There are about 10 thousand species of birds on the Earth. Some differ in their ability not to fly fast, but to run. Some species are able to imitate the human voice, others are distinguished by their unusual appearance. One thing is certain – the birds know how to surprise.
In this case, not always the most unusual species live in the tropical impassable jungle, amazing birds also exist in the middle band. So it’s worth telling about the most outstanding representatives of this class in more detail.
The smallest bird on the planet is the hummingbird. In this family the most modest size of hummingbirds is bees. These birds have a length of 5 cm, counting the tail and the beak. The mass of the hummingbird is 1.6 grams. Even the ostrich’s feather weighs more. However, in such a tiny body, the heart beats actively, performing up to 500 beats per minute. Hummingbird is the only bird that can fly back. Her wings per second make 90 strokes, which leads to a slight buzz. Hummingbirds are mobile and fervent creatures that lead an active lifestyle. After all, this bird is also the most insatiable on the planet. She has such a fast metabolism that she has to drink more than a hundred times in 16 hours and eat food, more than she herself weighs. It feeds on hummingbirds nectar, and larger species – by insects.
This species was chosen by the cold mountain forests of South Mexico and Panama. The length to the end of the tail of the ketzal is 35 cm, the same size is also of two long tailless feathers. Such beauty is present in the male, whose tail is especially beautiful. From above the bird looks bright green with a golden hue and metallic luster. The abdomen is crimson, and the tail in its lower part is white. But all this beauty comes off the male with the end of the nesting season. Quetzal feeds on the fruits of the ototea, but does not disdain insects, frogs and lizards. This bird was sacred to the Aztecs and Maya, it was considered the god of air. Plumage was even used in religious ceremonies. But with the deforestation of the tropical forests, the existence of the ketzal is under threat.
This is a very rare species of birds that can be found on the Malay Peninsula, as well as in Sumatra and Borneo. Most of the plumage of the bird is a dark, light color only in the abdomen, the tips of feathers and legs. The beak of the kalao is red. The long tail also has two central feathers that are noticeably larger than the rest. As a result, the total length of the bird reaches 160 cm, with only one tail occupying a meter. Kalao belongs to the family of rhino birds, the helmet grows from the base of the beak. However, unlike their brethren, the kalao is dense. As a result, the bird’s skull, together with its beak and helmet, weighs up to 10% of the total body weight. The basis of the diet kalao are fruits, usually figs. The helmeted kalao pays special attention to the territory on which the couple lives. The males even fight for their area, hitting their helmets. This outgrowth in the local population is used for handicrafts, feathers decorate clothes and make out of them headdresses.
And this bird can also be found in our latitudes. Hoopoes have long been known to man, there are references to them in the Bible and the Koran. It is considered that the bright plumage is a property of only tropical birds. But the hoopoe also boasts a beautiful color. A tuft on his body stands out, which can be opened in case of danger or surprise by a fan. Usually this bird lives in an open area, it is cautious, but not frightening. The length of the bird is 25-29 cm, and its wingspan is twice as large. Hoopoes have a striped black-and-white feathering of wings and tail. Thus the head, a neck and a breast can have a different color depending on a subspecies. Feed the hoopoes with small insects, finding them in the ground, wood or manure. It is interesting that the language of the bird is short, so it is forced to throw up the prey in the air, catch and swallow. The wings of the hoopoe are similar in structure to the butterfly, and eventually the flights become similar. Goacin.
This bird is quite large, its length is about 60 cm.It is distributed in the humid forests of the Amazon, as well as in the delta of the Orinoco. Unusual is feathering. From above it is olive with yellow pies. Below the body is reddish, and the head is generally blue. The goatina has a long neck, but the head itself is small with respect to the whole body. On it is also a crest of narrow feathers. Goacin chicks are interesting in that they have claws on two fingers of the wing, with which they cling to branches and can even climb on them. This property is a legacy of the pioneers who climbed the trees. In adult specimens, the claws disappear. Goatsin feeds on plant foods, which are digested by fermentation. Therefore, the bird has a manure smell, like ruminants. Goat meat is inedible, so the bird was nicknamed “smelly”. But the beautiful view of the bird made it a national symbol of Guyana, it is on the arms of the country.
