shrub. Other birds make their bed in a hole inside a tree.

They may doze alone in a tall chimney. Or they may sleep in a group at the top of a tree.

Cunningham also describes some intriguing sleep habits of birds.

Some birds can sleep with one eye open and half of their brain awake. This enables them to detect danger.

Most songbirds travel at night during migration. This can cause them to become severely sleep deprived. As a result they may take brief “power naps” during the day.

Sleep talking” even occurs among some birds. They might make soft sounds or quietly rehearse songs as they sleep.

Learn more about
sleep and animals.

Image by shapour bahrami

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