The largest bird is the ostrich of Australia, growing up to 9 feet tall, and the smallest bird is the bee hummingbird, which is only 2 1/2 inches long and weighs 0.06 oz. Hummingbirds can fly backwards and sideways, something that no other bird can do. The ostrich lays the largest eggs, which are up to 4.5 X 7 inches around and weigh 3 pounds. Since the egg is so large, the incubation period for an ostrich egg is 42-50 days, which is more than twice as long as a chicken's egg (20-22 days). (Duncraft 2006)
One of the most unusual birds is the flamingo, which is pink to white in color, has orange eyes, grows to be four feet tall and has the longest tongue of any bird. It lives to be about 50 years old and eats crustaceans, insects and algae. It eats by putting its head under the water, observing everything upside down, and filters organisms from the water with its long tongue.
Birds eat in many different ways, from filtering water or catching fish, as the water fowl do, to diving from high in the air at small animals in the fields, killing them on the spot and eating the raw meat with their beaks. Each kind of bird is built to make eating whatever is in their diet easier. Birds that eat fish have large beaks. Pelicans can actually store many fish in their huge beaks. Birds that must find food in tiny cracks or holes have long, sharp beaks that they use almost like straws. Some birds have extremely strong beaks so that they can crack open their food, such as the parrot. Some birds have long legs so they can run fast or stand in shallow water without getting their bodies wet. Other birds, like the swift, have extremely tiny legs that do not hinder their flight as they swoop through the air after mosquitoes. Each bird has adapted