Birding is a very underrated topic as these little creatures with their bright colours and funny antics can really keep one well entertained on safari. Birds have gone through massive adaptations to enable them to fly. Weight reduction was a huge part of the evolutionary process, bone structure having been reduced to hollow bones. Teeth would have been a hindrance in flight, making the front profile heavy, which would have required stronger neck muscles to keep an aerodynamic profile. A special gland situated on the back of the bird forms part of a crucial cleaning regime whereby the bird maintains all its features with a special oil secreted from this gland, squeezed out with the beak and then applied to the feathers. Any feathers that hinders the bird will be plucked and replaced by a new growing one.  Flight requires great effort so every possible measure and adaption helps to conserve energy.

Want to hear more? We invite you to discover the fascinating world of birds on your next visit to Mhondoro!

Ivan Ueckermann

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