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Quiz about Why Do Birds
Quiz about Why Do Birds

Why Do Birds? Trivia Quiz


A few general questions about birds mixed with some more specific details (and one music question).

A multiple-choice quiz by mutchisman. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
mutchisman
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
313,480
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
3555
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: HumblePie7 (8/10), Guest 172 (8/10), Guest 75 (9/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Q: Why do birds fly south in winter?
A: Because it's too far to walk!

So runs the old joke but which of these is NOT a reason that birds migrate?
Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Which of these is not a reason that some male birds sing? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. You might be walking in the countryside when you see a bird (such as a plover) apparently injured with a damaged wing and struggling to fly. Concerned, you approach the bird to see if you can help, as you get closer to the bird it flies away a short distance, lands again and repeats the performance. Why might the bird be doing this? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Some species of birds, most notably gulls, can sometimes be observed rapidly stamping their feet on areas of grass etc. Why do they do this? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. All species of birds build nests.


Question 6 of 10
6. A unique feature which all birds possess and which no other creatures have are feathers. Which of these is not a function of feathers? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Phalaropes are a small family of wading birds noted for which unusual courtship/breeding behaviour? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. The Carpenters sang:

"Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?"

Which song was this?
Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Some species of birds undertake a behaviour known as anting; what does this involve? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In the early days of space exploration several animals were sent into orbit around the Earth, these included fruit flies, mice, dogs and monkeys.
Why were no birds ever sent into space?
Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jul 03 2024 : HumblePie7: 8/10
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Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Q: Why do birds fly south in winter? A: Because it's too far to walk! So runs the old joke but which of these is NOT a reason that birds migrate?

Answer: Migrating birds need to keep one step ahead of the authorities

One primary reason birds migrate is to breed. Many birds in Europe, Asia and North America migrate further north to take advantage of the longer daylight hours, which gives them more time to catch food for themselves and their offspring.
Lack of food and extreme cold etc will drive some species of birds out of one area into warmer, more hospitable regions.
2. Which of these is not a reason that some male birds sing?

Answer: To gladden the hearts of humans

When birds start to sing each spring it certainly does gladden my heart but unfortunately 'my' robins, wrens and blackbirds are not singing for my benefit, it is just a happy by-product of their courtship rituals. The males of many species of birds have calls and songs which have three main purposes.

The songs might range from the croaks and grunts of crows and ravens to the beautiful songs of many of the passerines and the amazing mimicry of lyrebirds and other species. The male is basically saying; firstly I am the boss of this patch; secondly other males keep away or face the consequences and thirdly, "Here I am girls; like what you see?".
3. You might be walking in the countryside when you see a bird (such as a plover) apparently injured with a damaged wing and struggling to fly. Concerned, you approach the bird to see if you can help, as you get closer to the bird it flies away a short distance, lands again and repeats the performance. Why might the bird be doing this?

Answer: To distract you from its nest and chicks

Several species of birds use this technique to distract predators from their nest and eggs/chicks. The predator is lured further and further away from the bird's nest by the apparently injured bird. One of the best known birds to do this is probably the North American plover, the killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) but other species of waders also do this.

Other birds (especially some ducks) might use a slightly different tactic and pretend to play dead until the predator gets too close.
4. Some species of birds, most notably gulls, can sometimes be observed rapidly stamping their feet on areas of grass etc. Why do they do this?

Answer: To attract worms closer to the surface

Herring gulls (Larus argentatus) and other closely related species have been observed and filmed catching worms in this way. The gull will rapidly stamp its feet for several seconds then look around and will frequently find and eat a worm. It is not known for sure why the worms come closer to the surface but the reason most often given is that the gull's dance simulates the sound of raindrops. If this all sounds rather incredible, check out some of the footage on YouTube.
Other birds have also be seen adopting similar tactics especially those in the crow family.
5. All species of birds build nests.

Answer: false

Over 99% of bird species build some sort of nest, whether it involves just a scrape on the ground or an elaborate structure most birds have a place to lay their eggs and raise their young. However a few species are brood-parasitic which means they lay their eggs in other species' nests and leave the rearing to them.

The European cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is probably the best known brood parasite but other birds have been observed carrying out this behaviour including cowbirds, honey guides and some species of ducks.
6. A unique feature which all birds possess and which no other creatures have are feathers. Which of these is not a function of feathers?

Answer: Respiration

Birds require oxygen to survive but their feathers have no role to play in what is quite a complicated respiratory system.
Feathers provide protection from cold weather and in some species from water. They also protect birds from sunlight.
Not all birds can fly of course but the vast majority that can could not do so without their feathers, especially the primaries and secondaries found on birds' wings.
All feathers provide colour which birds use for identification, for display and for courtship rituals.
7. Phalaropes are a small family of wading birds noted for which unusual courtship/breeding behaviour?

Answer: The females are more brightly coloured than the males

In some species of birds the sexes are very similar (and difficult for birdwatchers to tell male from female). Where sexual dimorphism occurs it is almost invariably the male which is the more brightly coloured. The female is usually more cryptically coloured for camouflage purposes around the nest site.
There are three species of phalarope which reverse this trend; the females are larger, more brightly coloured and it is they who hold territory and pursue the males. Once the eggs have been laid then the female leaves the site leaving the male to bring up the family.
8. The Carpenters sang: "Why do birds suddenly appear Every time you are near?" Which song was this?

Answer: (They Long To Be) Close To You

As a classic rock fan I've never been much of a Carpenters fan but grudgingly admit Karen had a great voice... and any song which contains a bird reference is OK by me. For the record "(They Long To Be) Close To You" was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and reached number one on the US Billboard chart in 1970.
9. Some species of birds undertake a behaviour known as anting; what does this involve?

Answer: Picking up ants and rubbing their feathers with them

Around 250 different species of birds have been observed anting. Most species belong to the crow, starling, tanager, woodpecker and babbler families although it is likely that other families are involved. Birds will pick up individual ants and rub them over their feathers forcing the ant to release formic acid.

Other variations of this include lying down and allowing several ants to run through the bird's feathers and dust-bathing in and and around anthills. It is thought that the formic acid kills or at least deters mites and other parasites.
10. In the early days of space exploration several animals were sent into orbit around the Earth, these included fruit flies, mice, dogs and monkeys. Why were no birds ever sent into space?

Answer: Birds need gravity in order to swallow

Apparently NASA had intended to send canaries and similar birds into space until they realised that they cannot swallow without the aid of gravity and so would soon dehydrate and probably die. Many classes of animals have been taken into space including mammals, reptiles, amphibians and many invertebrates.
(Thanks to my good FT friend and team-mate DustyRosie for this one).
Source: Author mutchisman

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor crisw before going online.
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