Birds are pretty fascinating creatures, which is why many children are interested in learning about them. They can fly, they can stand on power lines safely and they can sing--three traits that make them different than most other animals and reasons why kids are enticed by them. If your child enjoys learning about birds, pique his interest by teaching him a few fun facts about avians.
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Even though they all have wings, not all birds can fly. According to the Enchanted Learning website, birds that cannot fly will often use running or swimming as their means for transportation. In fact, the ostrich is the fastest-running bird on earth and cannot fly. Penguins have wings and cannot fly but swim to get where they're going fast. However, most birds can fly, which not only provides a means for transportation, but allows them to hunt and escape predators rather quickly.
One interesting fact about birds is that they do not have any teeth, however, they do have a tongue that contains a bone inside. Birds spend a lot of time looking for food and most birds eat insects. Some birds, including owls and eagles, are predators and eat meat, such as mice. Other birds eat plants or a combination of plants and meats. Birds use their strong beaks and claws to capture their food and help them eat it.
Power lines are very dangerous and can electrocute a person if they are touched. Birds, however, can stand on the lines without becoming harmed. The reason for this is something called a potential difference, states the Enchanted Learning website. A potential difference is an electrical charge between two points in a circuit. For a bird or animal to become electrocuted, a potential difference must exist between two points of its body. When it stands on a power line, there is no potential difference so the bird isn't electrocuted. If it stood on two different power lines at the same time or its wings touched two different lines, there would be a potential difference and the bird would become injured.
Songbirds have a vocal organ called the syrinx, which is located in the throat. The syrinx is split in two and each half vibrates and produces songs, enabling the bird to sing two notes at the same time. A bird blows air from its lungs into the syrinx to sing. Unfortunately, there are fewer songbirds in existence each year.
Types and Habitat
According to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center website, there are hundreds of types of birds in North America, including hawks, swallows, finches and ravens. Some birds prefer to spend time in hotter weather, while others enjoy cooler climates. Some birds that people see in California are never seen in colder states, such as Minnesota. Many birds, including geese, migrate to warmer areas when their primary residence becomes cooler.
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