Posts tagged ‘Feather’

Why are some birds more brightly colored than others?

Colored Bird

Color makes some birds stand out and helps to hide other birds.

Though there are a great many things in nature that we can explain, we can only guess why some things are as they are.

One idea – and there are many exceptions – is that birds with brighter colors spend most of their time in place where their bright colors make them stand out, so they can easily be seen by other birds of their own kind.

Birds with duller colors live mostly on or near the ground.  Their dull-colored feathers match the grass and leaves of their surroundings and make them hard to see.  This protects them from enemies.

This may also be why nature gave the duller colors to most female birds.  Since she must sit on the nest to hatch the eggs, the mother bird must be better hidden.

A male bird may court his mate by singing and displaying his flashing colors, in order to persuade the quiet little female that he is the finest bird in the world.

During the nesting time, he perches on a limb some distance from the nest.  With his bright colors, he draws all the attention to himself, and away from the nest and young ones.  – 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

What Is a cassowary?

Cassowary

The cassowary is a large, odd-looking bird that lives in the thick forest of Australia and New Guinea.  A fully grown cassowary may be five feet tall and weigh two pounds or more.

Like the African relative the ostrich, the cassowary cannot fly.  All that remains of its flight feathers are a few spiny quilts, but it can sprint at speeds of at nearly 40 miles per hour for its long powerful legs, when it danger.

A bony helmet on its featherless head  helps it butt through the heavy underbrush.  Tough bristle like feathers that cover it body serve as a form of armor as it crashes headlong the forest.

A threatened cassowary can be a dangerous foe.  All three of the toes on each foot are armed with knife-sharp claws which can be a deadly weapon in a flight.  Usually, these shy birds are  heard more often than soon in their dense forest home.  They call by snorting and bellowing. – Dick Rogers

Is the wise old owl really wise?

Owl

Although its big, staring eyes make the own look like it is thinking very hard, it is really no smarter than other birds. 

Owls look wise because their big, staring eyes and thoughtful air give the appearance that they are thinking very hard.

Actually, the “wise old owl” is really no smarter that other birds.  In fact, geese, crows, and ravens re all smarter than the owl.

A person can recognized an owl at once by its large, broad face with a fur of feathers around the large eyes.

Unlike the eyes of most birds, the owl’s eyes are in front of its head and point forward.  But to see in another direction, the own must turn its whole head.

Persons walking around a perched owl are often amused at the way it seems in danger of twisting its head off while watching them.

The owl comes out at night to hunt for mice and other small creatures.  Its large eyes can see in the dimmest light.  But the owl does not depend on its eyes alone for hunting.

Its keen ears can hear the faintest sound and its cry startles small animals into revealing their location.  The owl’s soft feathers allow it to swoop down silently on its prey. – Dick Rogers