In 1950, a German farmer told police that some of his chickens “exploded with a loud bang while running around the barnyard.” An investigation showed that the chickens ate bits of carbide left behind by allied soldiers during fall maneuvers, later drank some water and the resulting gas blew them to bits.
The world’s oldest ever flamingo was badly beaten by four teenagers, survived, and lived another 5 years to the age of 83.
Doctors successfully silenced the genes that make chickens to grow a beak, causing it to revert back to it’s ancestral state: the snout of a dinosaur.
Superb fairy-wrens teach their eggs a ‘secret password’ that the young can sing when they hatch. Those that sing the password get food, and the brood parasite eggs (which don’t learn the password) go hungry.
Owls fly silently due to specially designed edges of their primary feathers. When most birds fly, turbulence from air gushing over their wings creating noise. However, owls have their primary feathers serrated like a comb, which divides turbulence into tiny currents aka micro-turbulences.
City birds have learned to line their nests with cigarette butts in order to ward of parasites, as burnt nicotine works as an insecticide to ward off mites, lice and fleas.
Because birds such as pigeons have a much higher threshold for detecting movement, they would likely see a movie shown at today’s industry standard frame rate as a series of flashing slides
The highest flying bird is the Ruppell’s vulture; one was injested by a jet at 37,000 feet.
A Raven named Jimmy has starred in over 1,000 films between the 30s and 50s and could understand several hundred words and it took him just 1 week to learn a new word, 2 weeks if it had two syllables. His footprints were enshrined in cement at a large Los Angeles pet store, alongside Lassie.
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.