Category: Animals

The Intriguing World of Insects: 5 Surprising Facts

Insects are one of the most diverse and abundant groups of animals on earth. They can be found in almost every environment, from the depths of the ocean to the tops of mountains. Despite their small size, insects play a crucial role in the ecosystem, providing important ecological services such as pollination, decomposition, and pest control. Today, we will explore five surprising facts about the intriguing world of insects.

Fact 1: Insects make up the majority of known animal species

Insects are by far the largest group of animals on earth, accounting for over two-thirds of all known animal species. Scientists estimate that there may be as many as 30 million species of insects, although only around one million have been described so far. This incredible diversity is partly due to the fact that insects have been around for a very long time, with fossils dating back over 400 million years.

So why are insects so successful in terms of species diversity? One reason is their ability to adapt to a wide range of environments, from deserts to rainforests. Insects have also evolved a wide range of specialized body features, such as wings and compound eyes, which have allowed them to exploit new ecological niches and adapt to changing environments.

Fact 2: Insects have unique and specialized body features

Insects have some of the most unique and specialized body features of any group of animals. One of the most well-known features is their compound eyes, which are made up of many small lenses that allow them to see in almost every direction. Insects also have wings, which have evolved multiple times in different groups and have enabled them to fly and move quickly through their environment.

Other specialized body features include the ability to jump incredible distances, like fleas and grasshoppers, and the ability to camouflage themselves to avoid predators, like stick insects and leaf insects. Insects have even developed specialized structures, such as the stingers of bees and wasps, which allow them to defend themselves or capture prey.

Fact 3: Insects play important roles in ecosystems

Insects play a crucial role in the ecosystem, providing a wide range of ecological services that are essential to the health of our planet. One of the most important roles that insects play is pollination. Bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects are responsible for pollinating the majority of flowering plants, including many of the crops that we rely on for food.

Insects also play a key role in decomposition, breaking down dead plant and animal matter and returning nutrients to the soil. Without insects, the process of decomposition would be much slower, and the nutrient cycle would be disrupted. Additionally, insects are an important food source for many other animals, such as birds and small mammals, and help to control pest populations.

Unfortunately, many insect populations are in decline due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. This is a cause for concern, as it could have significant impacts on ecosystem functioning and human well-being.

Fact 4: Insects have complex social behaviors

Some insects, such as ants and bees, have evolved complex social behaviors that are comparable to those of vertebrates, such as birds and mammals. These social insects live in highly organized colonies, with distinct roles for individuals within the group. For example, queen bees are responsible for laying eggs, while worker bees are responsible for tasks such as foraging, nest-building, and caring for the young.

The evolution of social behavior in insects is thought to be driven by the benefits of cooperation, such as increased survival and reproductive success. Social insects also have sophisticated communication systems, using chemicals and visual cues to communicate with each other.

Fact 5: Insects have incredible abilities and adaptations

Insects have evolved a variety of incredible abilities and adaptations that allow them to survive in challenging environments. One of the most remarkable abilities of insects is their ability to fly. Insects have developed wings that allow them to move quickly and efficiently through the air, allowing them to escape predators, find food, and explore new habitats. Insects such as dragonflies and butterflies can even glide or hover in the air, making them incredibly maneuverable.

Another incredible adaptation of insects is their ability to camouflage themselves to blend in with their environment. Some insects, such as stick insects and leaf insects, have evolved the ability to mimic the shape and color of leaves and twigs, making them almost invisible to predators. Other insects, such as the walking stick, have evolved the ability to change their color to match their surroundings, allowing them to blend in even more effectively.

Insects have also developed a variety of other adaptations that allow them to survive in different environments. For example, some insects, such as the bombardier beetle, have developed chemical defenses that allow them to repel predators. Other insects, such as the honeybee, have evolved social behaviors that allow them to cooperate and protect their colony from threats.

The Secret Life of Birds: Understanding Their Behaviors & Habits

Birds have long captivated our imaginations with their beautiful plumage and enchanting melodies. However, beyond their charming exterior lies a complex and fascinating world that most of us know very little about. Understanding the behaviors and habits of birds is not only important for bird enthusiasts but also for researchers and nature lovers who seek to learn more about these amazing creatures. Today we will delve into the secret life of birds, exploring their behaviors and habits in detail.

