Whether you are watching them at the zoo, or out your back window, birds are an amazing species that come in endless colors, sizes, and types.
They have been around for millions of years and have always made us jealous with their ability to fly.
They can be as small as the hummingbird, or as large as the ostrich. Continue reading to find out more interesting facts about birds.
What are the characteristics of a bird?
There are over 10,000 different species of birds, and they come in a ton of sizes, shapes, and colors.
Although birds can look completely different than each other, there are a few characteristics they have in common.
All birds have feathers and wings. They are warm-blooded, which means that their body is always the same temperature, and they lay eggs.
Unlike humans, birds have bones that are hollow on the inside (think of a straw).
This makes their bones extremely light and helps them to fly.
A unique characteristic of birds are their feathers. While feathers can be colorful and give birds a beautiful look, they are also important to their survival and they must be taken care of.
Birds use different methods to keep their feathers clean, besides just preening, which help keep them free of fungus and other parasites.
Birds will bathe in water or even go out when it is raining. For birds that live in areas with little water, they will clean their feathers by giving themselves a dust bath.
Some birds will even let ants climb through their feathers so they will move or get rid of parasites.
Where do birds live?
Birds can be found all over the entire world. They are unique, however, because most birds migrate, which means that they fly somewhere else during certain parts of the year.
Most birds will migrate because of the weather and temperature of where they normally live, which affects their food supply and when they can have babies.
Some birds have shorter migration trips of not a couple hundred miles, while others have trips that total over 40,000 miles. This is the distance across half of the Earth!
And you thought the drive to your grandma’s took a long time.
What do birds like to eat?
The food that birds eat can be very different, depending on where they live and what kind of food is around the area.
Most birds like to eat fruit, plants, seeds, insects, and other small animals. Birds don’t have any teeth, so their bodies are used to digesting their food whole.
They are usually able to get their prey by pecking it off the ground or a tree, but they also hunt by swooping down from a branch or the air and suddenly attacking.
Can birds communicate with each other?
Birds use both their vocals as well as their bodies to communicate with each other.
They will often puff up their bodies and feathers to show off their authority, or to make a threatening display to try to scare away predators. Some birds even take part in dances in order to attract a mate.
The usual way that birds communicate, however, is by using their voices to make calls or songs.
Birds will produce calls for a lot of different reasons, including to claim their territory, attract a mate, identify another bird, call out to a parent, or warn other birds about potential predators.
How do birds protect themselves?
One of the biggest ways that birds are able to protect themselves from predators is by flying.
If they are aware of a threat, or think there could be one, they can quickly fly away or fly up to a higher branch or spot where the predator cannot reach them.
Birds also protect themselves by living in family groups, called flocks, where they are able to watch out for each other and have more eyes to see predators.
Quick Facts About Birds:
Birds have been around for millions of years.
They have feathers, lay eggs, and have hollow bones.
Birds can be found all over the world.
Birds communicate with each other through calls, songs, dances, and feather displays.
Birds are fascinating animals that have roamed the Earth for millions of years. Whether we enjoy their songs, or admire their display of feathers, they can bring joy and beauty to our surroundings.