!Header Buttons Right Side

Interesting Facts About Birds

March 15, 2024

Did you know that birds rank fourth among America’s favorite pets? Fido and Fluffy are the clear favorites, with fish coming in a close third. According to data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 7.5 million pet birds in the United States. Continue reading as a local Olympia, WA veterinarian provides some insights about Man’s Fourth Best Friend.

Raven Fans

We have a special interest in pet birds, but we also find wild birds fascinating. Corvids, such as crows and ravens, are incredibly intelligent and may rank among the most intelligent animals on the planet! They form lifelong partnerships and even hold ceremonies to honor their deceased. They have a knack for identifying who is friendly and who is not, and they love to share that information with their buddies. (Tip: never anger a crow.) 

Paint By Numbers

Here’s something you may not be aware of: Blue jays tend to collect paint chips. There is a specific reason behind this behavior. Paint commonly contains limestone, which is a beneficial source of calcium.

Turn Up The Volume

Are you curious about the world’s loudest bird? The white bellbird is the correct answer. This beautiful bird resides in the Amazon rainforest and captures the attention of potential partners with its distinct call … which to us would probably be reminiscent of a screeching fire alarm. 

They Vary Greatly In Size

Did you know that the hummingbird is the smallest bird? These adorable creatures have the amazing ability to fly backward and hover in place. Their eggs are super small, and are in fact similar in size to a jellybean.

They Don’t All Fly

The Kakapo parrot of New Zealand, a vibrant bird with a charming and somewhat perplexed look, is a landlubber, so to speak. These large birds can weigh over seven pounds. The Kakapo, being unable to fly, are highly susceptible to various threats, including habitat loss and predators. 

In the past, New Zealand was inhabited by numerous flightless birds, which unfortunately became vulnerable to predators such as cats, weasels, and other animals introduced by traders. It appears that the Kakapo is on the path to recovery, which is great news. We’re hopeful!

Not To Be Pigeonholed

Nowadays, pigeons are frequently regarded as a nuisance. However, these gentle birds are truly remarkable. In addition to their amazing ability to navigate back home over long distances, they possess a range of other extraordinary characteristics.

  • They provided invaluable assistance during wars. Pigeons were commonly employed for the purpose of exchanging messages. They have been recognized for their role in saving countless lives.
  • They were commonly used to send distress signals from sinking ships.
  • Young pigeons typically remain in the nest for a period of approximately six weeks.
  • Pigeons thrive in urban environments due to their preference for concrete and stone.
  • There could potentially be more than 1 million pigeons in New York City alone.
  • It’s possible that they were one of the earliest bird species to be domesticated by humans. They can be seen in Mesopotamian art that dates back to 4500 BCE.
  • They possess exceptional vision. They have the remarkable ability to detect ultraviolet light. This enabled them to locate survivors of capsized or sunken ships.
  • Pigeon racing is still a popular activity among enthusiasts. 

No Birdbrains Here

Puck, one very smart Budgie, impressed everyone with her remarkable intelligence. The tiny bundle of feathers impressively mastered an astounding 1728 words, securing herself a well-deserved spot in the esteemed Guinness Book of World Records.

Music In The Sky

Have you ever witnessed the mesmerizing sight of a flock of swallows gracefully gliding through the air, their movements perfectly synchronized as if performing a beautiful dance? This phenomenon is known as a murmuration. It is believed by scientists that birds engage in this behavior to confuse predators, making it difficult for them to single out any specific bird. What’s even more remarkable? Birds may be responding to a unique biological mechanism that enables them to create intricate patterns via a sort of natural radio signal. Every bird communicates with its nearby companions, allowing the entire flock to move in unison.

Our Not-So-Feathered Friends

Feathers are exclusive to birds. Interestingly, not all birds possess feathers on their heads. Vultures, marabou storks, and ostriches have no feathers on their heads. The penguin, which is undoubtedly one of the most adorable birds, has more feathers than any other bird: they are just so dense they look more like fur.

Polly Has A Passion For Dancing

Have you ever come across videos of pet birds joyfully dancing to their favorite tunes? Some birds absolutely adore dancing. For instance, cockatoos are well-known for their lively dance moves. This is a logical and reasonable conclusion. Indeed, bird song is the beautiful melody of the natural world.

Just Parroting Facts

Parrots have captured our affection and companionship for countless generations. Interestingly, Alexander the Great actually brought some back from the Indian subcontinent. After some time, the ancient Romans began instructing Polly in Latin. 

  • Certain parrots have been observed using tools: The University of York and the University of St. Andrews conducted studies on Greater Vasa parrots. They observed the birds using pit dates and pebbles to crush cockleshells.
  • They have a unique foot structure. Parrots, like most birds, typically have four toes on each foot. However, parrots’ feet have a unique structure, with two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backward. 
  • They have the ability to crack the toughest nuts on the planet.
  • The Pygmy parrot holds the title for being the smallest parrot. Measuring only 3 inches in length, this charming ball of feathers has a unique diet, preferring mushrooms instead of insects.
  • Almost a third of parrot species are at risk of extinction.
  • African grey parrots in Ghana have experienced a significant decline in their native population due to logging, with estimates suggesting that up to 99 percent of them have been affected.
  • A team of researchers from Northeastern University, the University of Glasgow, and MIT recently conducted an intriguing experiment where they successfully trained parrots to engage in video chat with one another. The birds seemed to have a great time during their chats!
  • Parrots have the potential for a longer lifespan than humans. Smaller parrots, like parakeets, typically have a lifespan of ten to twenty years, while their larger counterparts, like Macaws, can live for an impressive 100 years or more. (It’s important to take this into consideration before deciding to adopt one.)
  • Parrots belong to the psittacine order. 
  • They are commonly referred to as hookbills, due to the shape of their curved beaks. Parrots are incredibly fascinating creatures, each with their own unique qualities and behaviors. They come in a wide range of sizes, colors, and lifespans, and can sometimes be a little eccentric.  
  • They possess great intelligence. One parrot, an African grey named Alex, was said to possess a level of intelligence comparable to that of a young child around the age of five. His final words to his owner were: “I love you. Be good.”

Do you need any assistance with bird care? Feel free to reach out to us, your Olympia, WA pet hospital, at any time!

Kitten wearing a joker costume with a pumpkin on the side

Bonding With Your New Kitten

Are you adopting a kitten? Congratulations! Kittens are beyond a doubt one of the most

Senior Cat Care

Is your feline friend starting to slow down? Fluffy will officially be a senior by

Feeding Your Hedgehog

Do you have a pet hedgehog? These adorable little pets are becoming very popular. Just

Reptiles for Kids

Is your child currently obsessed with dinosaurs? This is a pretty common phase for many
1 2 3 23