10 Impressive Facts About Birds

10 Impressive Facts About Birds

Due to global stay at home orders, bird populations in many areas have bounced back. If you find yourself wondering about them more, check out the facts below and be surprised at the impressive things birds do day in and day out!

1. The eyes of ostriches are bigger than their brains.

In fact, ostrich eyes are the largest of any land animal. It is approximately the size of a billiard ball and it is actually larger than their brains.

2. Owls swallow.

Owls hunt animals, big and small. When they catch large animals, they tear it to bite-size pieces. For smaller catch, they simply swallow them whole and regurgitate the indigestible elements in the form of pellets.

3. Hummingbirds weigh less than a nickel.

A nickel weighs five grams and hummingbirds weigh four grams. The smallest, the bee hummingbird, is closer to 1.6 grams, which is less than the weight of a penny!

4. Pigeons once delivered the results of the Olympic games.

Pigeons are believed to be the first domesticated birds. They were used to deliver military messages since the ancient times, plus the outcome of the early Olympic games!

5. Cardinals like wearing ants.

Cardinals smear themselves with crushed or living ants or at least allow them to crawl on them. Scientists hypothesize the birds use the formic acid secreted during their ant bath to help get rid of lice and other parasites.

6. Ravens beat parrots at mimicking human speech.

Ravens in captivity have been found to mimic human speech better than parrots. They can also do the sound of a car engine revving and toilet flushing.

7. Some ducks sleep with one eye open.

When ducks sleep in groups, the ducks on the perimeter sleep with one eye open to watch out for predators!

8. Bassian thrushes hunt by farting at prey.

The worm-eating Bassian thrushes dislodge their prey from piles of leaves by directing their farts at them. The gas shifts the leaves and provokes the worms to move.

9. Woodpeckers hoard acorns.

They can store up to 50,000 acorns in a single tree, known as a granary tree.

10. Hoatzin chicks have claws on their wings.

The wings only exist for three months. The chicks use them to climb across tree branches or pull themselves out of the water onto dry land.