Horned Grebe, © Photo by Steve Kaye

Kids Ask the Most Incredible Questions

Questions Asked by Kids During My Visit to a Local School


Horned Grebe, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in post: Kids Ask the Most Incredible Questions

Horned Grebe, Breeding Plumage, Showing Its Belly Button (Sort of)


Kids Can Ask the Most Incredible Questions

For example:

1) Do Birds Have a Belly Button?

Answer: Yes, it’s very small and it’s covered by feathers. So it’s impossible to see it, as shown in the above photo (i.e., you can’t see it).

Their belly button marks the spot where they were connected to the yolk sack while in the shell.


Egyptian Goose, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in post: Kids Ask the Most Incredible Questions

Egyptian Goose, Juvenile, Showing Its Tastebuds


2) Do Birds Have Taste Buds?

Answer: Yes, and the number is small compared to humans.

People have about 9,000 taste buds; and birds have fewer than 400. Most birds have fewer. Pigeons, for example, have only about 100 and chickens have about 25.

This may explain why birds don’t put catsup on their food.


Red-tailed Hawk, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in post: Kids Ask the Most Incredible Questions

Red-tailed Hawk, Napping


3) Do Birds Have Eyelids

Answer: Yes, and in fact, they have three eyelids.

First, birds have a pair of outer eyelids that they close while sleeping. On most birds, the lower eyelid is longer (instead of shorter, like on mammals). Note that the lower eyelid on the Red-tailed Hawk has moved up to cover its eye.

There’s an exception. Some owls have longer upper eyelids.


Green Heron, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in post: Kids Ask the Most Incredible Questions

Green Heron, Juvenile, Showing Its Nictitating Membrane


And second, birds have a third, inner eyelid called the nictitating membrane. This membrane is almost transparent; and it moves from front to back, as shown in the above photo. (Note that it has covered only the front half of the eye.)

This special eyelid lubricates the eye and provides protection while allowing the bird to see.


Special Thanks

Thank you to the students who asked these questions during my visit to their school.

They showed commendable curiosity and that courage to ask questions.

Much success,

Steve Kaye

PS: See another photo of a Horned Grebe in See Bird Photos

See more examples of Bird Behavior at:

Uncommon Hummingbird Photos

Feathers Make the Goose

Gular Fluttering Is for the Birds

Signs of Spring

The Bird with a Million Faces


Help Birds Tip

Provide Water

If you live in a dry area (or one having drought), you can help birds by putting out water.

Use empty food containers that have been washed. After a few days, discard the container and replace it with another clean one.

If possible, put the container in a tree or place where birds can drink safely, without the risk of being attacked by cats or other predators.


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Inspiring Respect for Nature, one bird at a time.

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1Comment
  • Bob Franz
    Posted at 05:33h, 07 October

    The last time I nictitated was in grade school when I was trying to get the attention of cute Susie Stegeman.

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