Facts about birds

  • Blue birds can't see the color blue

  • There are around 10000 different species of birds worldwide

  • Scientists believe that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs

  • Some bird species are intelligent enough to create and use tools

  • The chicken is the most common species of bird found in the world

  • Hummingbirds can fly backwards

  • Around 20% of bird species migrate long distances every year

  • Homing pigeons are bred to find their way home from long distances away and have been used for thousands of years to carry messages.

What are birds?

The main characteristic of a bird is feathers. No other animal has feathers. Other important features for birds are wings and hollow bones. Birds also lay eggs, like reptiles, however they are warm-blooded, like mammals. 

Feathers are made of keratin. This is the same stuff that fingernails are made of. At the center of the feather is a hollow shaft called the rachis. Connected to the shaft are lots of thin branches called barbs. Off of the barbs are even smaller branches called barbules. All of these branches make a light structure that can gather air to fly.

You can learn more about the birds at the Jungle Zoo by clicking on the images below: