We see birds every single day, yet the average person doesn’t know much about them. This is why we have created this list of 40 bizarre and interesting facts about birds. Use this list to learn about these majestic creatures.
1. About two thirds of all bird species are found in tropical rain forests.
2. There are over 9,500 bird species in the world. Most researchers group them into 30 different categories.
3. Birds are the most widespread animal in the world.
4. The longest feathers ever seen were on a chicken in Japan and they measured at 34.7 feet, or 10.59 meters long.
5. Hoatzin chicks, one species of birds, has two claws on each wing. They use these claws to climb out of their nest and to hold on to mangrove trees. Once they get older, they lose their claws but still remain bad flyers.
6. Most birds don’t have bladders to store urine. Researchers believe that this is because it makes them less light weight, therefore, making it easier for them to fly.
7. Unlike most animals, rather than producing liquid urine, birds create a white, pasty substance.
8. Ostriches are different than all the other bird species in that they do have a complete separation of feces and urine, but they still don’t have a bladder like most mammals.
9. A bird’s lungs take up much more space in their bodies than a human’s does. For example, a human’s lungs makes up one twentieth of their body while a bird’s takes up one fifth.
10. Owl’s can’t swivel their eyes, this is why they move their heads completely around to see behind them.
11. Owl’s also have soft fringes on their wings. This makes them almost silent when they’re flying.
12. The Australian pelican has the longest bill of any other bird in the world. Its bill is almost 2 feet, or 0.5 meters, long.
13. The sword-billed hummingbird, with a 3.9 inch, or 10 centimeter, bill is the only bird that has a bill longer than its body.
14. Just in the United States, between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds of all species are killed by cats on a yearly basis.
15. Most birds sing, however, a woodpecker drums its beak against a tree. Other woodpeckers can then identify exactly which bird it is by the sound of the drumming.
16. The kiwi is the only bird that has nostrils at the end of its beak. This helps them smell out food, such as worms and insects, on the ground. You can also hear it snort often as it clears its nostrils.
17. Most birds, like the starling, will sing in notes that are too high for humans to hear.
18. The African gray parrot is the most talkative bird in the world. One parrot is able to say over 800 words, while most species of parrot can only say 50.
19. The larger the bird species the longer it will take for its offspring to hatch. For example, emu chicks take 60 days to hatch while small songbirds will take just 2 weeks.
20. The Japanese crested ibis is one of the rarest birds in the world. There are fewer than 50 crested ibises alive today.
21. A green woodpecker can easy about 2,000 ants per day.
22. The whistling swan has up to 25,000 feathers, which is the most amount of feathers of any other bird species.
23. As compared to whistling swans, hummingbirds, only have 1,000 or less feathers.
24. Falconry came about 4,000 years ago in eastern and central Asia. It was used to hunt animals that were beyond the range of a hunter’s weapon. Some reports state that Genghis Khan had 10,000 falcons.
25. Coal miners used canaries to detect poisonous levers of carbon monoxide gas in the mine because they noticed that when a canary passed out, they had to evacuate immediately.
26. A pelican’s large beak can hold up to 2.5 gallons of water. The beak will shrink to squeeze out all the water before the pelican swallows its food.
27. The marsh warbler can mimic more than 80 different bird species. Mockingbirds and lyrebirds are also known for their ability to mimic other bird species.
28. The bee hummingbird lays the smallest egg in the world. Its egg is under 0.5inches by 0.25 inches and weighs less than 0.02 ounces.
29. The Lammergeyer vultures will fly high in the air with bones in their mouth before dropping them onto rocks. It will then eat the smashed bones.
30. At 7 inches by 5 inches and weighing around 3 pounds, the ostrich egg is the biggest egg in the world.
31. The biggest egg when compared to the size of the mother is laid by the kiwi bird. The egg is a third of the weight of the actually female bird.
32. The Malleefowl bird will make a large compost pile for its nest. It then incubates her eggs by the heat given off by the rotting vegetation.
33. The Andean condor is the heaviest bird of prey. It weighs up to 27 pounds, or 12 kilograms.
34. With the adult breeding population at 1.5 billion pairs, the red-billed Quelea is the most common wild bird in the world.
35. Most researchers believe that modern birds evolved from dinosaurs during the Mesozoic Era about 150 million years ago.
36. Flamingos are known for creating mating pairs that last a lifetime. Some flamingos stay together for 50 years or more.
37. A bird’s feather weighs more than its skeleton.
38. About 75% of wild birds don’t live longer than a year. Usually, the larger the size of the bird, the more likely it’s to live longer. For example, the wandering albatross are known to live for up to 80 years.
39. Gentoo penguins are the fastest swimming birds. They can reach speed of 22 miles per hour, or 36 kilometers per hour.
40. Emperor penguins are known to stay underwater for up to 18 minutes.