Top 10 Birds With The Most Bizarre Defense Mechanisms

Birds have wings that are meant to be a means of flying. Most birds have the ability to fly, an advantage to them, an effective technique of self-defense. Some birds however don’t have the ability to fly and welladapted to flee danger. They possess the ability fight harder or even run faster in cases where they can’t beat the source of danger. Let’s have a look at top ten birds with unique means of defense.

10. Fulmar Chick

Fulmar Chick

This is a sea bird related to albatross. It’s commonly known as the Norse for foul gull, for its infamous for its foul odor. The foul smell saves them predators like humans. However, this is a weak defense against predators that have poorsense of smell. When danger arises, the chicks vomit a sticky orange oil that sticks on the feathers of the predator birds. This sticky substance become mate and loses insulting properties which is very dangerous. This mechanism is so helpful and is never a problem to the fulmars as they are immune to their own oil

9. Hoopoe


A gland exists near the anus of this bird, with which it produces a foul smelling substance. It then rubs its features in this substance and uses it to cover its entire body. This helps it to scare away predators. In addition, this substance is also antibacterial and therefore repels away parasites and protects the bird gains diseases. The adult secrete this substance during incubation to protect the young ones but the babies protect themselves by squirting the feaces into the c=faces of the predators.

8. Killdeer


These birds have their nest on the ground and this makes their eggs and young ones vulnerable. The adults therefore use a clever technique to protect their nests. When a land predator such as a dog, cat or fox approaches,the adult moves away from the nest, dragging one of its wings as if it’s broken and flapping desperately with the other, faking a distress call.

Most predators will chase the seemingly helpless bird and ignore the nest. In case the predator gets closer and closer to the nest, the bird will move in the direction of the predator to ensure it catches its attention. The “injured’ bird then flies off after enough distance is established between the predator and the nest.

7. Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

This name is because they nest in burrows. They go hunting and leave their vulnerable chicks behind. These chicks have developed mimicry as a defense mechanism. When a predator is approaching, they produce a hissing sound that resembles a rattlesnake that scares them away.

6. Eurasian Cuckoo

Eurasian Cuckoo

The bird is known for laying eggs in other bird’s nest. The chicks hatched destroy the hosts eggs and chicks thereby facing off competitors.

5. Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

This bird has two spots on the back of its head which resemble the eyes. This deters most small birds, for the owl will appear to be facing their directions.

4. Hoatzin Chick

Hoatzin Chick

This bird is unusual in a number of ways. It feeds on tree leaves and uses bacterial fermentation as a means of food digestion. This gives the bird a strong odor manure. Also, the bird has its nests on tree branches that hang over water. When the predators approach, they leap into the water and disappear.

3. Potoo


This bird perches on tree branches, camouflaging as a dead or broken tree stump. It therefore remains unnoticed even when the predator is approaching.

2. African White Masked Owl

African White Masked Owl

The bird puffs its feathers and starts to hiss, and appear bigger and fiercer when approached by predators. The enemies are then intimidated and scared away.

1. Hooded Pitohui

Hooded pitohui

The defense technique of this bird is extraordinary. It feeds on beetles that contain a strong alkaline neurotoxin alkaloid. The poison from the eaten beetles gets concentrated on the bird’s feathers and skin. When touched, tangling sensation, numbness or burns are initiated.

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