BIRDS: 23+ INTERESTING FACTS YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN

Birds are fascinating creatures. They have fascinated human beings since the dawn of time. They have appeared in the mythologies and religions of many cultures since ancient times. 

Birds also play important roles such as plant reproduction through their services as pollinators or seed dispersers. From small birds to large birds such as ostriches, birds coming in all sizes. Birds also come in a variety of different colors as well – from white, yellow, blue to dazzling pink.

Below are some interesting facts about birds that you may not have known.

1. Why do birds fly into windows?

Birds are very often seen bumping into the windows, this is because they are unable to differentiate the glass as a barrier. There is a chance they have seen something inside your windows, and they are trying to reach it without noticing that there is a window glass as a barrier. This causes them to bump into your windows.

Also sometimes birds see their reflections into the windows and consider them another bird and this can also lead to a bird bumping in your window to scare away its reflection in the windows.

2. How do birds stay warm in the winter?

Birds are warm-blooded, meaning that they need to maintain their internal body temperature at a constant, similar to humans. This means they need to produce heat internally and preserve it externally. The birds produce heat using their metabolism that happens inside their bodies. Birds during the winter increase their metabolic rates to produce more heat. 

While producing the heat is important, conserving the heat is also important for birds to stay warm during the winters. Birds have devised different strategies that vary from species to species. A few of these strategies have similarities to human strategies as well. Most birds use air pockets around them to trap heat. Some birds stay together and create a heat trap using their bodies.

3. How do birds sleep?

Birds do not sleep the same way as humans do. They have a different way of sleeping. Their sleep is unique from species to species, some birds sleep with both eyes closed, and some with only one eye closed. Most of the birds take a very quick nap.

Some birds have developed a unique ability that one part of their brain sleeps while the other part remains active and vice versa. This type of sleep approach is very effective and helps most of the birds quickly be aware if there is a threat around.

4. CAN BIRDS hear AND IF SO HOW?

: Yes, birds do have ears and their ears allow them to hear things around them. But bird’s ears are not like humans or any other animals. The hearing ability of the birds helps them quickly sense the threat and act accordingly. The ears of the birds only have a funnel that allows the compressed and decompressed wave patterns of sound to enter.

These funnels are located near the bird’s eyes. These funnels have special feathers, known as auriculars. That protects and also lowers the noise level.

5. How do birds see?

: All birds have eyes to see different things. Their eyes are sometimes more capable of seeing things that a human eye cannot see, such as ultraviolet light. The bird’s eyes do not have filters that human eyes have, these filters block the ultraviolet light from entering the human retina. But the birds lack this filter and this is what enables them to see more colors and more vibrant scenery.

The seeing ability in every bird species is different, such as the birds with eyes on the front, i.e owls, have a limited vision of up to 150°, and birds with eyes mounted on the sides of their face have a vision of up to 300 degrees. Such birds include parrots, pigeons, and many other bird species.

6. How do birds communicate?

Birds are capable of communicating with each other using their songs and actions. Every bird species has its distinct call/song. This song comprises different patterns depending upon the message that needs to be communicated.

For example, there is a different song or call for danger and a different one for calling the partner to mate. The birds that communicate using the sounds are known as passerine or perching birds. Some birds also communicate using different actions and behavioral patterns.

7. How do birds talk?

Birds do not have vocal cords, but they have different membranes and throat muscles, that they learn to move in a regulated pattern to produce different sounds. Some birds such as parrots have a throat that helps them mimic their talking ability.

This mimicking first needs to be taught to the birds. Most talking birds are pet birds, such as parrots, parakeets, and some other species as well. Once you have taught your pet how to talk, it will be able to mimic your voice and appear to be talking.

8. How do birds make eggs?

Male and female birds mate together during the season and after that egg formation starts in the ovary of the female bird. The egg formation happens similarly in most birds. The egg formation starts is accelerated with hormonal changes inside the body of the female bird.

The egg starts getting bigger and bigger. When the egg reaches a mature size, the female expels the egg out of her body and sits on the egg till it hatches. The size of the egg in every bird species is different from one another.

