Incredible Bird Facts

The smallest bird in the world is the male bee hummingbird from Cuba. This bird weighs in at about .056 ounces and is only 2.75 inches long with the bill and tail accounting for half of the length! The smallest bird of prey is the black legged falconet and the Borean falconet which both have an average length of 5.5-6 inches and average weight of 1.25 ounces. The largest carnivorous bird on the other hand was the Titanis walleri which lived during the Pleistocene age or the Ice Age. This flightless bird was thought to have lived on the South American continent with an estimated height of 3 meters. The oddest thing about the bird is that it did not have wings but tiny arms like a T-Rex. The fastest swimming bird is the Gentoo Penguin from the Antarctic Islands and can reach a top speed of 40 kilometers per hour. This penguin is recognizable by its orange bill and the white streaks behind its eyes, along with its prominent tail. It can reach down 300 feet into the ocean but its dive typically only last about half a minute. The Kiwi from New Zealand is the only bird with nostrils on its beak. Along with being the national bird of New Zealand it cannot fly and hunts by using it since of smell unlike other birds which use their senses of hearing and vision. The Kiwi is the size of a chicken but lays eggs 10 times bigger than a hen’s. The largest field of vision held by any bird is by the woodcock. The woodcock’s eyes are set so far back inside its head that it can see a complete 360 degree area around it including above its head. The bird who flies the most is the sooty tern (Sterna fuscata) which leaves the nest young and stays airborne for 3-10 years landing on water every once in a while. The sooty tern doesn’t return to land until it’s an adult and is ready to breed. The longest flight is held by another bird within the tern Sterna genus call the common tern (Sterna hirundo). A common tern released from Finland in June 1996 reached Victoria, Australia January 1997 over 16,250 miles away with an average of 125 miles per day! The heaviest bird of prey is the Andean condor (Vurtur gryphus) the male weighs up to 22-27 pounds and has a wingspan of 10 feet. The only bird heavier bird of prey found was a single male Californian condor which weighed in at 31 pounds but the average for its species is 23 pounds. Finally the fastest flying bird is the peregrine falcon. The peregrine falcon is the fastest living animal in the world reaching speeds between 124-168 miles per hour. The falcon will reach heights well above its prey and then fold its wings to swoop on its prey below it.

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