Are birds warm blooded?

Just like you, sometimes I wonder if birds are cold blooded or warm blooded. The accurate answer to that question is yes; they are warm blooded animals like you and l. In our world as of today, birds and mammals are the only surviving warm blooded organisms.

Warm-blooded animals are animals that can maintain stable body temperature. These animals have the ability to maintain a body temperature higher than their environments. Warm-blooded animals do this by regulating their body metabolic process.

Table of Contents

Birds as Warm-Blooded Creatures

Just like mammals, the bird family is warm-blooded. This means they have the ability to maintain constant body temperature and can generate heat internally. Birds can survive extreme weather conditions that cold-blooded animals cannot. They can withstand cold environments, all thanks to their ability to be warm blooded and the various mechanisms in their bodies that make them adapt to various weather conditions.

As a warm-blooded animal, the bird family is not affected by environmental changes. This has little or no effect on their metabolic rates. One advantage the bird enjoys from being warmblooded is the fact that it’s immune system becomes much stronger and defends it against microorganisms that might affect it.


Birds don’t need the sun to control their body temperature.they can achieve this on their own unlike cold blooded animals who depend heavily on the sun and water intake for this. As earlier stated, warm-blooded animals tend to generate heat from inside, and birds being warmly blooded adapt to cold weather by generating internal heat for body regulation during cold.

According to various researches, many fungi cannot withstand warm blooded animals because of their body temperature. Many microorganisms can’t survive the heat generated by warm-blooded animals internally. That being said, the birds are warm-blooded, and this applies to them. Many times being warm-blooded is not enough to protect warm blooded animals against extreme weather conditions like cold and winter.

How do birds adapt to cold conditions?

The bird’s feather

The bird feather plays a very crucial role when it comes to their body regulation. Its feature is one physical attribute that provides it with enough insulation for winter. Birds like winter birds rely on their feather for heat during winter. Some birds even grow extra feathers during winter, and this serves as a form of clothing for the birds protecting them and regulating their body temperature.

are birds warm blooded

The bird’s feet

The birds’ feet play a significant role in the thermoregulation of the birds. They are fashioned in ways that make it hard for the birds to lose heat. The scales on the legs and feet help to make this possible and easy for the birds. These birds can maintain as much heat as their body needs in winter and frigid weather.

By burning fat

Just like humans, birds retain and generate heat by burning body fat. The body fats are stored and serve as insulators during extreme weather. The bird body generated heat by converting the stored fat to energy.9

By Cuddling

Many birds behave just like humans, they try to get  heat from one another. These birds adapt to winter and extreme cold areas by devising   a means that looks like human  cuddling. 

are birds warm blooded

They gather themselves on trees  or mountains and cuddle themselves. By doing this, they help to  generate heat therefore keeping themselves warm.


Since all birds are warm-blooded, maintaining constant temperature is peculiar to all kinds of birds. No type of bird is excused from the ability to preserve constants’ body temperature and the ability to generate heat internally.

Birds’ yearly immigration has little or nothing to do with the weather. Some basic needs that  are peculiar to the birds  become scarce during winter, and they need to migrate to source for them. Birds migrate to warm regions during winter to search for food.

Many of the organisms that birds feed on are scarce during winter; they need to source for what to feed on. Warm areas give room for living organisms to breed and reproduce under the perfect weather. Birds also migrate during Winter periods because they need to reproduce. It is easy to find resources to build nests in warm regions as against winter affected regions. 

Being warm-blooded is a big advantage to birds in various ways; being warm-blooded helps birds fight against pathogens in their body. Warm-blooded animals can respond to infections and invading pathogens with fever. 

Fever, which makes the body of a warm-blooded animal higher than its environment, helps its immune system withstand infections and various pathological activities in the bird’s body. This helps them to survive many infections and also helps in their reproduction. Birds also find it easy to keep warm because of their nature of being warm-blooded. They adapt to cold weather by making warm blood circulate near vital organs in their body.


It is no longer up to debate if birds are warm-blooded or cold-blooded because these organisms are warm blooded. The birds and mammals are the only living warm blooded animals on earth now. They have the ability to generate heat internally.

The birds do this by regulating their body metabolism. Birds, unlike their ancestors (dinosaurs), birds are warm blooded organisms, this has given them many adaptive advantages over cold-blooded animals. Like mammals, they can maintain a constant body temperature up to 106 degrees. Birds have high metabolism leading to high body temperature. Birds, like many warm blooded animals, have various internal mechanisms in extremely cold areas. They utilize this by regulating their metabolic rates.

Some birds try to maintain body temperature by losing heat. These birds get into water to keep them cooler and lose heat therefore having a constant body temperature. With all these facts about birds, it is clearly visible that the bird is a warm blooded animal and this has really been of a great advantage to it.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

Was This Post Helpful?

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content