9. How do birds lay eggs?

Female birds store eggs that have not been fertilized inside their cloaca. Once the mating happens, the formation of hard shells happens. As the female expels the egg out of her body, it has been fertilized but it needs to be protected from cold.

That is why females sit on these eggs and keep them moving and altering inside the nest to make sure that they remain warm. Some birds lay all their eggs at once and some birds lay their eggs in one or two at a time. Most birds only lay between 3 to 8 eggs.

10. How do birds make nests?

Every bird species has a different and distinct habit of nest building. Some birds build their nests in high trees, some live inside the holes that they dig inside the trunks of the trees. Most birds start building their nests when they find a match for themselves. Some birds build their entire nests by themselves. The birds build their nests using straws and sticks. They first collect all the material to start and then put these straws together in the different formations using their beak and feet.

11. Are birds color blind?

No, birds are not color blinds. In fact, most of the birds can see even more colors than humans can. This is because birds can also see through the ultraviolet light, which enables them to see even more colors as compared to the human.

12. Why do birds fly in circles?

Flying is something that requires a lot of energy and for birds that are traveling to a large distance, they need to conserve their energy. So, such birds have developed the ability to take advantage of air currents and other weather patterns such as thermals.

These help the birds in an easy lift. This easy lift helps the bird conserve their energy and fly using less energy, but this is only possible when birds are flying in a circle. So, these birds are commonly seen flying in circles.

13. Why do birds chirp?

Chirping of the birds is the way that the birds use to communicate different messages to the other birds. Birds chirp when they feel any kind of danger or threat around them to let others know about it and also to scare away the predators. Some birds also use chirping as a way to declare their territory. The birds also use this as a single to attract another bird for mating.

14. Why do birds stand on one leg?

Birds are warm-blooded so they need to keep their bodies warm during the winter and this is something that birds do to keep themselves warm during the winter. It is a strategy mostly seen in birds that live in very cold areas.

This adaptation in their posture helps the birds to manage and lower the heat loss to a larger proportion. If a bird is standing on two legs, it will lose more heat, and to lower this, these birds only keep one leg on the ground while keeping the other leg up to lower the loss of heat.

15. Why do birds bob their heads?

Birds need to balance their bodies during flights and also on the ground so that they do not tremble and fall. Birds do this by the bob of their heads. Birds move their heads up and down very quickly and sometimes to even left and right in a quick manner.

This helps the birds look all around in a better way and balance themselves on their legs quickly. As the birds keep moving. They have to do it, again and again, to keep themselves in balance and also to better be aware of everything around them.

16. Why do birds dance to music?

Birds can hear, meaning that they can listen to what is being played and if it is music some birds start dancing in different ways. Some birds such as parrots move their head in a rhythmic way that is synced to the music.

This is because the rhythm impacts the motor parts of the brain through the auditory link. Once the motor part of the brain is impacted, it induces different movements according to the rhythm in their bodies. This has been presented in a theory by Dr. Aniruddh Patel.

17. Are all birds carnivores?

Most birds of prey are carnivores, but some of them are also omnivores and herbivores. This is true that most birds eat meat, fish, and other food items related to carnivore animals. No bird is completely herbivores so we can say that all birds are carnivores to some extent.

18. Are all birds mammals?

No, this is not true, not all birds are mammals. For a bird to be a mammal, it must have certain characteristics such as they must feed its babies using the milk that comes from mammary glands. Bats and some other birds are true mammals because they feed their babies using these mammary glands.

Most birds do not feed their babies with milk, so they are not mammals. There are some other characteristics of mammals that are not seen in most birds and that is why they cannot be considered mammals. So, this notion that all birds are mammals is wrong.

19. Are all birds the same species?

No, not all birds are of the same species. Every single bird has a different species, such as sparrows, there are a lot of species of birds that are identified as sparrows. Birds of the same species must have all of the characteristics of that species, but as you know that every bird is different from others, that is why every bird belongs to a different species. So, this is not true that all birds belong to the same species of birds.

