Birds Are Cool: Thorns and Birds


One of the amazing aspects of birds is how many seem to b able to ignore thorns.

Dark-eyed Junco in Brambles, Idaho

Dark-eyed Junco in Brambles, Idaho

This Dark-eyed Junco is perched in a bramble thicket among spiky thorns. WC took the photo for the contrast between the reddish, jagged branches and thorns and the stolid, chunky Junco, but still. Maybe the bird feels safer in there.

Cactus Wren in Jumping Cholla, Arizona

Cactus Wren in Jumping Cholla, Arizona

This Cactus Wren is perfectly comfortable perched on needle sharp cholla, stuff that would leave you badly perforated if you touched it.

Harris's Hawk Perched on Saguaro, Arizona

Harris’s Hawk Perched on Saguaro, Arizona

A Harris’s Hawk, one of the very few birds that hunts in packs, like wolves, is perched on a saguaro cactus, the tallest thing around that part of the Sonoran Desert, searching for prey. The needles don’t seem to bother its talons at all.

Costa's Hummingbird in Thorny Scrub, California

Costa’s Hummingbird in Thorny Scrub, California

Even hummingbirds perch on thorny branches with impunity.

WC thinks that’s another reasons why birds are pretty cool.

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