The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Bird bite question  (Read 7898 times)

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« on: 31/01/2008 16:09:02 »
Parrots/macaws have got an incredibly strong bite, cracking nuts easily. Toucans, also, could make you wince a bit if they grabbed your little pinkie. So, which bird can bite the hardest? Can any bird bite hard enough to do a person real damage?

I know from personal experience that pelicans and ostriches can hurt if they peck at you, but I don't have a clue how hard they can bite.


 

Offline Carolyn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3761
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #1 on: 31/01/2008 17:37:07 »
I've no idea if one bird could do serious damage, but couldn't a whole flock of little black birds could peck a person to death?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #2 on: 31/01/2008 18:18:57 »
Most definitely. You should be very wary of little black birds. They're really evil.

There was an case where thousands of them swarmed into a town and started pecking people. It was somewhere near the Mexican border. However, these particular birds are a delicacy in Mexico where they are cooked with coriander, cumin & lime, then wrapped in a fajita. Hundreds or Mexicans stormed across the border and started grabbing the birds to take back to Mexico for food. They even made a film about it - Invasion Of The Birdy Snatchers  :D
 

Offline opus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 326
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #3 on: 31/01/2008 19:06:21 »
teehee- have you seen Hitchcocks 'the birds' ?
 

Offline Carolyn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3761
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #4 on: 31/01/2008 19:16:39 »
teehee- have you seen Hitchcocks 'the birds' ?

I can't even stand to think about that movie!
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #5 on: 31/01/2008 19:30:50 »
Most definitely. You should be very wary of little black birds. They're really evil.

There was an case where thousands of them swarmed into a town and started pecking people. It was somewhere near the Mexican border. However, these particular birds are a delicacy in Mexico where they are cooked with coriander, cumin & lime, then wrapped in a fajita. Hundreds or Mexicans stormed across the border and started grabbing the birds to take back to Mexico for food. They even made a film about it - Invasion Of The Birdy Snatchers  :D

LOL... Thats very Good Doc.. And BTW I had Love Birds for a while and let me tell you, they can put the bite on you, but simple fact is, one good shake and they sail real well too!  I speak from Experience!!!  I got bit really hard and instinct sent my arm into the air with a violent shake to remove said LOVE bird which released his grip as I swung my arm out sailing poor love bird across the room into a wall!! (fortuneately he was OK) But I became leery of him after that!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #6 on: 31/01/2008 20:58:50 »
Most definitely. You should be very wary of little black birds. They're really evil.

There was an case where thousands of them swarmed into a town and started pecking people. It was somewhere near the Mexican border. However, these particular birds are a delicacy in Mexico where they are cooked with coriander, cumin & lime, then wrapped in a fajita. Hundreds or Mexicans stormed across the border and started grabbing the birds to take back to Mexico for food. They even made a film about it - Invasion Of The Birdy Snatchers  :D

LOL... Thats very Good Doc.. And BTW I had Love Birds for a while and let me tell you, they can put the bite on you, but simple fact is, one good shake and they sail real well too!  I speak from Experience!!!  I got bit really hard and instinct sent my arm into the air with a violent shake to remove said LOVE bird which released his grip as I swung my arm out sailing poor love bird across the room into a wall!! (fortuneately he was OK) But I became leery of him after that!

What a wonderful image that conjures!  :D
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Bird bite question
« Reply #7 on: 01/02/2008 05:32:23 »
teehee- have you seen Hitchcocks 'the birds' ?

I can't even stand to think about that movie!

You could read the book, by Daphne du Maurier.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Bird bite question
« Reply #8 on: 01/02/2008 05:35:49 »
I've no idea if one bird could do serious damage, but couldn't a whole flock of little black birds could peck a person to death?

Never heard of that happening.

Would imagine you would have greater risk from something like a vulture, that is used to tearing flesh off large carcasses (although even then, you'd have to be pretty weak before it would have a go at you).

