Our Feathered Friends

by Devon Gebert, age 10

    Birds are big, bold and strong. Their light skeletons are what allow them to fly above all the other animals.                                   
    In order to take flight, birds first have to throw themselves forward. As they raise their wings, their strong breast muscles pull the wings downward and propel the bird to fly forward. Once birds have taken off and established flight, they usually only flap their wings when they have to turn or are preparing to land.
    As most people know, birds have feathers instead of hair and the feathers have different functions. Some help a bird steer in the air, while others make a bird look pretty.
    Birds vary in how many feathers they have. The swan has the most with more than 25,000. Peacocks have the longest feathers, the ones on their fan can be up to 7 feet long.
    Many people wonder where flamingos get their pink color. The tiny pink shrimp and algae they eat dye their feathers.
    Humming birds are very unique.  They don’t really hum like you and me using their mouths, but by beating their wings in the air up to 80 times a second. They are the only birds that can hover in the air and can also fly backwards.
    There are many different types of birds each with their own distinct features.

[Source: Amazing Animal Facts]

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