Saturday 11 May 2013

Bird is the Word

Here are ten things you may not know about birds in honour of International Migratory Bird Day.

1.  There are four kinds of migratory birds:  permanent residents, summer residents, winter residents and transients.

2.  There are four flyways or routes for waterfowl in North America:  Pacific, Central, Mississippi and Atlantic.

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3.  Temperature and prevailing winds influence when and how birds migrate.

4.  Birds fly on average at 20 to 50 miles per hour.  They fly at an altitude of 10,000 feet with some reaching as high as 27,000 feet.

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5.  Dangers to migratory birds include lack of water (desert), lack of food, predators and airplanes (between 2000 & 6000 feet).

6.  Bird watching is the second most popular hobby next to gardening in North America with 31,000 million participants.

7.  The Arctic Tern travels the longest route at 22,000 miles.  It breeds in the high Arctic in the summer but winters in Antarctica.

8.  Birds navigate according to the sun, stars and landmarks ex. rivers, mountains, coastlines.  They also use their sense of smell or follow their flock.

9.  Birds store special high energy fat enabling them to not eat for weeks at a time as they travel.

10.  There are 23 orders of birds.  For example, robins belong to the passeriformes and hawks belong to the ciconiiformes.

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