In this collection, we will dispel a few more common myths about birds.
In modern society, access to information is unlimited, but despite this, old myths continue to exist, and sometimes new myths appear that create the illusion of truth and organically fit into our lives. The persistence of myths is so striking that even attempts by scientists to debunk them with the help of scientific facts sometimes remain unsuccessful.
Today we will dispel a few more common myths about birds.
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Insect repellant invented by man
It has been observed that some birds, having landed on an anthill, open their wings and wait for the angry insects to attack them, spraying ant venom. Birds use the natural poison of ants in the fight against other insects – so to speak, they knock out a wedge with a wedge.
This process is called anting, and also enting or anting, or the so-called "bathing in an anthill." Birds rub ants on their feathers and skin, or allow insects to crawl over their bodies.
Formic acid and other fluids produced by ants have insecticidal properties. By treating their feathers with them, birds kill or repel parasites, including ticks, lice and fleas. After antling, birds often continue grooming their feathers in traditional ways, such as brushing or bathing.
This peculiar ritual has two forms: active and passive. During the active form, the bird takes the ant in its beak and rubs it on its feathers. In the passive form, the bird crouches over a group of ants or lies down on an anthill, spreads its wings and remains in this unnatural position for a while, allowing the ants to make their way to their feathers.
Birds are very selective in their choice of ants for this procedure: they avoid biting species and prefer those that throw out jets of formic acid when defending.
Anting has been described in more than 200 species of birds from several orders, mainly in passerines. It is also found in parrots, woodpeckers, the virgin owl, many species of corvids (for example, in crows and magpies) and chickens (for example, in pheasants and turkeys).
Birds don't hibernate
One small bird can observe a real hibernation. This is the American White-throated Nightjar, better known as the Sleeping Nightjar. One of the varieties of these birds lives in North America and, with the onset of cold weather, hides in crevices of rocks and falls asleep.
The body temperature of this bird drops to +18 °C instead of the usual +41 °C for birds, and it falls into a deep sleep that lasts all winter. In the spring, the sleeping nightjar “thaws” and starts catching insects, which also wake up by this time.
Birds can't fly backwards
In general, the body structure of birds does not provide for such maneuvers. However, there is a bird that can fly backwards, and it just needs it. This hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world.
By the manner of flight and the way of feeding, the hummingbird is more like an insect. When flying, the wings of the smallest representatives of this species perform up to 100 strokes per second, making very complex helical movements, so hummingbirds can not only hover in the air, but also move in any direction, including backwards.
Such complex aerial maneuvers are necessary when hummingbirds dodge through thickets of tropical plants, fluttering from flower to flower, or chasing small insects.
The eagle owl has large ears that stick out above its head.
These "ears" of the eagle owl are not intended for hearing, this is just a visual decoration. In fact, these are bunches of elongated feathers, the so-called "feather ears". In males, they are more straightened than in females; however, this is clearly visible only at close range and with good visibility.
The elongated head feathers sticking out on the sides, which many mistaken for ears, help the bird blend in with the environment during daytime rest.
In general, birds of prey of the owl family have ears, but some of these sound-receiving devices are hidden in feathers on their heads. These are small moving folds around the ear holes.
Birds like to stand on one leg
In fact, the birds just keep their feet warm. This posture is similar to that of mammals, when they curl up in a ball to keep their body warm. Birds act in almost the same way, fluffing feathers on the body and hiding all the protruding parts of the body there: the head – under the wing, the leg – in the warm fluff of the abdomen.
All animals endure weightlessness
From monkeys to rats and butterflies, almost all animals have been in space. At first, they experience shock, then they get used to it without any special consequences, and upon returning to their usual conditions, they quickly adapt.
However, for one class, being in space threatens to starve to death. This class is birds. They were let down by the structure of the digestive apparatus. The fact is that a bird can swallow food only under the influence of gravity.
Animals should not drink salt water
Seagulls and albatrosses, living in places where there is simply no fresh water, but there is a whole ocean of salt water, drink salt water and feel great.
In the albatross, thanks to a special device in the beak near the nostrils, salts are separated from the water, fresh water enters the body, and the bird does not waste the saturated “brine”, but applies it to its feathers, which makes them waterproof.
The man invented the enema
Wise nature took care of its pets much earlier than man. And if a person needs a special device for this, and sometimes the help of a doctor, then the lapwing bird manages on its own.
In case of problems with the intestines, due to the long beak and the flexibility of the neck, the bird, drawing water into its beak, bends and puts itself in an enema. Repeat the procedure if necessary.
Only man is able to "see the world in pink"
There is a bird that sees the world in pink colors in the literal sense. This is one of the most common birds on Earth. Rather, there are about a billion of these birds and they constantly live next to humans. This is a sparrow (the correct name is a house sparrow).
Flamingos are pink birds
The color of feathers in flamingos is white, without any signs of a shade of pink. However, the diet of these birds includes several types of crustaceans, which contain carotenoids, giving the feathers a pink color.
There are as many as 6 varieties of flamingos. The brightest representatives of this family are red flamingos.
In zoos, flamingos are often fed carrots containing the yellow-orange plant pigment beta-carotene. Therefore, in the zoo you can see flamingos with yellow-orange hues.
More interesting facts about flamingos you will find in our article ☛
Only parrots can imitate many environmental sounds.
There is a bird that can imitate almost any sound. This is a large lyre bird (or excellent lyrebird). These birds have an excellent ability to imitate not only natural sounds, but also artificial environmental sounds.
A large lyre bird copies the singing of other birds and the cries of animals that it hears around it. It turns out such a convincing imitation that even real birds, whose sounds she imitates, remain deceived.
But the most interesting thing is that this bird can imitate any artificial sound it hears in the forest. These can be the sounds of working foresters and their chainsaws, the sound of a shutter and a camera drive mechanism, the sounds of a car alarm, and much more.
How this bird imitates a chainsaw, a car alarm, the sound of a camera shutter and much more you can see in our article ☛