About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

If birds were in the summer Olympics

1.  Equestrianism - Originally a bison-following bird of the Great Plains, the Brown-headed Cowbirds learned to ride along with cowboys to feed on weed seeds and insects that cows and horses stir into movement.
2.  Running - The fastest-running bird is the ostrich which can run up to 43 mph. The road runner runs about 12 mph.
3.  Marathon - The Arctic Tern makes the longest migration each year, flying 20,000 to 25,000 miles each year from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again.
4.  Gymnastics - Woodpeckers can be real characters and always seem to be goofing around. But what seems like erratic bouncing around to us is how they practice their evasive maneuvers. Their acrobatics in trees and on feeders is good practice for when they need to flip away from predators.
5.  Fastest flyer - The peregrine is the fastest bird on record reaching horizontal cruising speeds of 65-90 mph.
6.  Highest flyer - Ruppell’s griffon vulture once collided with an airplane off the Ivory Coast in 1973 at 37,000 feet. A migrating Bar-headed Goose was once seen over the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal at roughly 28,000 feet.
7.  Fencing – Hummingbirds can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down. When hummingbirds compete for nectar and insects they perform duels with their long blade-like bills as weapons.
8.  Swimming - Gentoo Penguin found on the Antarctic Islands are the fastest underwater swimming penguins, reaching speeds of 25 miles per hour.
9.  Diving – The Thick-Billed Murre is known as one of the deepest diving birds in the world. They have been known to dive up to 330 feet as they chase down their aquatic prey.
10. Synchronized Swimming - With the salt flats all to themselves, these flamingos perform a synchronized dance in the water and in the process, choose their mates.