10 bird facts that sound fake but are true

two curious ostriches

  • Crows, ravens, and pigeons are all smarter than you may previously have thought — and scientists have proof.
  • Chickens and ostriches are thought to be descendants of the Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • The average man would need to eat around 285 pounds of meat per day if they had the metabolism of a hummingbird.
  • The Bassian thrush releases gas to scare worms out of hiding.

The bird world is a fascinating — and strange — place. From a bird with claws on its wings to another bird’s ability to recognize human faces, there’s a lot of interesting things to know about various bird species. 

Here are several bizarre bird facts with which to impress your friends and family at trivia nights.


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Chickens and ostriches are the closest modern relatives to Tyrannosaurus rex.

Although a link between dinosaurs and modern birds had long been suspected, in 2008 research was published in the journal Science that found molecular evidence, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

It’s worth noting that chickens and ostriches aren’t that closely related themselves, so there’s certainly more information to be discovered.


Baby hoatzins have tiny claws on their wings.

Native to the Amazon, hoatzin babies have tiny claws on their wings — as well as on their feet. Since their nests are in trees that frequently overhang water, it’s a safety feature for when predators try to eat the babies. Baby hoatzins can simply hop down into the water, then climb back up the tree when it’s safe, according to Audubon.

The wing claws disappear as the birds mature — once they can fly, they no longer need them.


Crows and ravens are extremely intelligent.

According to National Geographic, crows can use tools and solve logic puzzles. Further, scientists believe that ravens may even pre-plan their tasks — a trait previously thought to be exclusively human.

Read more: The smartest bird in the world can use tools like a human, and it’s amazing to watch

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