Types of Birds

Birds can be classified into various types based on their habitats. Some birds are adapted to live in specific environments, such as forests, deserts, or wetlands. Some of the most popular bird species include the American Robin, Bald Eagle, and Blue Jay. Each bird species has unique characteristics, such as the size and shape of their beaks, wings, and feathers. These differences affect the way birds behave and interact with their surroundings.

Bird Behaviors

Birds exhibit a range of behaviors that are essential to their survival. Breeding behaviors, for instance, are critical to the continuation of bird species. Male birds often engage in elaborate displays, such as singing, dancing, and building nests, to attract female mates. Feeding behaviors, on the other hand, vary depending on the bird’s diet. Some birds are carnivorous, while others are herbivorous. Nesting behaviors also differ depending on the bird species. Some birds, like eagles and hawks, build nests on high cliffs, while others, such as woodpeckers, excavate holes in trees.

Migratory behaviors are also fascinating to study. Birds like geese and swans travel hundreds of miles each year to breed and feed. During migration, they fly in a V-formation to conserve energy and maintain communication with their flock. Researchers have long been interested in understanding the mechanisms behind bird migration and how it has evolved over time.

Bird Habits

Birds have unique daily routines, which help them survive and thrive in their environments. Some birds, like the Barn Owl, are nocturnal and hunt at night. Other birds, like the Great Blue Heron, are diurnal and hunt during the day. The social habits of birds also vary widely. Some birds, like crows and pigeons, are highly social and live in large groups. Other birds, like the Snowy Owl, are solitary and prefer to hunt alone.

The environmental habits of birds are also important to consider. Many bird species are sensitive to environmental changes, such as habitat loss and pollution. These changes can have a significant impact on their behaviors and habits. For example, a decrease in food sources can lead to changes in feeding behaviors, while pollution can affect the quality of nesting materials.

Communication Among Birds

Birds use a variety of methods to communicate with each other. Vocalizations are one of the most common ways birds communicate. Songs, calls, and other vocalizations are used for mate attraction, territory defense, and communication within flocks. Some birds, like the African Grey Parrot, are known for their impressive ability to mimic human speech. Visual displays are also used by birds to communicate. For example, male birds may display their colorful feathers to attract female mates.

Factors That Affect Bird Behaviors and Habits

Human activities have a significant impact on bird populations. Habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change are some of the major factors affecting bird behaviors and habits. For example, the destruction of nesting sites can cause declines in bird populations, while pollution can lead to changes in feeding behaviors. Predators also play a role in shaping bird behaviors. Some birds, like the Arctic Tern, have developed unique behaviors, such as dive-bombing, to protect themselves and their offspring from predators.

The Mysterious World of Cryptids: Cryptozoology Explained

Cryptids, also known as “hidden animals,” are creatures that are not recognized by science, yet are believed to exist by some people. These enigmatic creatures have been the subject of fascination and debate for centuries, giving rise to the field of cryptozoology. Today we will explore the mysterious world of cryptids and the science of cryptozoology, shedding light on some of the most popular cryptids and examining the theories, investigations, and controversies surrounding them.

Brief History of Cryptozoology

The term cryptozoology was coined in the 1950s by French zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans, who sought to establish a scientific discipline focused on the study of unknown animals. However, the concept of cryptozoology dates back to ancient times, when people told tales of creatures that were half-man, half-beast, or sea serpents and dragons. In the modern era, interest in cryptids has only grown, as sightings and alleged evidence of their existence continue to be reported around the world.

Popular Cryptids

Perhaps the most famous cryptid is Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, a hairy, ape-like creature that is said to inhabit the forests of North America. The first reported sighting of Bigfoot was in 1958, and since then, numerous sightings, footprints, and other evidence have been collected. Another well-known cryptid is the Loch Ness Monster, a large aquatic creature said to inhabit Scotland’s Loch Ness. Sightings of the creature date back to the 6th century, and there have been many reported sightings and searches for the creature over the years. 

Other popular cryptids include the Chupacabra, a vampiric creature that preys on livestock in Latin America, and the Mothman, a humanoid creature with wings that was first sighted in West Virginia in the 1960s. The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is another famous cryptid, a large, hairy, bipedal creature that is said to inhabit the Himalayan region, while the Jersey Devil is a winged creature that has reportedly terrorized the Pine Barrens of New Jersey since the 18th century.

