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.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

How much the average backyard bird weighs

How much do songbirds weigh? - Lansing, MI

That is a very good question. If you have some coins around the house, you can get an idea about how much birds weigh. The Ruby-throated hummingbirds weigh about 0.1–0.2 ounces or one dime. Goldfinches are tiny vegetarians that weigh about .5 of an ounce, or about the same as five pennies. The bigger Northern Cardinal is only 2 ounces or about 9 quarters. As you can see, birds are surprisingly lightweight.

Most birds have hollow bones with internal struts that make them very strong. (Exceptions include swimming birds, like loons, which have solid bones to help them dive up to 150’ for food.)

Birds also have a smaller total number of bones than mammals. This is because many of their bones have fused together, to make the skeleton more rigid. Birds do have more neck vertebrae than many other animals to help them groom their feathers. But overall it takes over 65 chubby chickadees to equal the weight of one medium squirrel.

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