Bird Fun Facts

The nest of an Emu can be up to 1.5 metres wide.

The Emu can run at speeds up to 45 km/hr.

The Albatross has a wing span of up to 14 feet and only needs to land once every couple of years to breed. They can travel hundreds of thousands of miles each flight.

The biggest bird in the world is the ostrich, which can grow up to nine feet tall.

A flamingo can eat only when its head is upside down.

Some male songbirds sing more than 2000 times each day.

The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds.

The bones of a pigeon weigh less than its feathers.

The fastest bird is the Spine-tailed swift, clocked at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour.

The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards.

Owls have eyeballs that are tubular in shape, because of this, they cannot move their eyes.

A woodpecker can peck twenty times a second.

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds - so tiny that one of their enemies is an insect, the praying mantis.

It may take longer than two days for a chick to break out of its shell.

The hummingbird's brain, 4.2 percent of its body weight, is proportionately the largest among birds.

Flamingos are not naturally pink. They get their color from their food -- tiny green algae that turn pink during digestion.

An albatross can sleep while it flies. It apparently dozes while cruising at 25 mph.

The owl can catch a mouse in utter darkness, guided only by tiny sounds made by its prey.

A seagull can drink salt water because it has special glands that filter out the salt.

Penguins can jump as high as 6 feet in the air.

A chicken with red earlobes will produce brown eggs, and a chicken with white earlobes will produce white eggs.

The hummingbird, the loon, the swift, the kingfisher, and the grebe are all birds that cannot walk.

A duck's quack doesn't echo anywhere, and no one knows why.

Emus can't walk backwards.

Chickens can't swallow while they are upside down.

Roosters can't crow if they can't fully extend their necks.

The most yolks ever found in a single chicken's egg is nine.

The egg of the hummingbird is the world's smallest bird's egg; the egg of the ostrich, the world's largest.

The now-extinct elephant bird of Madagascar laid an egg that weighed 12 kilograms.

Air sacs may make up 1/5 of the body volume of a bird.

Birds don’t sweat.

A bird's heart beats 400 times per minute while resting and up to 1000 beats per minute while flying.

Hummingbirds eat about every ten minutes, slurping down twice their body weight in nectar every day.

The only known poisonous bird in the world is the hooded pitohui of Papua, New Guinea. The poison is found in its skin and feathers.

The common loon can dive more than 76 metres below the water's surface.

A malleefowl lays eggs in a nest full of rotting vegetation. The decay gives off heat to keep the eggs warm; the male bird checks the temperature often and adjusts the pile as necessary.

Weaver Bird dads spend the majority of their lives building nests to impress females. However, if the female is not immediately impressed by his handiwork, the male takes offense and chases his potential mate off.

Emus run after rain clouds, hoping for water.

The stunning scarlet macaw eats clay from riverside deposits, which may help it process toxic seeds it consumes.

A male sand grouse soaks himself in water, then flies back to the nest so his chicks can drink from his feathers.

In its journey from the Arctic to Antarctica and back, the Arctic Tern covers a distance of 32 000 km, which makes it the farthest traveling migratory bird in the world.

Ostriches eyes are larger than their brains.

The hummingbird can hover and fly straight up, down, or backward.

Mockingbirds can imitate sounds of other birds.

Puffins fly underwater.

Puffins have teeth that point backwards inside their beak.

Mum and Dad puffins rub their beaks together to show affection - this is called ‘billing’.

Puffins can stand on their tippy toes.

Puffins can flap their wings 300 to 400 times a minute.

Penguins sleep floating on the ocean.

Emperor penguins are the largest penguin - they are 115cm tall.

Emperor penguins breed in colonies scattered around the Antarctic continent. Colonies can have as many as 40 000 penguins.

Emperor penguins huddle tightly together and share body warmth during the fierce winter storms.

Male emperor penguins carry their egg on their feet and don’t eat for 4 months while they look after the egg.

Arctic terns don't swim well even though their feet are webbed, because they have small feet so they swoop down, catch the fish, and keep flying to stay out of the water.

Arctic terns hardly ever land. So they eat while flying most of the time. When terns eat insects they catch them "on the wing". This means they catch them while flying.


Just before Arctic terns begin their long journey, the entire colony of birds become silent - this is called a dread.

Snowy owls can almost turn their head in a complete circle.

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