Cryptozoological Theories

The belief in the existence of cryptids is based on a variety of evidence, including eyewitness sightings, footprint casts, DNA samples, and photographic and video evidence. However, skeptics argue that the evidence is often unreliable or fabricated and that the existence of cryptids is highly unlikely. Theories regarding the existence of cryptids range from the idea that they are surviving members of ancient species, to the notion that they are creatures that have evolved in isolated areas or that they are the product of genetic mutation. Cryptozoology is also criticized by mainstream science, as it is often seen as pseudoscientific and lacking in empirical evidence.

Cryptozoological Investigations

Cryptozoological investigations involve the search for evidence of cryptids, including sightings, physical evidence, and DNA samples. Methods used in these investigations can include setting up cameras and traps, interviewing eyewitnesses, analyzing footprint casts, and collecting hair or tissue samples for DNA analysis. 

However, these investigations are often plagued by challenges, including the lack of concrete evidence, the difficulty of accessing remote areas, and the high costs associated with conducting research. Despite these challenges, numerous famous cryptozoological investigations have been conducted over the years, including searches for Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Chupacabra.

Controversies Surrounding Cryptozoology

Cryptozoology is a controversial field that is often criticized for lacking scientific rigor and for perpetuating myths and legends. Critics argue that cryptozoologists are often motivated by a desire for fame or profit, rather than a genuine interest in scientific discovery. Additionally, there are ethical concerns surrounding cryptozoology, particularly in the treatment of animals that are believed to be cryptids. Some argue that the pursuit of cryptids can lead to harm or exploitation of these animals and that it is important to consider the welfare of these creatures in any investigation.

The relationship between cryptozoology and mainstream science is also contentious. While some scientists may be open to the possibility of unknown animals existing, many are skeptical and do not view cryptozoology as a valid scientific field. This has led to a divide between cryptozoologists and mainstream scientists, with some arguing that cryptozoology is not a legitimate scientific discipline.

5 Most Intelligent Animals In The World

Have you ever seen an animal do something intelligent that you’d expect to see from a human being? While there are some animals that are lower on the intelligence spectrum that luck their way into good ideas every now and then, there are certain species where it’s almost expected that they do something smart.

Those species of animals might not be exactly what you think, though. We tend to think of dogs as being among the smartest animals outside of humans, and while they do certainly rank high, they aren’t at the top of the ladder. Instead, there are five species that have an intelligence level that gets close to the human level, with these species being at the top.


There’s no surprise chimpanzees hold the title of one of the most intelligent animals in the world. We humans share nearly 99% of identical genomes with the great apes. Chimpanzees, similarly to humans, possess their level of intelligence and ability to learn and develop due to a special outer layer of the brain, called the neocortex. 

It’s responsible for sensory perception, emotion, and cognition. Chimpanzees use their intelligence to make and use tools, show more social and communication skills than other animals and haven’t even been known to start fires and cook their meals. 


Elephants are majestic creatures that fill us with wonder and perhaps a bit of fear with their stature and sometimes unpredictable behavior. Thanks to their massive size, elephants have one of the largest brains of any animal on the planet, as well as the largest brain of any land animal. Their large brains possess three times more neurons than that of human brains. Elephants showcase their intelligence in many intriguing ways. 

They’ve been known to paint and perform tricks in captivity. In the wild, they demonstrate their intelligence with their extensive memory skills, practicing empathy, their understanding of death, and their ability to learn. 


Scientists believe that dolphins are the second most intelligent animal on the planet, second to humans of course. Surprisingly believed to be even smarter than primates. Dolphins have an estimated IQ between 80-90, shown by their sense of self-awareness, empathy, ability to comprehend grief, and learning skills. 

An interesting way dolphins are deemed smarter than the rest is their physical and mental awareness. Dolphins are able to recognize themselves in mirrors and have shown confidence and uncertainty in performing tasks of varying difficulty, such as humans. 


Crows may be overlooked as one of the more intelligent animals out there. We tend to only pile mammals into that group. Though crows, similarly to parrots, ravens, and jays, are some of the most intelligent birds on the planet. So what makes crows so special? Crows have demonstrated skills similar to the animals previously mentioned on this list. 

