hummingbirds (mellisuga helenae)
Male bee hummingbirds (mellisuga helenae), which live in Cuba, weigh 0.056 ounces and are 2.75 inches in length. The bill and tail account for half of this length.
Smallest Bird of Prey
The black-legged falconet ( Micrphierax fringlius ) of southeast Asia and the white-fronted or Bornean falconet ( M. latifrons ) of northwestern Borneo both have an average length of 5.5-6 inches, including a 2 inch tail, and weigh approximately 1.25 ounces.
Smallest BirdSmallest Parrot
[contributed by Harold Armitage, Wild Macaws Wild Macaws]
The Pygmy parrots of Papua and nearby islands. Genus Micropsitta. There's six different sorts - Yellow-capped, Buff-faced, Finsch's, Geelvink, Meek's, Red-breasted - all around 3" long (8cm). Thought to eat lichens and mosses but not much is known about their lifestyles.
Fastest Swimming Bird
Gentoo Penguin found on the Antarctic Islands can swim 40 km per hour. Large populations are found at South Georgia, Falkland Islands, and Iles Kerguelen although their breeding distribution is circumpolar. An orange bill and a white stroke behind its eye distinguish the black and white gentoos from the smaller adelie and chinstrap species. Long stiff tail feathers stick out behind as they walk, often cocked up in the water, no other penguin has such a prominent tail. They breed in winter at the more northerly sub-Antarctic islands, laying two eggs as early as July. Can dive over 300' though most prey dives are shallower. Most dives last only half a minute.
Largest Carnivorous Bird
(contribution by Christoph Kulmann)
Titanis Walleri. This bird is known from the early Pleistocene (Ice Age) of Florida. It is the last known member of the family Phorusrhacidae, a group of large, flightless birds which evolved in South America. This creature had an estimated body height of 3 meters (if it stood fully erect, and 2.5 meters in more normal situations). Titanis really had arms instead of wings.
Tallest Flying Birdscrane
The largest cranes (family Gruidae) can be almost 6 ft. 6 in. tall.
Heaviest Flying Birds
The Kori Bustard or paauw (Ardeotis Kori) of northeast and southern Africa and the great bustard (Otis tarda) of Europe and Asia weigh about 40-42 pounds. There is a report of a 46 lb. 4 oz. male great bustard shot in northeastern China. It was too heavy to fly.
Heaviest Birds of Prey
Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) are the heaviest species of bird of prey. Males weigh 20-27 pounds and have a wingspan of at least 10 feet. A male California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) preserved in the California Academy of Sciences is reported to weigh 31 pounds. It is rare for the species to exceed 23 pounds in weight.
Flightless Kakapo around 7lbs in weight; New Zealand [contributed by Harold Armitage, Wild Macaws Wild Macaws]
SinbadA flightless nocturnal bird, which was described by early European settlers as " the most wonderful bird on Earth, " the Kakapo parrot was once endemic throughout New Zealand. Today only 50 birds remain, some of which live on Little Barrier Island (Hauturu) as part of a Department of Conservation endangered species recovery programme.
The name "Kakapo" is Polynesian (Maori) for "parrot of the night." Moss green, like Kakapo "Suzanne's" foster brood, Codfish Island, 2002. Photo by Don Merton/DOC.the foliage of the native trees and grasses in which it evolved, funny and cuddly, with a wonderful spicy fragrance, this unique bird has small wings, useless for flight but handy to steer with when you're jumping down a bank, and a rudimentary keel in its sternum. It browses forest trees, ferns, herbs, moss and lichen and grinds its food between a powerful lower mandible and a grooved pad in the upper mandible, a method of mastication which is thought to be unique.
The phoenix fowl or Yokohama chicken (a strain of the red junglefowl Gallus is bred in Japan for ornamental purposes. A rooster with a 34 ft. 9.5 in. Tail covert was reported in 1972.
The bill of the Australian pelican (Pelicanus conspicillatus) is 13-18.5 inches long.
The longest beak in relation to body length is that of the sword- billed hummingbird ( Ensifera ) of the Andes. At 4 inches, the beak is longer than the bird’s body (excluding the tail).
Only Nostrils on tip of Beak
The Kiwi is the only bird with nostrils at the tip of its beak. Whereas other birds hunt by sight or by hearing, the national bird of New Zealand uses its beaky nostrils to sniff out food at night. Although the Kiwi is roughly the same size as a chicken, it lays an egg which is 10 times larger than a hen's. It also has wings but cannot fly.
The ostrich has the largest eyes of any land animal. Each eye can be up to 2 inches in diameter.
Largest Field of Vision
The eyes of the woodcock are set so far back in its head that it has a 360 degree field of vision, enabling it see all round and even over the top of its head
The African Grey Parrot has been called "the perfect mix of brains and beauty" (Bird Talk, Aug. 92) and the "cadillac of parrots" (Bird Talk Sept. 93). Much of the notoriety of this species stems from the phenomenal gift of speech members exhibit. While many parrots learn some words or phrases, many cases have been documented of African Greys learning multiple lines of songs, prayers, or plays. The Guinness Book of World Records lists the best talking parrot or parrot like bird as a African Grey named Prudle. Prudle was captured near Jinja, Uganda in 1958 and when "he" retired from public life in 1977 had a vocabulary of nearly 1000 words. Many owners have been surprised (and sometimes shocked) when their Grey learned a new word or phrase after hearing it only a few times. One of our favorite stories in this respect was one related by a priest that had a pet Grey. While hanging some pictures in his office, the priest hit his hand with a hammer. He let out a stream of obscenities that his Grey learned (from this one occurrence according to the priest). The priest's embarrassment was compounded by the other aspect of greys gift for mimicking, that is they often sound exactly like the person that spoke the words or phrase. [contributed by Harold Armitage, Wild Macaws Wild Macaws]
Most Airborne Bird
The sooty tern (Sterna fuscata) leaves its nesting grounds as a youngster and remains aloft for 3-10 years, settling on water from time to time. It returns to land to breed as an adult.
A common tern (Sterna hirundo) that was banded in June 1996 in Finland was recaptured alive 16,250 miles away at Rotamah Island, Victoria, Australia in January 1997. It had traveled at a rate of 125 miles a day.
The American woodcock (Scolopax minor) and the Eurasian woodcock (S. Rusticola) have both been timed lying at 5 mph with out stalling during courtship displays.
Slowest Wing beat
The slowest wing beats recorded during true level flight averaged one per second. They were by several species of the New World vulture ( family Cathartidea)
The wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) has the largest wingspan of any living bird. As a result, it is an expert glider and it is capable of remaining in the air without beating its wings for several hours at a time. The largest known specimen was an extremely old male with and 11 ft. 11 in. wingspan. It was caught in the Tasman Sea in September 1965. It has also been known to sleep while it flies!
Largest Ever Wingspan
The South American teratoron ( Argentavis magnificens), which existed 6-8 million years ago, had an estimated wingspan of 25 feet.
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Saturday, July 9, 2011
hummingbirds (mellisuga helenae)
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