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This extremely dark house sparrow appears to be covered in soot, even on its beak and legs.

Flight Lines: Resisting the rigors of winter; behaviors meant to survive cold

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Last weekend, I stumbled upon a curious scene. Sitting on the snow under a spruce tree was a blue jay. It looked cold but comfortable. Its feathers were fluffed a little and its head was turned and tucked into its back like birds do when sleeping. I was surprised it let me get so close without flinching; usually jays are pretty wary birds. Only when I reached down and touched it was the truth revealed.

It was dead.

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