Due to their large brains in comparison to their smaller bodies, crows possess and understand communication skills, they’re keen on problem-solving, they can make and use simple tools, they hold funerals for their loved ones, and show impressive memory skills. Even more impressive, crows are able to solve puzzles at a similar level of intelligence to that of a young child. 


The final animal on our list is the insanely intriguing ocean dweller that is the octopus. It’s generally common knowledge that octopuses have displayed a higher level of intelligence compared to many other oceanic creatures. 

What intelligent behavior sets them apart from so many others? Like humans, scientists have discovered the presence of a special gene called the “jumping gene” in octopuses that allows genome evolution and innovation. Octopus are able to adapt, learn, solve problems, and mimic other creatures. They can even manipulate objects to escape, gain access to food, and alter their surroundings. 

Birds With the Highest Global Population

Have you ever seen one bird and then find yourself seeing the same type of bird over and over? There are some species that are certainly much higher in population for various reasons. No matter what country you’re in, there tends to be one type of bird that has a much higher population than the rest.

When you take the entire world into consideration, though, which birds have the highest population? There’s a unique blend of birds on the list, ranging from songbirds to ones that are eaten on a daily basis. Here’s a look at the five birds with the highest global population, how many there are, and how population numbers are controlled.


There are approximately 34 billion chickens spanning worldwide as of 2022. Making domesticated chickens the most populous bird on the planet. This comes as no surprise to anyone, being that chickens are small, easy to raise, and eaten more than any other livestock in the world. The US is home to the largest population of chickens, over 9 billion. 

Red-Billed Quelea

Native to sub-Saharan Africa, the Red-Billed Quelea population has reached an astounding 1.5 billion. The small birds are on average no bigger than 4.7 inches long and weigh less than an ounce. Farmers in the region deem them as pests, similar to locusts, due to their feeding habits consisting of sorghum, wheat, rice, corn, and many of their other crops. 

Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves are known for their appearances at funerals, symbolizing letting go of a loved one after passing. It’s estimated that there are nearly 350 million Mourning Doves within North America. Their overbreeding, resulting in their dense population, make them prime for hunting and remain the most plentiful game bird in the region. Hunters make out with about 20 million birds after hunting season ceases. 

American Robin

The American Robin is one of the most plentiful species of undomesticated bird within North America, second to the Mourning Dove, with an estimated 311 million scattered throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The American Robin is the state bird of Michigan, Connecticut, and Wisconsin due to their beauty, their impressively colored eggs, and making themselves constant visitors in residents’ backyards.

Common Pheasant   

The Common Pheasant is just that, common, with over 50 million birds worldwide before hunting season begins in early October. The hunting season ends in early February and can bring the Common Pheasant population down to 5 million. The species, of which there are about 50, are native to parts of Asia and Europe, having been introduced to different parts of the world throughout the years for sport. They’re often used for their meat, as they’re easy to butcher and have a similar look and taste to chicken. 

Red-Winged Blackbird

The striking Red-Winged Blackbird has a population of up to 150 million in North America. Their breeding grounds mostly consist in Canada and occupy all of the United States and most of Mexico year round. They feed on corn, rice, seeds, insects, as well as small fruits and berries. To farmers, they’re seen as mild pests, but do some good by consuming insects that may attempt to infest and ruin their crops. 

Chipping Sparrow

Another extremely populous species of bird, the Chipping Sparrow, has grown in numbers over the years and has reached about 1 billion birds. Chipping Sparrows are not deemed as pests, or game birds and are relatively tame, helpful birds that aid in the prevention of invasive insects. They primarily occupy North America as well as parts of Central America in woodlands, parks, and forest areas. Often foraging for their meals, consisting of seeds, small fruits, and of course insects. 

5 Most Common Veterinary Parasites

Nothing can be quite as heartbreaking as seeing your furry friend scratch mercilessly throughout the day or not seem like themselves. One of the most common reasons that this can happen is because of common parasites, with almost every pet having to suffer from them at least once during its lifetime.

Thankfully, treatment (especially if done quickly) is available for just about every parasite. If you suspect that something is wrong with your pet, try to get them to the veterinarian to get treated as quickly as possible. They could be suffering from one of the more common veterinary parasites, with these five being the most frequently seen.


