Facts About Birds 3

britishbirdlovers.co.uk

Great Spotted Woodpecker

01

Great spotted woodpeckers make their distinctive knocking sound by hitting the wood of a tree with their bills 40 times a second.

House Martin

02

Swifts and house martins sleep on the wing. Just before dusk the birds gather and ascend high up in the air to roost in a warmer air layer up to 2,000 m above the ground.

Blue Tit

03

A blue tit weighs the same as a pound coin.

Lapwing

04

Ever since Chaucer wrote of the ‘false lapwynge, ful of treacherye’, the lapwing has had an association with deceit, perhaps because of its beautiful plumage and joyous display flights.

Avocet

05

The avocet is depicted on the logo of The RSPB. It colonised Britain when coastal marshes in East Anglia were flooded to provide a defence against possible invasion by the Germans.

Mandarin Duck

06

The nine levels of the Chinese Civil Service are named after birds, Mandarins are the 7th level, and it was these who dealt with British traders in China, hence any bureaucrats are now known as mandarins.

Bald Eagle

07

The bald eagle was chosen by the US Congress as their national bird, despite the then President Benjamin Franklin’s preference of the wild turkey.

Bobolink

08

The bobolink is one of the few songbirds that has two complete moults each year. It completely changes its feathers on both breeding and wintering grounds, which are separated by a 6,000 mile journey.

Mistle Thrush

09

 It is believed that the mistle thrush got its name from its love of mistletoe, although it will noisily defend any berry-bearing bush it happens upon.

Great Grey Owl

10

In Roman mythology to hear the hoot or an owl presaged an imminent death. The deaths of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Commodus Aurelius, and Agrippa were all apparently predicted by an owl. In early Rome a dead owl nailed to the door of a house averted all the evil that it supposedly had earlier caused.

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