Fur of the Sri Lanka.
These secret birds live in the south-west of India and in Sri Lanka, which gave them the name. The frog is living in the deepest part of the rain forest, so it’s hard to see it. In addition, coloring prevents them from being detected – the feathering of the frog looks like dry leaves. But depending on the sex, the color also changes. Males are gray, and females are brown. These birds have a large incision of the mouth, they feed on insects, small animals and frogs. At the same time they get food not on the fly, but collecting it on the substrate. The beak is triangular, large and hooked. Nests, these birds are built on trees in the form of horizontal platforms.
Ability to imitate the human voice is inherent in several species of birds. In this row there are bright and sociable Amazonian parrots. In this genus there are 26 species. Amazons are large birds, the size of a crow. They have a moderately round beak and a bright tropical color. Ability to imitate voices is better only in gray African parrots. But we appreciate birds and their individuality. Amazons quickly get used to people and unfamiliar surroundings, their character is kind and obedient. These parrots are well behaved in the apartment. Birds can pronounce several dozen words, some individuals imitate other sounds – meowing, barking, sounds of household appliances. Even in the presence of other people, these parrots can chat, not hesitating to interfere in someone else’s speech. In this way they attract attention.
It turns out that birds can fly not only in the air. This bird of the family of chistikovyh knows how to do this in the water. The family itself is quite old, known fossils of representatives are 15 million years old. Externally, the chistikovs resemble penguins, but they have no kinship with them. Topors know how to swim perfectly, for which they use their wings. They are rowing in the water, reaching an impressive depth of 100 meters. Birds in such an unusual way are looking for food – marine invertebrates and small fish. But in the air, the hatchets feel fine, the heavy takeoff is just the beginning to a high flight. The axes themselves are of average size – their body length is about 40 cm, and they weigh up to 800 grams. Birds live in colonies on the northern coast of the Pacific Ocean. They are fishing for their eggs and meat.
Poisonous insects surprise no one, but poisonous birds? Then it is worth getting acquainted with the thrush flycatchers. This passerine genus belongs to the family of Australian whistlers. In Latin, their scientific name sounds like a pita. These birds have a light color and live in the forests of New Guinea. And the poisonous are the skin of a flytrap, almost all internal organs and feathers. They contain batrachotoxin, which is also produced by frogs from the genus of leafworms. This substance is 100 times stronger than strychnine. The person will get a burn, but rabbits, mice, frogs quickly perish. As a result, the batrachotoxin contained in one bird is enough to kill 8,000 mice. Nature has made the birds poisonous to protect them from predators.And such a property of the flytrapper was due to its food – special beetles, which allow the accumulation of toxins in the body. How the python manages to avoid self-poisoning remains a mystery. As a result, the birds got a bright orange color, like leaf-litter. Nature seems to warn the predator of the danger of his potential victim.
This bird is famous for its beautiful pink or red color. Only now it does not appear from birth, but due to a special diet. Birds owe their color to the coloring substance lipochrome. Flamingo eats worms, mollusks and larvae, and most importantly, small crustaceans, which include a carotenoid. This substance gives color to tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. It also colors the flamingos. It is interesting that in zoos the bird is specially fed with products with carotene – pepper, carrots, the same crustaceans. Also, the flamingo is known for its ability to stand on one leg, like other long-legged birds. It turns out that this position is taken by birds specifically to reduce heat loss in strong winds. While one leg serves to support, the other is warmed in plumage. Then the paws change places. Although it seems to us that it is uncomfortable to stand in the water, the flamingos themselves do not feel discomfort from this. The physiology of the body is such that the supporting leg is capable of remaining elongated even without tension of the muscles. In its family, the flamingo is the largest and most common, reaching a height of 130 cm. Birds are quite unpretentious, living large colonies on the banks of water bodies. In this case, they are approached even by very salty or alkaline lakes, where even fish do not live. The ability to tolerate large temperature differences served to spread the flamingos around the world.