Taenia, most commonly known as Tapeworms, is derived from the Greek word “tainia” meaning ribbon. Out of the 6,000 species of parasitic tapeworms, different varieties can affect humans, marine animals, vertebrates, and invertebrates. The most common version that plagues cats and dogs is called Dipylidium.

These animals typically become infected after accidentally eating a host (usually fleas) already carrying the parasites. The parasite latches onto the animal’s intestinal walls, where it lives and thrives until treated with medication. Surprisingly, they aren’t all that harmful and are more of a nuisance to the animals.  


Hookworms, specifically Ancylostoma Caninum, are blood-feeding parasites that infect some animals, like cats and dogs. Hookworms usually make their way into the intestines of said creatures by ingestion, sometimes from grooming their feet or sniffing contaminated soil and feces.  

The extremely small parasites hook their bodies onto the lining of the animal’s intestines, where they suck large amounts of blood from surrounding small blood vessels. Animals infected with hookworms can develop anemia, intestinal bleeding, dehydration, and diarrhea. Some animals develop anemia severe enough to require blood transfusions. Treatment includes being given anthelmintics to kill adult hookworms in the body.  


Heartworm, or Dirofilaria immitis, is a serious condition affecting mainly dogs, cats, and ferrets.  The parasite is only spread through bites from infected mosquitos. The worms make their home inside the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels of the animals, creating what’s known as a “worm burden” consisting of many of the worms bunched together in the same area.  

Heartworms can live inside an animal for 5-7 years and can cause severe damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and other organs, ultimately ending the life of the host if left untreated. Treatment is expensive and consists of a series of injections of the FDA-approved drug “Melarsomine dihydrochloride” into the animal’s back muscles. The best treatment is prevention by way of topical, or oral medications.  


Fleas are the most common external parasite that affects mammals and birds alike. Pets can come into contact with fleas through contact with infected animals or their environment. Fleas are incredibly small and can jump nearly two feet at a time, making traveling from surfaces and hosts to unassuming victims extremely effortless. Fleas can spread tapeworms to their animal host and can cause hair loss, itching/biting, as well as pale lips and gums. 

Fleas consume almost 20 times their body weight in blood to survive, resulting in anemia and large amounts of blood loss in some animals, especially puppies and kittens. Treatment for fleas consists of topical and oral medications, medicated shampoos, sprays, and powders.  

Ear mites 

Ear mites, or Otodectes cynotis, are external parasites that can affect cats, dogs, ferrets, and rabbits. They live on the skin, or usually inside the host’s ear canal. The extremely small mites go easily unnoticed and spread through contact with an infested animal.  

Symptoms of animals with ear mites include rashes, blood blisters, discharge, and excessive scratching around the ears. Insecticidal medications are the common treatment for ear mites, as well as topical and injection medications.  

The Symbolism Of Birds

Birdwatching in itself is a beautiful hobby. Their grace and beauty in flight is endlessly fascinating to watch, and their songs are a pleasure to hear. From the most primitive cultures to the modern world, birds have come to be symbolic representations of particular attributes and even harbingers of the future. Here are some of the most commonly held symbolic beliefs about different types of birds.

Five Birds and Their Hidden Symbolism


Throughout different cultures and countries, people have come to respect owls for their hunting skills and majestic appearance. The Greeks associated the owl with Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and Warfare, and over time the bird gained much reverence as a symbol of great wisdom and protection. However, in Britain, the owl’s hunting prowess meant people viewed the bird as a sign of death and destruction. Many Native American legends echoed such negative connotations. 


Doves have shown up as symbols of optimism connected explicitly with peace, purity, love, and safety in various societies and at multiple times in history. There are many instances that reinforce such connections: the dove returning to Noah with an olive branch in its beak, the bird’s association with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and the shared beliefs of both Native Americans and Chinese who came to see doves as a symbol of longevity, partnership, and purity

Black Swan

While most swans are white, black swans do exist. Although the term ‘black swan event’ has come to describe any rare occurrence with a strong and lasting effect, there are other, more profound meanings as well. While white swans often represent grace and beauty, black swans tend to have more negative symbolism. European legends of the 1700s claim that black swans were sent to Earth by the devil himself. Aboriginals believe that black swans received their black feathers from crows after eagles plucked the swans’ white feathers as punishment for stealing the knowledge of boomerang-making from women. Others see black swans as signs of preparation, rarity, and persistence. 


