Perching Birds

Do you ever wonder how birds like these House Sparrows can sleep without losing their grasp on a branch or something else that must be gripped?
The feet of perching birds have a pair of tendons which are connected to the deep flexor muscles of the leg. When the bird lands and the ankle bends, both tendons automatically pull, clenching the toes closed. As long as the ankle is bent, the toes remain locked in place, giving the bird a sure grip even when sleeping.



Linking to
The BIRD D’pot
Wild Bird Wednesday
Good Fences


26 Comments on “Perching Birds”

  1. Teresa says:

    That is so interesting! Great pictures too.

  2. TexWisGirl says:

    pretty amazing. thanks for the education!

  3. Yes God think s of everything when he was creating.

  4. Gunilla says:

    Cute birds. Interesting info as well.

  5. Linda Kay says:

    Thanks for the info on the birds…I always wondered about that, but never looked it up.

  6. So interesting! It makes perfect sense, but I’ve never heard that.

  7. BumbleVee says:

    Well, who knew? Thanks for that …I love to learn new things …. and, with birds …there is soooooooo much to learn. Every time you ask a question and get an answer ..there are more questions….

  8. Robin says:

    Pat, very interesting! As I understand it, they don’t feel the cold through their feet.

  9. What a neat piece of information on the birds and such nice photos. I like that last one very much.

  10. Brian King says:


  11. Pat, I always enjoy coming here to view your beautiful photos and learn something new! How fascinating!

  12. Forgive if this is a repeat comment — I’ve been having problems leaving them today for some reason (not just on yours). Love the pictures and am grateful for what you just taught me — I never thought about how that works and feel like I should have wondered. My one new thing to learn today for sure!

  13. Interesting! I’ve wondered how they hung on so tightly!

  14. donna213 says:

    Colorful house sparrows.

  15. ladyfi says:

    Cute shots. And I’ve always wondered how they grip in their sleep…

  16. DeniseinVA says:

    I have wondered about that and now I know. Thank you for the explanation. Sweet bird shots!

  17. Marie-AZ says:

    That’s very interesting! I did wonder…

  18. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    Thanks for the 411, Pat!

  19. Oh no, the birds must remember to bend their ankles.

  20. I love watching sparrows no matter how common they are. Great images. As always.

    Thanks for sharing the link this week at I’d Rather B Birdin’. I’m a bit behind visiting since I’ve been getting my new computer all set up and programs installed. I think I’m now able to catch up.

  21. Jim says:

    Actually, Pat, I have wondered this. Thank you for explaining it.

  22. Good info Pat…yes it was the last cosmos of the season…

  23. I really love the expression you captured in the first photo…Great shots.

  24. artmusedog says:

    Lovely bird photos ~ always very creative posts ~

    Happy Day to you!

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