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Eat like a bird.

Has someone ever said to you, "You eat like a bird." People frequently use this saying to mean that someone is not eating very much at all. Whether or not you have heard this statement, it is not accurate. Although most birds are fairly small creatures, they spend much of their time feeding and searching for food. Compared to the size of humans, birds eat much more than we do. Birds cannot store large reserves of food inside their bodies because the added weight would prevent them from flying. Small birds, such as hummingbirds, need to eat even more often than larger ones, but why?

The answer: metabolism, meaning the chemical processes that happen within a living creature in order to stay alive. Birds have a high-speed metabolism. To maintain this metabolism, birds need a huge amount of oxygen, which combines with food to produce and release energy. The energy allows birds to take off, fly, and land. In fact, flying requires more energy than humans need for running.

Although all birds need to eat large amounts of food each day, different kinds of birds eat different kinds of foods. For example, hummingbirds eat nectar, which is a sugary fluid secreted by plants, especially flowers. Many very large birds, such as hawks and owls, eat only meat. Some smaller birds, such as finches and sparrows, eat seeds or fruit.

So the next time someone tells you, "You eat like a bird," tell him or her that only birds eat like birds.

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Author:Leiffer, April
Publication:Fun For Kidz
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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