We do have a problem sometimes reported of seagulls stealing sandwiches from people, and getting quite nasty if the person wont give up their sandwich.
 

Offline Carolyn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3761
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #9 on: 01/02/2008 05:49:27 »
teehee- have you seen Hitchcocks 'the birds' ?

I can't even stand to think about that movie!

You could read the book, by Daphne du Maurier.

Uhm....no thank you!


I've no idea if one bird could do serious damage, but couldn't a whole flock of little black birds could peck a person to death?

Never heard of that happening.

Would imagine you would have greater risk from something like a vulture, that is used to tearing flesh off large carcasses (although even then, you'd have to be pretty weak before it would have a go at you).

We do have a problem sometimes reported of seagulls stealing sandwiches from people, and getting quite nasty if the person wont give up their sandwich.

Those seagulls and other flying demons are the primary reason I gave up walking on the bridge.  The birds were lining the railing and I couldn't take it anymore.  I finally gave up and joined the gym...at least on the treadmill I don't have to worry about birds, bears or snakes.
 

Offline Carol-A

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #10 on: 01/02/2008 07:27:38 »
One of the large parrots could easily bite a finger off.... if you were stupid enough to put your finger in its beak!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #11 on: 01/02/2008 09:35:44 »
One of the large parrots could easily bite a finger off.... if you were stupid enough to put your finger in its beak!

I bet it can't bite as hard as a beaver, though.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #12 on: 01/02/2008 09:46:12 »
My hotel in Uganda was in an area of Kampala called Kabalagala. The whole street was lined with portable BBQs where they sold chicken. People would sit in the outside bars at the roadside (mine included) merrily chomping on their delicious BBQ chicken when, suddenly, it would be gone. They would watch bemused, and not but a tad miffed, as it hurtled skywards in the clutches of a hawk.

Many a time I chuckled as a naive mzungu (white man) lost his chicken in such a manner.

These hawks are not small either. Their wingspan is approximately 4ft (1.3m) and when they swoop they are deadly silent. You just hear the rush of air as they brush past your ear at what appears to be supersonic speed to snatch the chicken from your fingers. Yet I never once saw a hawk actually touch anyone in the perpetration of such a nefarious act. With claws like theirs one would imagine that badly lacerated, or even severed, fingers would be commonplace. Not so. The hawks' judgment of speed and distance is uncannily accurate.

And there are so many of them that if you throw a piece of chicken into the air, it will not land. A hawk will grab it in mid-air.

Were you to be foolhardy enough to drop any chicken on the floor you would be beset by storks squabbling over it.
 

Offline BenV

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1503
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #13 on: 01/02/2008 10:18:18 »
Quote
We do have a problem sometimes reported of seagulls stealing sandwiches from people, and getting quite nasty if the person wont give up their sandwich.

Tell me about it!  I lived by the sea during my university days (Aberystwyth, if you're interested) and used to go down to the seafront to feed the pigeons.  Within minutes, a seagull would drop down, chase the pigeons away and stare at me as if to say 'I'll have that baguette now, thank you'.  Pigeons would sit carefully on your hand and peck away at the food, seagulls would commonly come and snatch from you.

In the film 'Finding Nemo' it's obvious that they did their research, as the seagulls all jostle about calling "mine? mine?"


But getting back to the question.  I would imagine the birds with the hardest bite are those that need to break open their food, so anything that lives on nuts or hard seeds.  Most birds either swallow things whole or can tear up their food using both beak and talons, so don't need to apply too much beak pressure.  Various sources seem to state that the bird with the hardest bite is the Hyacinth Macaw, which can apply enough pressure to bite through metal bars.  In case you were wondering, here's a photo of Hyacinth Macaw by Peter Meenen:
« Last Edit: 01/02/2008 10:30:10 by BenV »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Bird bite question
« Reply #14 on: 01/02/2008 12:02:56 »
Quote
...which can apply enough pressure to bite through metal bars.

 :-\
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Bird bite question
« Reply #14 on: 01/02/2008 12:02:56 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums