Can’t help but make feathers fly

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Monday, 21 January 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • 90% of all species that have become extinct have been birds.
  • Although the dodo had wings, it could not lift them into the air.
  • In addition to eating most likely fruits, nuts, vegetation and berries, the dodo also swallowed a large stone to help it digest its food. This phenomenon of stone-swallowing continues today among some bird species of the world.
  • A crow stays with his parents for up to five years after fledgling and helps raise his parent’s new offspring.
  • A crow stays with its mate for life.
  • Crows occasionally kick their subordinates. If a weaker crow has a better or higher perch than its superior, better food, or a better view, the leader may flap up and give it a kick with its strong feet and talons.
  • Female blackbirds are not black at all. They are gray—brown gray.
  • An ostrich egg is the largest of all bird eggs and is the size of a medium cantaloupe.
  • One ostrich egg weighs the equivalent of about 24 chicken eggs. An ostrich can lay as many as 70 of these massive eggs in one year.
  • The ostrich is the only bird with a urinary bladder.
  • Chickens have 250-350 taste buds compared to humans having 9,000
  • Ducks only lay eggs in the morning.
  • An adult turkey has about 3,500 feathers.
  • Red-eyed vireo birds have perfect pitch and will repeat their calls, note for note, 22,000 times a day without the slightest variation.
  • Swifts are the world’s fastest birds. They zoom along at 320 kph.
  • The Asian swift can spend three years in a flight without landing.
  • The Antpitta avis canis Ridgley barks like a dog.
  • The female cuckoo bird destroys eggs in other bird’s nests and replaces hem with her own. The eggs were instinctively cared for by the mother of the destroyed eggs.
  • An albatross is able to sleep and fly at the same time.
  • The male Resplendent Quetzal of Central America has such a long tail that, when taking flight from a branch, it must launch itself backwards in order to avoid ripping its tail to shreds.
  • When the magnificent frigate bird is ready to attract a mate, it inflates a bright red balloon-like pouch on his neck that is half the size of his body, flaps his wings and rattles his bill.
  • The cactus wren makes its nest in a cholla cactus.
  • Shrikes often impale their prey on a sharp branch, a bit of fencing or thorn.
  • Rock Doves can see 300º without turning their heads.
  • On Isla Wolf Island in the Galapagos Islands, the sharp beaked ground finch is known as the “Vampire Finch” as it jumps on the backs of the other birds and pecks away at their flesh to feed on their blood.
  • Bobwhites roost in a compact formation with tails together and heads pointing out to conserve body heat and to provide a 360 º surveillance.

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