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Old Thursday 3rd February 2011, 05:04   #1
Bird12345
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I see birds keeping their beaks open

Why do they do this?

I've seen aussie magpies, common mynas and possibly currawongs holding their beaks open indefinately. Now I don't believe they do it when they feel threatened because the magpie is very comfortable around me yet sometimes he does it and other times he doesn't. I see them do it often when it's hot but I don't want to rush to that conclusion yet.
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Old Thursday 3rd February 2011, 06:45   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird12345 View Post
I see them do it often when it's hot but I don't want to rush to that conclusion yet.
But I think that's probably it--heat dissipation.
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Old Thursday 3rd February 2011, 06:51   #3
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With how hot Sydney is right now, at least 35 for the last week, (nearly 100F) I think it's just the birds 'panting' like dogs
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Old Friday 4th February 2011, 16:19   #4
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Agree. Have seen crows do that in India in the summer. Have you tried providing a bird bath?
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Old Saturday 5th February 2011, 02:23   #5
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Alright thanks guys. I thought it was because of the heat it's just that I hadn't payed attention to any birds since fairly recently so I didn't know if they were doing it when it was cool too.
How come I sometimes see birds sunbathing when it's hot and other's carefully sticking to the shade? Even when it's very hot like 34 C.
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Old Tuesday 8th February 2011, 11:20   #6
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I also think they are opening their mouths to regulate their body temperature. Its called a homeostatic response, its common across the animal kingdom, and roughling feathers is another example.

I would say you see some birds in the sun and others in the shade dependant on what they have recently been doing. Birds have incredibly high metabolisms and produce a great deal of body heat which they need to loose, so if a bird has recently been 'working hard' they will be more likely to be resting to return to their base heart rate, slowing their metabolism in an effort to regulate their body temperature. it is feasable they would do it when it was cold as well because they have such high metabolisms.

Also of course, some birds are more able to tolerate high temperatures than others, for a variety of morphological reasons, as a result of genetic variation and speciation. 'Some like it hot'
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Old Tuesday 8th February 2011, 11:24   #7
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I think I've heard that spreading feathers out in the sun is also a way to get rid of some parasites?
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Old Wednesday 9th February 2011, 16:49   #8
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panting, nothing else.
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