Posts tagged ‘Sparrows’

What is a gizzard?


A gizzard is the muscular part of a bird’s stomach in which food it eats is ground up.

If you own a canary or live on a farm where chickens are raised, you may already know that birds have a very strange way of chewing their food.

Birds must swallow their food whole because they have no teeth.  Instead, the work of “chewing” is done by the gizzard, a special, muscular part of a bid’s stomach that grinds the food up.

Canaries and other birds that eat seeds and other hard food swallow small stones and grit along with the food.  This aids the grinding process and helps the bird digest the food.

It is sometimes easy to tell the kind of food a bird eats by the shape of its bill.

Finches and sparrows have short, strong bills for cracking the hard shells of seeds.

The long, spearlike bill of the heron and stork is ideal for jabbing fish and frogs.

And hawk has a sharp, hooked bill good for tearing apart the animals it catches for food.  – Dick Rogers


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.


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