How do birds sleep?
Ever wondered how birds go to sleep? But first, do they sleep at all? Well yes they do sleep but how they manage to do it shows how amazing birds are.
For a start, if a bird sleeps on the ground, they can be picked up by a cat. If a bird sleeps on the branch, predatory birds can attack them. Birds rest in water, they are easy pickings for water based attackers.
Read on to find how our feathered friends handle their sleep along with some surprising facts.
The Amazing Albatross: Sleep while in flight
The albatross has been around for 50 million years. It hasn’t achieved that with nothing. The powerful bird has a wingspan of 2.9-3.3 meters. It flies across seas and oceans and can’t afford to rest on the water as it becomes prey to whales and sharks. So what does it do?
The albatross aligns its wings with the wind for low turbulence, sets its course, holds steady and catches a few blinks in flight. How amazing is that? The albatross can glide over 10,000 square feet above sea level half asleep!
Shut one eye and switch off half the brain!!
Research show that birds can sleep with a technique called unilateral eye closure (UEC) – that is, one eye is closed and one half of the brain switched off while the other eye and brain hemisphere is open and active, keeping them semi-alert to danger. This is typical of large flock of geese fly in V formation. While the head goose is fully alert, the ones on the side sleep partially: One brain switched off and one eye closed.
Birds such as crows, swallows and starlings settle down in a large community. They get their safety in numbers and some are asleep while others are alert.
Beat the cold night. Tuck your head in
Birds tuck their bills into their shoulder or backs while sleeping. This puts their nares into their plumage where the air is heated by their bodies, giving them warmer air to breathe while they sleep.
A lesson from birds
Well lets face it, birds are far more in danger than human beings when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. Out in the wild, there is no guarantee of safety and yet birds have found their own ways to get the rest needed. Surely we people are gifted to have a roof over our heads. Can we find simple sleep techniques to make that count?
What techniques do you find useful to get a good night’s sleep?