Asian societies tend to revere cranes. In ancient Japan, people thought cranes could live for a thousand years, turning the birds into symbols of longevity, prosperity, and good luck. Many Asian cultures once believed that by folding 1000 origami cranes, a person would receive good luck or get their deepest desire. Chinese myths mention cranes as messengers of the gods, and while ancient Greeks may not have seen the birds as divine, they were representations of vigilance. 


Crows have a rather negative reputation for thieving and other annoyances. Many people tended to see them as a bit sinister, and multiple cultures view them as an omen of bad things to come and even symbols of death. Still, other societies, like the Vikings, recognized the crow’s natural intelligence and problem-solving skills and saw them as a symbol of creativity. Aboriginals also see crows as clever but with a rather naughty streak. Aboriginals have many stories of crows tricking other animals and even causing trouble by attacking the souls of the dead. 

It is fascinating to consider that people from very different places and times often share the same symbolism for a particular bird. Is it just a coincidence, or is there a real connection that is undeniable? 







5 Things You Must Know Before Getting Backyard Chickens

No self-sufficient homesteading setup is truly complete without chickens. They’re fun to watch, and fresh eggs are the best. But you should know a few things before you buy your first hens.

1. Chickens Are Smart

Chickens can remember, learn, figure things out, and feel emotions. They get bored and cranky if they feel cramped and uncared for. If handled by you when young, they often like to cuddle.

Don’t underestimate your chickens. They can easily become escape artists or learn to act up like a spoiled child to get treats. 

But when you respect their skills, you can train them to come when you call, play with chicken toys, and even perform certain actions for treats. 

2. They Don’t Give You “Free” Eggs

This is especially true when you consider that time is also money. Chickens require housing, food and grit. 

With that said, chickens aren’t expensive or high-maintenance. Applying some homesteading hacks can reduce their costs to the point that you may in fact save money. Create a self-sustaining chicken-garden permaculture system:

  • Free-ranging
  • Feeding them kitchen veg scraps, garden pruning, and excess harvest
  • Raising worms for extra protein and using the worm castings on your garden
  • Composting their poop to reduce your garden soil costs and increase yields
  • Growing barley, wheat, corn, and soybeans for feed.

Work toward a system where the chickens feed the garden. The garden feeds them.

3. Chickens Are Good & Bad for Your Garden

Chickens create nitrogen- and phosphorous-rich poop for your compost. Your garden will love it. They also eat many larvae in the dirt that will become garden pests.

But if they actually get into your garden, their scratching will destroy small plants and they love to eat ripening fruits before you can.

The fix: Chicken poop is also too acidic to add directly to the garden in high quantities anyway. So compost it. Or only allow the chickens into the garden when no human-edible plants are growing. 

4. Chickens Don’t Lay All The Time

You may hear that a certain breed lays 300 eggs a year and think that’s almost one egg a day. But if you have high-yield chickens, you’re more likely to have too many eggs for half the year and too few when it’s cold out. They don’t produce all winter and slow down after 2-3 years.

However, chicken eggs stay safe and delicious at room temperature for at least two weeks if left unwashed. And in a fridge unwashed for much longer. Healthy chickens don’t lay dirty eggs. So this isn’t as disgusting as it might sound to those accustomed to washed eggs.

5. You Will Fall in Love with Them

You have dog people and cat people. Both can fall in love with chickens. This bird can be both independent and highly affectionate. They’re fairly low maintenance and low cost if you develop a good system. 

Eggs are an excellent protein source for a self-sustaining homestead, especially if you prefer not to butcher goats, sheep, pigs, and cows.

Homesteading with Chickens

Chickens are an important part of self-sufficient permaculture. Review local codes and follow them, then add a small flock to your homestead.

5 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Keeping Birds

A bird can be a wonderful friend, and you want to be one back. That means doing your homework before giving them a home. If you’re thinking about getting a bird soon, you should know that they require a very different approach than dogs, cats, or fish. Here are five tips for setting up a forever home for your bird friends. 

