Room for two more little ones? Four and 20 freezing sparrows huddle up on a single brrrranch


Stay close: As they battle the elements of a Canadian snowstorm, these 24 sparrows huddle to keep warm

Like the hilarious Pixar animation 'for the birds', these swallows huddle together to shelter from the cold.
But, instead of pecking the feet of a larger bird until the wire twangs, these little creatures are snuggling up against the harsh winter weather along the Yukon River in Canada.
Struggling to stay warm as temperatures plummet below freezing in a bitter snow storm, they clamour onto a single branch to conserve heat. And because of their ingenuity, every single one of them survived.

They were pictured on a tree on the banks of the Yukon River as they fluffed up their feathers to stay warm

Photographer Keith Williams, 59, spotted the remarkable scenes while out walking his dog, Brandy.
He said: 'I noticed several hundreds of swallows taking cover in the trees during the storm and immediately recognized how rare it was to see so many clinging together.
'I was amazed because I had never seen them in such large numbers and at such close range.

'They coped by crowding together on branches to conserve body heat and forming a pile, something I have never heard any bird do before.
'They also created their own warm jackets by fluffing their feathers and tucked their heads under their wings to conserve heat.
'Perhaps one of the reasons why I was able to get so close may have been because they had lowered their metabolism to conserve precious calories, so were in slowed-state called torpor, similar to hibernation.
'Extreme cold and snowstorms don't allow for flying insects their main food, but they did seem to be trying to pick some sort of aquatic insect off the surface of the river.

Photographer Keith Williams captured the images while he was out taking a walk with his dog, Brandy

'I'm not sure how successful they were but I saw no dead birds.'
Mr Williams added: 'I returned early the following morning to check up on the birds, as I feared many might have died from cold, hunger and exhaustion. All seemed fine.
'They allowed me to take photos from close range, which is unusual for this species.
'I was wearing camouflage gear and had been standing still for a quite a while.
'I was blown-away by some of the photos, especially the colourful close-ups which revealed the blue, metallic plumage.
'Normally when I think of swallows, it's little brown and white birds swooping about in the sky at a distance, because that is all I usually get to see of them.'

The scene was like something from the Pixar animation 'for the birds' but without a larger bird coming to disturb them

source: dailymail