5 birds that tolerate the cold well

5 birds that tolerate the cold well

Some species of birds are resistant to low temperatures or can live easily in cold environments. Le Figaro invites you to discover 5 of them.

Cold tolerance, migration, hibernation. Some birds are able to withstand winter, cold, even extreme cold. Others have found the parade by migrating. As for the Common Nightjar, it hibernates.

These birds which are not bothered by the cold, are generally present in Canada, in the Arctic, Antarctica, in the tundra but also in Europe and in your garden.


The tit. adobe-stock

Birds, belonging to the passerine family, tits are arboreal, insectivorous and granivorous. Present in our gardens in winter, we can help them get through this harsh season, by taking care of them, using feeders, nesting boxes and above all by feeding them.

Some tits protect themselves from the cold by putting themselves under the snow. The black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), who lives in North America, goes into hypothermia on freezing nights. It lowers the temperature of its body at night by several degrees (10 to 12°) to keep its energy. She also has thick feathers, which she straightens to insulate herself from the cold. To survive, she lives in small groups. It also hides food, often in the bark of trees.

  • Size: 12 to 15 cm
  • Weight: 9-14g
  • Food: insects, spiders, caterpillars, seeds, berries.

snowy owl

The Snowy Owl lives mainly in Canada. adobe-stock

The Snowy Owl (bubo scandiacus) belongs to the family of Owls. It is one of the largest owls, with a wingspan of almost 1.5m, although it is also called a snowy owl. Which can be confusing.

Originally from the arctic tundra, the snowy owl can withstand temperatures reaching -50°C, thanks to its thick down and feathers, which are also present on its legs.

  • Height: 55 to 70 cm
  • Weight: 1 to 2.5 kg
  • Diet: rodents (lemmings, voles), birds, fish, hares

Emperor penguin

The emperor penguin lives in Antarctica, where it forms colonies of thousands of individuals. adobe-stock

The emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri ), of the Spheniscidae family, is a seabird, unsuited to flight. It is the largest of the penguins. Its particular distinction: an orange spot, in the auricular region.

It can withstand freezing temperatures thanks to dense plumage, and the presence of an insulating layer between the skin and the feathers (downy filaments).

  • Size: 1m to 1.30m
  • Weight: 25 to 40 kg
  • Diet: fish

whitish redpoll

The whitish redpoll is a small bird with a reddish forehead. adobe-stock

The whitish redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni) is a passerine bird with a red forehead and a small beak, belonging to the family Fringillidae. It breeds in the tundra in Eurasia and North America and is partially migratory southwards in this area.

Its very dense plumage makes it the champion of resistance to extreme cold. Its long hairs at the base of its beak also allow it to fight against the cold of the Arctic. In winter, it seeks its food mainly on the ground and in the vegetation.

  • Size: 11 to 14 cm
  • Weight: 11 to 20 g
  • Food: seeds of shrubs and trees, buds and tender shoots of plants

tufted puffin

The tufted puffin is a seabird, which breeds mainly in Alaska. Adobe Stock

tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) belongs to the family of Alcids. This seabird is native to the coasts of the northern regions of the Pacific Ocean. Its wings are very suitable for diving and swimming. Its plumage is black all over the body and white on the face. It is essentially distinguished by a crest of yellow feathers.

The tufted puffin regulates its body temperature thanks to its large beak: flying requires a lot of energy, it produces a large amount of heat during this activity. It manages to evacuate excess heat through its beak.

  • Height: 36 to 41 cm
  • Weight: 700 to 800 g
  • Food: fish, crustaceans, molluscs


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