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Fun Bird Facts from A Brampton, ON Veterinarian.

March 1, 2024

Did you know that birds rank fourth among America’s favorite pets? Of course, Fido and Fluffy are first and second, with fish coming in third. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are more than 7.5 million pet birds in the United States. Continue reading to learn more about Man’s Fourth Best Friend from a local Brampton, ON veterinarian.

Feathered Friends

Birds are the only animals with feathers. Some of Polly’s ancestors, the dinosaurs, also had feathers. However, not every bird has feathers on its head. Vultures, ostriches, and marabou storks are all bald. 

Pigeons Are Underrated

Pigeons are typically regarded as a nuisance these days. However, these lovely birds are pretty exceptional. Not only can they find their way home from great distances, but they also have a number of other astonishing abilities.

  • They were incredibly useful during wars. Pigeons were frequently utilized to help people communicate, and carried messages back and forth, even under fire. They are credited for saving thousands of lives.
  • They were used to send SOS signals from sinking ships. Pigeons were exceptionally good at this.
  • Pigeons thrive in cities because they prefer concrete and stone.
  • There may be over a million pigeons in New York City alone.
  • They may have been the first birds that humans domesticated. They appear in Mesopotamian art from 4500 BCE.
  • They have excellent vision. They can even see ultraviolet light, which helped them locate survivors from wrecked or drowned ships.
  • There are race pigeons! These birds are swift enough to make races enjoyable for spectators.
  • Baby pigeons can stay in their nest for up to six weeks.

Dancing Across The Sky

Have you ever witnessed a flock of swallows moving in unison, twisting and swirling as if in a dance? This is known as a murmuration. Scientists believe they do this to confuse predators, making it difficult for them to identify any specific birds. Even more astonishing? Birds may be responding to biological radio waves. Each bird interacts with the birds nearest them, allowing them to form patterns as the flock moves together.

They Have Extremely Devoted Fans

To be fair, all of our animal pals have devoted followers. Bird owners, on the other hand, are known for their unwavering devotion to their pets.

  • Nearly 60% of bird owners said they had spent more money on Polly in the last year.
  • About one in every five bird owners reported that their creatures were on a special diet. In comparison, barely one-tenth of companion dogs and cats are. Bird owners were also more inclined to feed their pets vitamins. Be sure to ask your Brampton, ON vet for tips on vitamins.
  • Most families with birds have an average of 2.46 birds.

Not Exactly A Birdbrain

Puck, a Budgie, astounded many with her intelligence. The small ball of feathers learned an incredible 1728 words, earning herself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

A Remarkable Story

A bird named Charlie has become a part of local legend at Heathfield Nurseries in Surrey, England. The blue-and-gold Macaw supposedly hatched in 1899. According to folklore, Winston Churchill once owned Charlie. He allegedly taught her to curse Nazis, particularly Hitler. Churchill’s relatives deny this assertion, and Charlie has not clarified the situation. Regardless, the bird is still happy, healthy, and properly cared for. If nothing else, Charlie has lived an incredibly long life! 

They Come In Many Sizes

You may be aware that the hummingbird is the smallest bird. These small, adorable little fellas can fly backward and even hover in situ. Their eggs are roughly the size of a jellybean.

On the other end of the scale, we have the Kakapo parrot of New Zealand, a bright bird with a lovely, slightly bewildered appearance. These enormous birds can weigh upwards of seven pounds. The Kakapo cannot fly, making them extremely vulnerable to habitat loss and predators. Many flightless birds previously lived in New Zealand, but they became easy prey for cats, weasels, and other creatures imported by traders. The Kakapo, formerly considered endangered, appears to be on the verge of a recovery. Fingers crossed!

Ostriches are the world’s biggest birds. They can grow up to 9 feet (2.7 meters) tall and weigh between 220-350 pounds (100-160 kilograms).

Polly Is A Dancer

Have you ever seen recordings of pet birds cheerfully dancing to their favorite songs? Some birds enjoy boogieing down. Cockatoos, for example, are known for getting their groove on. This actually makes sense. After all, birdsong is nature’s original music.

Polly Became Popular During the Pandemic

There was a silver lining to the pandemic, at least for pets. Many people adopted pets while they were quarantined. Our animal buddies were equally delighted to have their people home more frequently. Birds gained popularity during the lockdowns!


While we specialize in domestic birds, we are also fascinated by wild ones. Corvids are really interesting. These guys could be among the world’s brightest animals! They mate for life and perform funerals for their deceased. They’ve also been known to decide if some persons are pals or adversaries and then inform all of their friends!

Paint Job

Here’s something you probably didn’t know. Blue jays have a tendency to collect paint chips. They favor softer tones. This is not a random behavior; they are drawn to the calcium in the paint. Paint frequently contains limestone, which is an excellent source of calcium.

Can Anybody Hear Me?

Ever wondered what the world’s largest bird is? That would be a white bellbird. This beautiful bird lives in the Amazon rainforest and attracts mates by, well, sounding like a fire alarm. Another loud bird is the Moluccan Cockatoo. These guys can reach 135 decibels. That’s comparable to a rock concert! 

Parrots Of A Feather

For thousands of years, parrots have held a special place in our hearts and shoulders. In fact, Alexander the Great returned some from the Indian subcontinent. A few hundred years later, the ancient Romans began teaching Polly Latin.

Here are some facts about these lovely, colorful birds.

  • Their beaks can crack even the hardest nuts in the world.
  • The tiniest parrot is the little Pygmy parrot. The Pygmy parrot is only 3 inches long and, unlike other parrots, eats mushrooms rather than insects.
  • Parrots are classed in the psittacine order. 
  • They like socializing online. Researchers from Northeastern University, the University of Glasgow, and MIT conducted an experiment in which they trained parrots to communicate via video chat. Most of the birds seemed to appreciate the event!
  • They can live longer than humans. Smaller parrots, such as parakeets, may only survive ten to twenty years, whereas larger ones, such as Macaws, might live for 100 years or longer. This is absolutely something to think about before adopting one.
  • Almost one-third of all parrot species are in danger of extinction.
  •  Logging has devastated up to 99 percent of Ghana’s native population of African grey parrots.
  • They are also known as hookbills because of their curved beaks. 
  • They’re highly intelligent. One parrot, an African grey named Alex, was said to have an IQ comparable to that of a 5-year-old child. His final words to his owner were, “You be good.” “I love you.”
  • Some parrots utilize tools. The University of York and the University of St. Andrews conducted studies on Greater Vasa parrots that used pit dates and pebbles to break cockleshells.
  • They are zygodactylous. Most birds, including parrots, have four toes per foot. Parrots’ feet are a little different: they have two forward-pointing toes and two backward-pointing ones. This makes it easier for them to carry food.

Parrots need a lot of care, so be sure to ask your Brampton, ON vet for advice before adopting one.

Do you have any queries concerning bird care? Contact us, your local Brampton, ON pet hospital, at any time!