You watch the weather forecast, gear up with hat, coat, scarf and gloves, but you still get cold after just a short time in the snow and wind. If it’s such a challenge for humans to stay warm outside, how do birds―especially the little delicate guys like chickadees and titmice―survive the single-digit temperatures and whipping winds of winter?
It turns out that birds (even the little guys) aren’t so delicate after all, and they’ve got a few tricks up their sleeve (uh, wing), too.
Their first layer of defense against the cold is their outer-most one: feathers. There’s a good reason why people love down-filled winter coats―feathers are fantastic insulation.
“Feathers are incredibly specialized structures that serve many purposes including, for many species, keeping them warm,” says Peter Marra, head of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.