Birds are amazing creatures. Colorful, chirpy, melodious and feathery maybe a few adjectives used to describe them. With over 10,000 species inhabiting our planet, they have spread themselves almost everywhere. From the harsh frozen expanses of Antarctica to the humid rainforests of South America our feathery friends are everywhere. However, here are 15 amazing facts about birds that might surprise you.
Size of an Ostrich eyeball
The eyes of an ostrich are the largest in size for any animal living on land. Approximately the size of a billiard ball, Ostrich’s eyes are much larger than their brains.
Amazing Facts About The Birds: Hummingbird Weight
Incredible creatures as they are, their weights are found to be even more incredible. Their weights are as lightweight as 4 grams which are even lighter than the weight of a penny. The smallest of the hummingbird family, the “bee hummingbird” weighs a mere 1.6 grams; which is even less than what a penny weigh!
Amazing Facts About The Birds: Tuxedo Wearing Penguins
Our friends from the frozen expanses of Antarctica are the only birds with the ability to stand upright on their feet. While they can be clumsy in their walk, they are excellent swimmers. Their unique coat color particularly serves as excellent camouflage while swimming allowing them to stay hidden from both predators and prey. Their black backs blend effortlessly with the darker ocean water making them difficult to spot from above, while their whiter and lighter crests help them to blend smoothly with the brighter ocean surface when seen from below making them difficult to spot.
The Messenger Pigeon!
You can hear the rumor that pigeon is among the earliest species of birds that were domesticated by humans. People used pigeons as a delivery boy, even in Olympic! Messenger Pigeons were used as recently as World War II to deliver important information.
The Talking Parrot
An amazing fact about these birds is their ability to speak human words. While most parrots can speak around 50 words including make mimicking sounds like that of an alarm or a starting of a car engine. One can observe that African grey parrots can learn up to more than 100 words.
The One-Eyed Sleep Of Ducks!
Quite an incredible fact about these birds is their ability to sleep with one eye open keeping half of their brain awake. It has been found that while napping in groups, duck on the outside perimeter sleep with one eye kept open to make sure no predators are able to sneak upon them.
Amazing Facts About The Birds: The 360-Degree Owl
It is almost an amazing fact that owls are the only living creatures with the ability to rotate their heads the full circle. While they can rotate their 360 degrees, they can’t, however, rotate their eyes. Also, another fact about these birds is their ability to devour their prey whole which includes small insects to rats and mice.
Ant Covered Cardinals
Cardinals sometimes are found allowing ants to crawl onto them. They cover themselves in crushed or living ants; scientists believing the purpose of this anting to be an act of getting rid of lice and other parasites.
The Mimicking Raven
It has been found that some ravens are even better in picking up sounds than parrots. In captivity, ravens can be hugely talkative and can be master of mimicking human speech. In the wild, it has been found that ravens mimic the sound of other predators like fox and wolves to carcasses they are unable to crack open.
KIWI: The Honorary Mammal!
Native to the country of New Zealand, this land-bound bird is often termed as bizarre. Scientists are often baffled by the strange characteristics of the kiwis, which include feathers looking like hairs, nostrils of the tip of their nose and solidified bones filled with marrow. These have led them to earn the title of “honorary mammal.”
Swiftlet Nest As food
One of the most expensive foods on the human menu is the bird’s nest soup prepared exclusively from the nests of swiftlets called edible-nest swiftlets. These birds make their nests from their hardened saliva. In some countries like China, this dish (bird’s nest soup) although having very little flavor and almost no nutritional value is considered to be a delicacy.
Amazing Facts About The Birds: Bassian Thrush
Almost an amazing fact of bird is the way a Bassian thrush manages to find its prey. These worm-eating creatures can dislodge their prey from heap or pile of leaves by directing farts at them. The excretion of gas results in shifting of the leaf-litter which provokes worm to move around revealing their location.
The Acorn Collecting Woodpecker
Acorn woodpeckers can hoard as many as 50000 acorns in tiny holes that they drill in trees, wooden fences, utility poles, and buildings as well.
Claws On Wings
Hoatzin chicks have claws on both their wings after their birth which stays for 3 months. These can climb across tree branches or for getting out of water. These claws help these young chicks in escaping from their predators. Once they feel threatened, the birds jump out from their nests into the water below. After swimming a little distance, they pull themselves out of the water. When they feel the threat has gone, they use their claws again to crawl back to the tree branch. The claw thus being a lifesaving tool.
Amazing Facts About The Birds: Yawning Budgies!
A common parakeet, Budgerigars or budgies as they are affectionately called, are the only bird and non-mammal species which have been discovered susceptible to contagious yawning. However, Scientists and researchers believe this may be an instinct of showing empathy or a sign of showing group alertness.