20. When do birds learn to fly?

For most of the birds, training starts after they are two weeks old. When birds are born, they do not have feathers and also have weaker wings and that is why they cannot fly. But once their feathers have grown and their wings have enough strength to carry them, their parents start teaching them how to fly.

This duration is different for every bird species. Some birds start attempting flight as early as two weeks after they come out of the eggs. There is no exact duration for a bird flight, every bird species and sometimes every individual bird may also have a different time duration to start learning flight.

21. When do birds die?

Birds die naturally when they get old, but not all birds reach their age limit. Most birds become prey to other birds and die quickly. Some birds also bump into things such as windows and die.

There are a lot of other reasons as well for the death of the birds. These reasons dictate when a bird will die. Some birds can live up to 10 years and some even longer, there is not one limit about when birds die.

22. When do birds molt their feathers?

: Molt is a process in which birds replace their old feathers with new ones. Most bird species molt their feathers during the late summertime. They shed their feathers and new ones grow and replace them.

This happens every year, birds keep their newly grown wings for almost a year and then they shed these during the molting process and grow new ones to replace the old ones. Most birds take between 5 to 12 weeks to completely replace their whole plumage. 

23. When do birds have babies?

Birds have babies when they reach their mature age. For some birds, it can be one year and for some, it can be longer. After reaching their mature age, they look for a partner and they mate.

After mating, the female lays eggs and sits on them while the male protects them and provides food for them. Eggs hatch after a few days and then the babies are born. This process can take an entire season. Most birds like to mate during the spring season. 

24. When do birds wake up?

Birds wake up very early in the morning. Some species of birds can wake up as early as 4:00 am in morning. That is why you mostly hear the loud and clear chirping of birds in the morning. But not all birds follow along this time, some birds remain to wake up all night and sleep at day.

Such as bats, owls, and some other birds that sleep in the day time and mostly fly during the early evening and night. So, we can say that there is not determined time for the birds to wake up, and it varies from one species to another.

25. When do birds lay eggs?

Female birds lay eggs when they reach mature age for mating. Male and female birds’ mate during the mating season and then the female lays eggs. Some birds can reach their maturity as early as one year. But some other birds can take an even longer time to reach maturity and lay eggs.

This depends on the species of the birds. Most common bird species lay eggs within the second year of their life. A common example of such birds is sparrows of different species. They take only one year to reach maturity and in the next spring, they are ready for mating and producing eggs. 

26. When do birds eat?

Birds need energy and they get it from the food they eat. They mostly eat whenever they have a chance or whenever they can find food. Sometimes they take this food to their nest and store it for winter.

Some bird species start searching for food in the early morning, they travel to different locations to find food. Some birds like to hunt and eat other birds, these birds eat any time they find food, such as vultures and other carnivores’ birds.

27. Are birds’ reptiles?

Yes, birds may look very different from reptiles but they are a part of the reptile family. The class reptile is mostly known for species such as lizards, turtles, and crocodiles. They look very different from birds, but when you take a look at their lifestyle and their characteristics, you will be able to know that they are very similar.

The reptiles, lay eggs, and the birds lay eggs. Not only this, but the birds are also the descendants of the same dinosaur species as well. But there are some differences as well, such as the birds are warm-blooded and the reptiles are cold-blooded animals. They both belong to the same class but different sub-classes.

28. Can birds smell?

Yes, based on the research data, birds do have a sense of smell. This sense of smell is very useful for the birds to find the location of food items, and also to sense the prey. But this sense of smell is very limited, and that is why the birds do not seem to rely on it.

Research indicates that the birds are more dependent on their sense of seeing and less on their sense of smell. The sense of smell is not of that much importance for a bird, as the sense of sight is. That is why they do not rely on it.

29. How far can birds fly without stopping?

Migratory birds have the ability to long flight without stopping. They can fly up to 6000 miles without a stop. Non-migratory birds can also fly to a long distance without stopping but this is much less as compared to the migratory birds. Migratory birds have many flight adaptations that help them keep flying for long distances without stopping. The migratory birds eat smaller insects during their flight in mid-air and that is why they do not need to stop. This helps them travel to very far destinations without stopping.