1. Fulmars can vomit over a metre
Each Fulmar pair rears a single chick which they feed by regurgitating a greasy oil of fish offal and plankton. Any bird-ringer foolish enough to approach a young fulmar chick risks a face full of stinking oil which the bird can vomit over a metre.
2. Great Grey Shrike impale their prey
They look cute. They’re not. Shrikes are also known as “butcher birds” because of their habit of impaling their prey on thorns, just as a butcher hangs his meat on hooks.
3. A pint of Wood Pigeon milk?
Along with seeds and green foliage, Wood Pigeons feed their chicks with “pigeon milk” a secretion from their stomach lining. Not many birds can do this.
4. Razorbill – monster chicks
The Razorbill lays a very large egg for a bird of its size – the human equivalent would be a woman giving birth to an 18-20 pound baby.
5. Wheatear – the “white arse”
It’s the rump gives the bird the name Wheatear it has nothing to do with cereals, but is a polite version of “white arse”.
6. Ring-Necked Parakeet – released by Jimi Hendrix?
One urban myth is that Ring-Necked Parakeets were released by Jimi Hendrix to add ‘psychedelic colour’ to the capital.
7. Great Spotted Woodpecker – headache-free headbangers
Why don’t Great Spotted Woodpeckers get a headache? The have a spongy mass of tissue between their bill and skull which absorbs the impact of the strikes and prevents that “morning-after-the-night-before” feeling.
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