Psychologist B. F. Skinner got pigeons to repeat strange “rituals” by dropping food into their cage at random intervals — the birds associated their actions before the treats with reward, and demonstrated superstitious repetition of those actions.
To preserve the harvest, Mao Zedong had all sparrows killed (along with rats, flies and mosquitoes) because they ate grain. The result was an ecological disaster that resulted in the birds’ natural prey devouring the harvest.
When people say “you eat like a bird” respond with “birds actually eat twice their body weight.”
There is evidence of early humans being killed and eaten by eagles.
In 2009, an estimated 31,000,000 birds died from being confused by light pollution while migrating overnight. Simply turning off the lights can potentially save tens of millions of birds from colliding with glass.
Crows are quite similar to humans and visit their aging parents many years after they have left the nest.
Near human-like levels of consciousness have been observed in the African gray parrot.
There is a metal band called Hatebeak whose lead singer is an African grey parrot.
If a goose gets sick or is wounded while flying a couple of other geese may drop out of formation to help and protect him. They will try to stay with the disabled goose until he dies or is able to fly again.
In 2006 over a 1000 toads swelled up to 3 times their size and exploded with no apparent reason, causing panic at the possibility of a new virus. The real reason? Local crows had figured out how to peck out the frog’s highly nutritious liver while avoiding their poisonous skin.
A species of Indonesian parrot called Goffin’s cockatoo can solve complex mechanical puzzles.
A parrot named Puck is listed in the Guinness World Book of Records as “The bird with the largest vocabulary in the world” with a vocabulary of 1728 words. Also he wouldn’t just mimic, he would often create his own phrases and sentences.
In Australia, someone loses an eye every year from a magpie attack. It also managed to indirectly kill a 12 year old boy by chasing him to a road where he was promptly hit by a car.
Urban birds now perform a sort of ‘avian rap’ with short and fast songs while their rural counterparts stick to slow melodies.
A king penguin in Japan was rescued and nursed back to life. He refused to leave, and now lives with the family. He has his own extra cold room, and he goes out on walks around the neighborhood to pick up groceries.