Mourning Dove, © Photo by Steve Kaye

Winter Tribute | Jan 2017

How Do Birds Survive Winter?


Mourning Dove, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in blog post "Winter Tribute"

Mourning Dove


Here are two Winter tributes: a poem and a photo (with its story).

Ultimate Victor

In the middle of winter
one might conclude
that frozen darkness
– – –had won.
Hard snow covers all
and fierce winds cut
life to the core.

Nothing moves,
Nothing grows.

Everything waits . . . .

But eventually
warmth returns.

And once again life
triumphs as it
pushes aside the
earth where it had
hidden to rise in
magnificent glory
with color and song
– – –more beautiful
– – –and more vibrant
than ever before.


About the Photo

It’s cold: Zero F (-17 C) and wind is blowing. Even with my warmest coat, I can still feel the chill.

So how do birds survive such cold?

Certainly, they can’t put on a hat or sit by a bonfire.

This Mourning Dove has a way. As you can see in the photo, it found a secluded place where it could rest on dry leaves, puff up its feathers, and pull in its head.

So it has minimized its exposure to the wind. And, more important, it’s using the natural down feathers that cover its body to provide a layer of insulation.


About Winter

Without winter there would be no incentive to build a shelter or invent ways to stay warm.

So every adversity leads to solutions.

Much success,

Steve Kaye

PS: The poem comes from Life Poems, a collection of my poems. Find more info at: Life Poems.


Find More at:

Don’t Cry for Me, Audubon

The Bird Next Door

Conversation with a Song Sparrow


Birding Resources

See photos of Watchlist Birds: Birds at Risk


Did You Know?

The most effective way to help birds is to buy land.

Here are three organizations that excel at doing this.

1) American Bird Conservancy

2) The Nature Conservancy

3) The Trust for Public Land

Please visit their web sites to learn about the work they do.

Here’s an excellent book: The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation


You can help – Please share this blog with others.
Inspiring Respect for Nature, one bird at a time.

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4 Comments
  • Nancy Hoffmann
    Posted at 15:58h, 12 January

    Birds in Chicago migrate south. It’s a better solution!

  • Bob Franz
    Posted at 06:51h, 13 January

    Nice article in today’s Placentia News-Times. It was much too short, but I get it – you don’t want to divulge too many secrets of your success. Keep on watching, waiting, and clicking.

  • Jo-Ann Coller
    Posted at 08:31h, 13 January

    So, you are a poet too! Nice, very nice. Love the dove all snugly and warm.
    Jo-Ann

  • Susie Vanderlip
    Posted at 20:10h, 14 January

    Great photos and great info, Steve! Wishing you great talks and continue inspiring all to LOVE birds!
    Our hummers have just started emptying our feeders in 1 to 2 days again! In Nov and Dec, it took them 2 to 3 weeks to empty one feeder. In the last week, they are emptying 2 to 3 feeders in 4 days! Keeping them well fed and supported through our rainy winter 🙂
    FYI – I’ll be doing a book signing and speaking on Everything Monarch Butterfly for Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale on Sat. March 11th! I’m excited and honored 🙂

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