50 Colorful Facts about Birds and their Behavior

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When the African Grey parrot N'kisi first met Jane Goodall, he recognized her from a photograph and asked: "Got a chimp?" It is claimed that this was a possible display of a sense of humor.

27. Despite their looks, falcons are more closely related to parrots than they are to hawks and eagles.

28. A parrot named Einstein with a vocabulary of about 200 words once gave a TED talk.

29. Hummingbirds are continuously hours away from starving to death and consume the human equivalent of 140,000 calories per day to compensate. They enter a mini-hibernation mode (torpor) each night just to survive the suspension of calories.

30. Hummingbirds use spider silk to build their nests.

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31Gentoo penguins

Gentoo penguins

Not only are Gentoo penguins fiercely monogamous, they will violently banish any "cheaters" from their colonies.

32. All 17 species of penguins are found exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere. Emperor Penguins are the tallest species, standing at nearly 4 feet tall. The smallest penguin species is the Little Blue Penguin, which measures only about 16 inches tall.

33. In woodpeckers, most of the energy from pecking that reaches the brain is heat. A woodpecker pecks in short bursts to keep its brain from overheating.

34. A 64-year-old Albatross named Wisdom has flown over 3 million miles since being tagged, continues to lay eggs and, despite belonging to a monogamous species, has more than likely had to find a new mate due to her unusual longevity.

35. The U.S. Coast Guard once trained pigeons to assist in finding people lost at sea. They sat in a dome attached to a helicopter, pressing a lever after spotting life preservers or debris. They had a 90% success rate in initial trials.

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36Baby pigeon

Baby pigeon

The reason you never see a baby pigeon is because they only live in the nest for 30 days, at which point they start to look similar to adult pigeons.

37. The Dodo bird was actually a giant pigeon. It grew and lost its ability to fly due to Island Gigantism.

38. Owls have serrations on the edge of their flight feathers, allowing their flight to be practically silent. Some fish-eating owls, for whom silence has no evolutionary advantage, lack this adaptation.

39. The eye color of owls indicates what time of day the owls prefer to be active.

40. Despite having a wingspan of up to 7.5 feet and a height of up to 3.5 feet, a typical male bald eagle weighs only 9 pounds.

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Peacock feathers are actually brown but their microscopic structure makes them also reflect blue, turquoise, and green light, and they are often iridescent.

42. Ruppell's vulture is considered to be the highest-flying bird, with confirmed evidence of a flight at an altitude of 11,300 metres (37,100 ft) above sea level. It was ingested by a jet engine of an airplane flying at an altitude of 11,300 m.

43. A vulture’s stomach is so strong that it can process anthrax, cholera, and botulism. Their feces are also completely sterile which helps them clean their legs since they most often walk in rotting carcasses and it also helps cool them down since can't sweat.

44. A budgie named Puck is listed in the Guinness World Book of Records as "The bird with the largest vocabulary in the world " with a vocabulary of 1728 words. Also, he wouldn't just mimic, he would often create his own phrases and sentences.

45. When petting a bird, one should pet only the head. For some birds, petting the chest is a form of sexual stimulation and can lead to a frustrated animal.



A parrot named Echo was put into witness protection after testifying against its owner leading to their arrest.

47. The last Great Auk (the extinct penguin of the Northern Hemisphere) seen in the United Kingdom was captured and tied up by 3 men. The men kept the bird alive until a large storm hit the area. Thinking the bird was a witch, they killed it.

48. The “Demon Duck of Doom,” is an extinct flightless bird that lived in what is now Australia. It stood over 8 feet tall and had a skull larger than that of some horses. Despite its nickname, it was more closely related to the modern day chicken.

49. Urban birds now perform a sort of 'avian rap' with short and fast songs while their rural counterparts stick to slow melodies.

50. A species of Indonesian parrot called Goffin’s cockatoo can solve complex mechanical puzzles.


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