Yeah, so maybe there are a few drawbacks to having a passel of bird-filled trees in your yard. (Especially if they're mulberry trees.)
I thought of something else pet birds taught me: One of my aunt's parakeets could hang upside down from its perch like a bat. It was the darnedest thing...
Okay, ready for some more astoundingly fascinating bird trivia? (Or at least, a teensy bit interesting, anyway.)
First, some quick facts:
- Birds have hollow bones, which help them fly.
- Seagulls can drink sea water, because they have special glands that filter out the salt.
- A duck's quack doesn't echo.
- Penguins can jump up to six feet into the air. (Yeah, but how are they on free throws?)
- A chicken with red earlobes is likely to lay brown eggs; and one with white lobes, white eggs. No matter what color their earlobes are, none of them can swallow when upside down. And get this: believe it or not, the chicken is believed to be the closest living relative to the tyrannosaurus rex!
- Emus can't walk backwards.
- Puffins fly underwater.
- The male sand grouse soaks himself in water, and then flies to the nest so his young can drink from his feathers.
- Vultures can soar for hours without flapping their wings.
- The common loon can dive more than 76 meters below the water's surface.
- Owls can turn their heads almost 360 degrees, but they can't move their eyes.
Flamingos can only eat when their heads are upside down. (How can they swallow?)
The albatross, AKA goony bird, can sleep while in flight. He goes into snooze control at about 25 MPH.
Talk about miles per hour, which bird do you think is the fastest flyer? Most sources say the peregrine falcon holds that title, and can reach a speed of 200 MPH. However, I read one report of a spine-tailed swift flying an astonishing 220. At any rate, how'd you like to get a vicarious thrill? This video allows you to experience flight with a peregrine falcon and a gos hawk. Pretty doggone cool!
The catbird is a talented bird, who can imitate... Wait! Not THAT catbird...
This catbird imitates other bird calls, and can even meow like a cat.
As can a mockingbird, who has quite an impressive array of sounds and songs in his repertoire.
And here's the mighty bald... er, wig-wearing bald eagle. One of the more majestic birds, (without the toupee) most people are well aware of this bird's flying, swooping, and hunting capabilities, and of its great strength.
But did ya know he could... swim?
Check it out!
That's about it from me. This barely even skims the surface of all the fascinating things there are to know about birds, and I'll betcha you could all add something. Like, anybody know about turkeys? Ben Franklin seemed to think they were intelligent birds, but I've read stories about them being so dumb they look skyward when it rains... and (bless their little hearts) drown. Izzat so?
And have you ever wondered why female blue jays don't have subdued coloring, like other female birds? I don't know if that's the case for any other species of birds; do you?
So, what have you got to add? Ever have any pet birds? Could they talk or do tricks? Do tell.
This is gonna be my last post for quite a while. I know a lot of you will be participating in the A-Z Challenge during the month of April, and I wish y'all a lot of fun with it. Not me. Not this year, anyway. Gonna take the month off and tend to some other writerly stuff. But I'll be around. I'll try to visit some of your blogs from time to time, and see how you're doing. If you leave me a comment here, I'll certainly respond, or if you want to get in touch with me, just use that little Email me thingie in the sidebar, and I'll get back to you.
In the meantime, if ya miss me, (and Johnny Carson) just watch this video... that myna sounds a little like me!
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
[Images come to us courtesy of Wikipedia, Seniorark, and Morguefiles.]