Birds are absolutely fantastic creatures since they are very rare residents of our planet who can fly. Of course, this is not the only one interesting fact about them. We have collected some of the curious facts about birds which you might not know or, in all likelihood, you might believe in some popular myths related to these facts. It’s time to delve into the world of birds!
Birds won’t abandon their chicks if you touch them
Have you ever heard a popular opinion about birds that tells us not to touch chicks? According to this opinion, no one should touch the birds’ offspring even if a chick falls out of nest and needs someone’s help. That is so because birds can feel the smell of a human which differs a lot from the smell of the chicks and they might not be aware that these are actually their offspring.
Fortunately, such an opinion is not true and birds can’t distinguish the smell of a human being. For that reason, they won’t abandon their chicks and will continue taking care of them if you happen to touch their chicks.
Owls can twist their heads 270 degrees
A widespread belief about owls somewhat exaggerates their physical abilities claiming that owls are able to twist their heads 360 degrees. Although this is not true, they can still twist their heads like no one else making the angle of 270 degrees. How is it even possible? Aren’t their blood vessels so squeezed that the blood can’t reach the brain causing fainting?
The fantastic feature of the owl anatomy is a special built of their spinal artery which is wider near the brain. Due to this extra space inside the artery, an owl can store there more blood which feeds the brain even though there is no normal blood flow while the vessels are squeezed.
Yet, if owls keep their head in such a position for too long, they are risking to faint, however, they somehow feel that and do not keep such a position for too long.
Have you ever thought why owls have such a unique ability of twisting their heads? Actually, there is a serious reason for it. Owls are almost incapable of making any eye movements so twisting their heads so much is a necessity for them.
Note there is one more myth about owls that is deeply engraved into our minds. It is quite popular to regard owls as extremely smart birds which have created many comparisons, for example, being wise like an owl. In the reality, the intellect of this species of birds is not thus impressive as the one of hawks, crawls, parrots and even pigeons. Don’t judge the intellectual abilities of owls by the scenes from the movies about Harry Potter – these birds can hardly be trained.
Ostriches are very strong and fast
Certainly, you have heard the belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand itself sounds curious. This opinion has been regarded by many people as a scientific fact for hundreds of years. The one who created this popular myth was Pliny the Elder who left some notes about ostriches including such information that these birds imagine that hiding their head and neck under the ground hides their entire body as well. Of course, no one really knows what ostriches imagine especially taking into consideration the fact that they do not have such a habit at all. It is quite possible that Pliny the Elder noticed ostriches building their nests or eating some food on the ground.
In the reality, sometimes ostriches might hide in the grass by lying and pressing their bodies close to the ground which is usually done by these birds in order to protect their nests with eggs. Still, such a behaviour is not popular among ostriches as they are not used to hiding from predators and are definitely not acting as if not seeing jeopardy makes it unreal.
Actually, ostriches are very muscular and robust, which makes them capable of knocking a lion down. Needless to say, these birds also can run so quickly that it is difficult to chase them or escape from them.
Penguin females use their males for material purposes
Penguins are one of the birds that look very cute, however, their personality can be rather difficult, especially when it comes to the female birds.
Female penguins are using males first for copulating and afterwards make them build their nests. When the nest is ready, a female bird simply throw the male away. This doesn’t look like a particularly moral behaviour.
You might have come across some strange information which was popular on the social networks some time ago, that penguins like to observe flying planes and can be so absorbed by the process that they fall down. According to this story, the birds then are unable to get up themselves, so people have to help them. Fortunately, there is nothing like this in the reality. First of all, these birds normally ignore planes, but if it happens that penguins fall down, they have no difficulties with getting up themselves.
There is another interesting fact about these birds. It is believed that penguins live in Antarctica, albeit this is not the only location where you can meet them. Some species of pigeons live in the temperate climate whereas others can be found even in the tropical climate.