Posts from the ‘Strong Feet’ Category

Why doesn’t a bird fall off its perch when it sleeps?

Perhaps you, too, have wondered how sparrows and other perching birds can sleep on a twig or branch without falling off.  The answer is that the sleeping bird cant fall because it feet are actually “locked” on the perch.

Bird

Each of the bird’s toes are connected with a cord inside the log.  When the bird sits on a branch, the bending of the leg tightens the cord and pulls the toes around the branch.

As a result, the toes are clamped to the branch and even in sleep the bird cannot lose its hold.  The toes are loosened only when the bird awakens and stands up.

By looking at a bird’s feet we can tell a good deal about its way of life.  The strong feet of hawks and owls are provided with sharp, curved talons with which to catch their prey.

Ducks and other swimming birds have webbed feet which they use to paddle through water.

Still other birds have feet adapted for climbing, scratching, wading, running, and so on. – Dick Rogers

 

How did the secretary bird get its name?

Secretary Bird

The odd-looking secretary bird is a South African bird of prey.  The reason for this bird’s name is easy to guess because of the tuft of long, stiff feathers that stick out from the back of its head.

The tuffs resemble the quill pens that old-time secretaries and clerks once carried behind their ears.  The secretary bird has a long neck and very long legs.  It is about four-feet tall and its plumage is gray and black.

It usually prefers to run instead of fly and is the only bird of prey that hunts on foot.

An inhabitant of Africa’s grassy plains, the secretary bird feeds chiefly on snakes, which it kills by stamping on the snake with its strong  feet and biting it with its hooked bill.

In their native home, farmers often tame secretary birds and keep them to kill rats and mice.  Another name for the secretary bird is “serpent eagle.” – Dick Rogers