1. Birds Have Sensitive Beaks

Scented candles, oils, air fresheners, and other similar products endanger the health of birds. This is due to their delicate respiratory systems, which expose them to toxins and pollutants in the environment. As a result, smoking is not recommended when around a bird. Also, if you smoke, wash your hands before handling a bird.

2. Cooking Smells Count Too

The delicate sense of smell of a bird can also influence your cookware selections. Nonstick cookware and Teflon should be avoided if you have a bird in the house since they generate an odorless fume that can be lethal to them. You will most likely need to purchase stainless steel or nonstick cookware, such as cast iron.

3. Birds Like to Make Noise

That might be the biggest attraction for many people, but you should be aware that it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Before choosing a bird, find out what noise that species makes. Birds may talk, sing, squawk, and make other noises depending on the species. Figure out what will work in your home, and then choose the bird that’s best for you.

4. Birds Live a Long Time

When you decide to adopt a bird, you are making a life-long friend. Some breeds live for 50 years or longer. Some species might outlive you. Knowing this is important because having birds can be expensive and they need plenty of care. Make sure you are prepared to commit before making a home for a bird. 

They do adapt to new environments, though. So any bird you adopt will change as your lifestyle changes. They will love the new baby, for example, or to have another friend in the house. They can move with you as you move, as well. They don’t take up much space and can live in an apartment or house. Just be sure you can provide a stable home for them for decades. 

5. Birds Can Be a Bit Messy

Birds tend to eat all day long and what doesn’t end up in their mouths ends up on the bottom of the cage or the floor around it. What does get to their mouths will also eventually end up on the bottom of the cage or the floor around it. 

They also like to chew on things. So give them plenty of things in their home to chew on so they won’t be tempted to look elsewhere.

If having a bird still sounds great, find yourself a fine feathered friend. 


Would Cockroaches Really Survive A Nuclear War? And 4 Other Weird Cockroach Facts

If you’ve ever had cockroaches in your home, you know that the critters are pretty darn tough to shake. It’s as though they can survive anything–which is a little surprising, if you think about their position on the food chain. But… could they survive a nuclear war? We’ve got the answer, along with a few other weird facts you never knew you wanted to know about these quick-footed pests. 

1. Yes, Roaches Could Probably Survive a Nuclear War

…at least for a little bit longer than humans. Roaches are several times more resistant to radiation than human beings–6-15 times more resistant, depending on the type of roach. In case of a major nuclear disaster or event, like a “nuclear apocalypse,” though, roaches would either die from the blast or eventually succumb to the effects of radiation, just like other living creatures. Also, because roaches tend to live off the detritus that other creatures leave behind, they likely wouldn’t fare for long without the rest of the world to supply their needs. 

2. Roaches Can Live Without their Heads

Cockroaches have an open circulatory system, meaning they take in oxygen through micro-holes in their bodies–so they don’t need their head to allow them to breathe. They can live for about one week after they’ve lost their head, at which point they will succumb to dehydration. 

3. Roaches Can Go One Month Without Eating 

Most varieties of roaches can live for a month or longer without eating a morsel–but they do need water every week or so to stay alive. This is one reason pest control companies strongly recommend packing away every last crumb of food in the kitchen and throughout the home. Like beer? Make sure not to leave open bottles around the house or yard; like many humans, roaches are particularly fond of the hops/sugar combo. 

4.  The Biggest Cockroaches on Earth Have a Wingspan of 7 Inches

These roaches occupy tropical regions, and generally try to stay away from humans–they’re not the roaches you’ll find hiding under the furniture of the unwary homeowner (thankfully). The Australian rhinoceros cockroach, which is as strange-looking as it sounds, measures about 3 inches from head to behind and weighs as much as one ounce. Not a critter you’d want to encounter unawares. 

5. Cockroaches Can Be Trained

Unlike most insects, roaches have exhibited the ability to learn–and they learn quickly, after just one or two corrections. Of course, their capacity for learning is limited (scientists practiced training them to salivate when presented with certain smells). It’s also worth noting a roach’s quick ability to evolve resistance to pesticides (no wonder they’re so hard to evict once they’ve taken up residence in your domicile). 

Despite our general creeped-out reaction to roaches, they don’t generally pose a threat of any kind (though some do carry harmful germs and bacteria around human abodes).