From the Desk of Old Ben
Fun Facts About Birds For Kids: What Are Birds?
- A bird can be described as a winged vertebrate animal (having a backbone). Birds are classified as bipedal (they have two feet), they are warm blooded egg-laying creatures. Birds are unique in that they have feathers and winged forelimbs.
- Birds can be found on every continent. There are about 10,000 different types of birds on earth.
- What do birds eat? The food they eat varies depending on the type of bird. It can include: Fruit, Plants, seeds, nuts, and meat. For example mice, other birds, insects, and carrion (the meat from a dead animal).
- The ostrich and penguin are birds that do not fly.
- The largest and heaviest bird on earth is the ostrich. The ostrich, with its long legs, can run up to a speed of 43 mph.
- Penguins are short legged birds that are native to cold southern regions like the Antarctic. They do not fly but are great swimmers. They have webbed feet and wings that work similar to flippers.
- Owls are birds of prey, types include: Barn owls, Burrowing owls, Hawk owls, Horned owls, Screech owls, and Snowy owls to name a few. The neck of an owl can rotate 3/4 of the way around its head.
- The bones of birds are thin and hollow. This makes the bones much lighter and more efficient for flying.
- Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly in all four directions. They are also the smallest bird species and can only be found in North and South America.
- There are about 310 different types of Pigeons and Doves. Pigeons have been used for food for thousands of years.
- In a recent American National Pet Owners Survey, 5.7% of American households were listed as having birds as pets. Pet birds included: Parakeets, canaries, cockatiels, cockatoos, doves, finches, lovebirds, parrots and macaws.
- The most famous of all extinct birds is the Dodo bird. The Dodo bird was native to the island of Mauritius. The Dodo only survived a total of 175 years after being discovered by explorers. Their extinction was due to the introduction of other animals, disease and human exploitation on the island.
- There are over 2,000 birds listed on the endangered bird list. Disease, environmental waste, marine debris pollution and deforestation have all contributed to the decline in bird populations.