Interesting facts about birds

1. Scientists believe that during the Jurassic period, dinosaurs evolved into birds that survived the Great Extinction. From an evolutionary point of view, birds are therefore "avian dinosaurs" The chickens and ostriches are the birds most closely genetically related to dinosaurs.

2. There are over 10,900 species of birds in the world. Birds are the most widespread of all animals around the world. There are 1125 species found in the 50 states and the District of Columbia and 2045 in North America.

3. The South America is home to estimated 3,800 bird species. A total of 1,300 can be found in the Amazon, with 28 of them endemic to that area. This large range of birds includes brightly colored toucans, majestic harpy eagles, and other birds such as woodpeckers, owls, hawks, harriers, and vultures.
4. There are between 50 billion and 430 billion birds on Earth.

5. Eleven percent of the world’s bird species is endangered. Draining wetlands and felling forests are the main causes of damage, but pollution and pesticides also play a part. 

6. Birds have three fingers on each wing. The first, the thumb, supports a small part of the wing called the alula (a.k.a bastard wing). The second and third fingers support the main flight feathers.

7. Birds crystallize their urine and excrete it, along with feces, out their cloacas.
8. To make them more lightweight, most birds do not have bladders to store urine. Rather than producing liquid urine to get rid of wastes, they produce a white, pasty substance. However, while an ostrich does not have a bladder like a mammalian bladder, it is unique among birds because it does have a complete separation of feces and urine. 

9. A bird’s lungs are much more complicated and efficient and take up more space than those of mammals, such as humans. A human’s lungs compose about 1/20 of its body, but a bird’s takes up 1/5.
10.  A bird’s feathers weigh more than its skeleton. (See more)
(Polish ver.)

11. The type of diet a bird eats in the wild is directly related to the shape of a bird’s beak.
If you ever thought that a flock of crows was talking about you, you were probably correct.

 Believe or not, crow is the most intelligent bird in the world!
Picture: Edward Madej
13. More than 150 kinds of birds have become extinct since 1600, though many more may have died out that scientists don’t know about. It wasn’t just European explorers that killed bird species. Archeology shows that when people first arrived in ancient times in Hawaii and on islands in the South Pacific and Caribbean, they killed many birds Europeans had never seen before.
14. Wind farms kill approximately a half-million birds per year in the United States,
15. Lighthouses are dangerous for birds. The beams attract birds, especially in misty conditions, and many are killed when they fly into the glass.

16. There are many other deadly threats to birds, due to which a huge number of them die every year. Which of the following threats causes the greatest number of victims? To get the answer, click on your choice below.

1. People (hunting, killing)

2. Cats

3. Aviation

4. Windmills

5. Lighthouses

6. Extreme climatic conditions

7. Electrical networks and devices

17. Cats kill billions of birds per year. In the continental U.S. alone, between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds are killed by cats annually. It is #1 birds killer

18. The larger the bird, the more likely it is to live longer. The large wandering albatross, for example, can live for up to 80 years.

19. Birds don’t fall off of a branch when they sleep because their toes automatically clench around the twig they are standing on. Because the grabbing action is done by tendons rather than  muscles, the birds can sleep without danger of falling.

20. The longest feathers ever seen were on a chicken in Japan. Its tail feathers measured 34.7 feet (10.59 m) long.

21. Not all birds have equally hollow bones. Those that dive into water—like gannets, terns, and kingfishers—and those that fly very fast, like swifts, have less air in their long bones than other birds.

22. The linear flight formations of migratory birds are called echelons, with the most common shapes being the “V” or the “J.” In fact, a true V-shaped formation is less common than a J formation. Birds fly in formation a) because it saves energy and b) to facilitate orientation and communication among the birds.

23. The word "parakeet" literally means "long tail."
24. What keeps a bird up in the air is the shape of its wings. The first humans to discover how birds stay aloft were Australian Aborigines when they invented the boomerang.

25. Birds sense winter is coming by 1) changes in hormones that cause them to put on fat, 2) the changing length of the day, and 3) sensing small changes in air pressure, which is important in predicting weather changes.

26. Gentoo Penguins are the fastest swimming birds, reaching speeds of 22 mph (36 kph). Emperor Penguins can stay under water for up to 18 minutes.

27. Arctic terns have the longest annual migration of any bird. They fly 25,000 miles (40,000 m) from the Arctic to the Antarctic and then back again.

28. The bird with the greatest wingspan of any other bird is the Wandering Albatross at up to 11.8 ft (3.63 m).

29. Bar-headed Geese fly across the Himalayas, the highest mountains in the world. They fly nearly 5 miles (over 8,000 m) up in the sky, almost as high as jet planes. The highest-flying bird is the Griffon Vulture. In 1973, one collided with an airplane more than 6.8 miles above the Ivory Coast in Africa.

30. The largest, tallest, and heaviest bird in the world is the ostrich. Male ostriches can reach up to 9 ft. tall (2.7 m) and weigh up to 350 lb. (160 kg). Their eyes are bigger than any other land animals' eyes and are even larger than their brain.

31. European wren tiny bird, has a surprisingly loud song

32. The song of a European wren is made of more than 700 different notes a minute and can be heard 1,650 feet (500 m) away.

33. The ostrich is the only bird that willingly takes care of other females’ eggs.

34. Ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand when danger is near. But they have been seen to lie on the ground with their long neck stretched out flat if they want to hide.

35. The biggest bird that ever existed on Earth is the flightless elephant bird, which is now extinct. It weighed about 1000 lb. (450 kg.). Seven ostrich eggs would fit inside one elephant bird’s egg. Elephant birds died out 400 years ago, but people still find pieces of their tough-shelled eggs.

36. The Emperor Penguin is the only bird that lays its eggs in the middle of winter. By laying its eggs so early, it gives its young a head start. The babies need all spring, summer, and fall to grow big enough to survive the next winter.

37. Oilbirds eat oil palm fruits, which make the birds oily too. People near the caves where the oilbirds lived used to trap the oilbirds and boil them down for the oil.

38. The fastest flying bird in a dive is the Peregrine Falcon. It averages speeds of over 110 mph (180 kph)

39. Oilbirds are the only birds that use echolocation the way that bats do. However, bats are much better at it. A bat can even fly through the blades of a moving fan. Oilbirds are also the only nocturnal fruit-eating birds in the world.

40. Birds typically have two, three, or four toes. A typical perching bird has three pointing forward, and one back. Birds that run on hard ground have only three, all pointing forward. Ostriches only have two toes, which are shaped like the hoof of an antelope.

41. Sooty Terns can even sleep in the air