Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fun Fast Facts on North American birds

Did you know there are about 9,600 bird species in the world, and that more than 2,000 have been recorded in North America? Each one is fascinating. These facts are courtesy of the book The Bird Almanac: A Guide to Essential Facts and Figures of the World's Birds, by David M. Bird, as reported online by Birder's World magazine.

Fastest-moving bird: Peregrine Falcon diving at 200 mph (320 km/h)

Slowest-flying bird: American Woodcock at 5 mph (8 km/h)

Longest-submerged bird: Emperor Penguin at 18 minutes

Greatest weight-carrying capacity: Pallas's Fish Eagle lifting a 13-lb (5.9-kg) carp -- 160% of body weight

Slowest wingbeat: vultures at 1/sec
Coldest temperature endured: -80.5 degrees F (-62.5 degress C) by Snowy Owls

Keenest sense of hearing: Barn Owl

Smallest bird: Bee Hummingbird at 2.24 in (5.7 cm), 0.056 oz (1.6 g)

Largest egg: Ostrich measuring 7 by 4.5 in (17.8 by 14 cm)

Smallest clutch size: 1 egg laid every 2 years by albatrosses
Greatest wingspan: Wandering Albatross at up to 11 ft 11 in (3.63 m)

Longest tail feathers: Crested Argus Pheasant at 5.7 ft (173 cm)

Greatest number feathers: Tundra Swan at 25,216

Lowest number feathers: Ruby-throated Hummingbird at 940

Images courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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