Re: Effect of extreme heat on birds

To: Peter Shute <>
Subject: Re: Effect of extreme heat on birds
From: Evan Beaver <>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2009 09:01:16 +1100
I've heard some interesting stories on this, but note that the plural
of anecdote is still not data.

The Bedowin tribes in Africa, can't remember where, have always worn
black robes. It's ridiculously hot there, I think some of them even
live in the Death Valley or what ever it's called. The theory goes
that the top heats up a lot, while the ground is cooler, and this
creates a convection that gets the air inside the robe moving, helping
heat transfer off the body. Maybe black birds use the same mechanism?

Also, Darwins theory suggests there must be some advantage in the
black plumage. The Corvids and big dark raptors, well, even Emus, seem
to cope quite well out in the very hot, dry bits of this great land,
Australia. I think this means we can assume there is actually an
advantage in black plumage.

On the flip side, the white raptors, in particular I'm thinking of the
Letterwing Kites, move their hunting later in the day, possibly when
it's cooler? My understanding of LWKs is that they do most of their
hunting after dusk.


2009/2/4 Peter Shute <>:
> That makes me wonder whether birds with black plumage suffer from extreme 
> heat more than birds with white plumage. Obviously it's generally not a 
> problem or they wouldn't exist.
> Peter Shute
> --------------------------
> Sent using BlackBerry

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