Birds are warm blooded, egg laying vertebrate animal, having two feets for walking, running or hopping. There are about 9000 to 10,000 living species of birds in the world. They are characterized by feathers, a beak without teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a light but strong skeleton. Most birds have forelimbs modified as wings and can fly, though some birds have lost the ability to fly. They lay eggs in their nests and incubate and even take care of their eggs after hatching. Most of the birds migrate to long distance places annually but some birds migrate for shorter distance. They are social and communicate using visual signals and through calls and bird song.
Facts about Birds
The smallest bird in the world is the Humming Bird. It weighs less than 1 oz (or 1g).
75% of wild birds die before they are 6 months old.
Measured in straight flight, the spine-tailed swift is the fastest bird. It flies 170 km/h (106 mph). Second fastest is the Frigate, which reaches 150 km/h (94 mph).
Some bird species, usually flightless birds, have only a lower eyelid, whereas pigeons use upper and lower lids to blink.
The eyes of the chameleon can move independently & can see in two different directions at the same time.
The chameleon snatches up its insect prey in a fraction of a second. It waits for an insect to land within range, then it shoots out its long tongue. The insect is caught on the sticky tip of the tongue.
The Chameleon can focus its eyes seperately to watch two objects at once.
The Chameleon's tongue is as long as its body.
When danger threatens, an owl makes itself look as large and firece as possible, by fluffing out its feathers, spreading its wings and opening its eyes wide.
The African ostrich makes up for not being able to fly by running faster than anyother bird. Its strong thighs and long legs enable it to run at 50 km/hr for as long as half an hour, and it can reach 70 km/hr for a short burst.
An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
Social weaver birds live in Africa. In the breeding season, many pairs come together to build their nests. They build one huge domed roof of grass and straw. Then each pair builds its own nest under the roof, each with its own entrance.
The greater honeyguide leads the ratel or honey badger, to a bee's nest by calling out and flying in front of it. The ratel eats the honey, then the bird eats the honeycomb wax.
Most birds sit on their eggs to incubate them, but not this common scrub hen. Instead, it uses the heat from volcanoes to keep its eggs warm. It buries its eggs in the side of a volcano on the pacific island where it lives.
Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards
Roadrunners are large (about two feet long) crested birds that prefer to run rather than fly. They eat rattlesnakes whole, and they can sprint 15 miles per hour.
A Woodpecker can peck 20 times per second.
Woodpeckers don't get headaches from all that pecking. Their skulls have air pockets to cushion the brain.
Flamingos are pink because shrimp is one of their main sources of food.
Flamingos eat with their heads upside down to strain the water out of their food.
An ostrich can run up to 70 km/h (43mph).
A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle - a group of geese in the air is a skein.