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Kingfishers Inspired Japanese Bullet Trains

Kingfishers can fly in straight and low like bullets, achieving as high as 25 miles per hour however, it’s not their speed that attracts scientists; they’re captivated by their sharp beaks. Sharp, pointed and long enough that they comprise one-third of a kingfisher’s length,

their beaks cut through the waters, which means that kingfishers are able to plunge into pools and not alert fish. Japanese engineers who worked on the bullet train with high speed replicated the design of this beak to avoid sonic booms every time these trains move through tunnels.

 It’s All In The Beak Kingfisher Beaks Help Tell The Sexes Apart

Males and females of kingfishers are so alike that it’s difficult to differentiate them. The most straightforward way to tell to tell the difference, if you are close enough to notice it, is the lower portion of females’ beaks is orange as if she’s put on an edgy streak of lipstick.  White Birds

The chicks don’t begin to develop this color until they’re close to a year old, therefore, young chicks are difficult to distinguish.

Kingfishers Don’t Actually Like Each Other

Kingfishers are solitary birds . They must overcome their natural distaste for one another in order to breed. Their courtship may be tense as they flit awkwardly about one another. The male’s mating posture is a reflection of its aggressive posture.

Kingfisher Chicks Are Ugly

Kingfisher chicks are bald and pink, and the chicks can be quite ugly once they are born. They are just one-inch tall they are able to stand upright as if they were baby pterodactyls with each other acting as props to balance themselves against. 

This connection ensures they are dry and warm and the upright posture can help maintain their small bodies from the dirt on the floor of their nest. As opposed to many bird species which maintain clean nests by cleaning out their chick’s faecal sacks, the nests of kingfishers are often filthy. This is why their flight feathers do not expand until a week prior to the time they develop. When this feathers appears and the ugly ducklings emerge, they transform into beautiful beauty.

Can Find Them In The Dark

The size of a kingfisher’s tusk can be obstruction in providing food to the young chicks within the dark of the underground nest. However, these birds offer a unique solution to this issue The chicks are equipped with an edge of white on their beaks. Their parents wear a white flash that is visible on each side of their faces which gives a bright visually clue.

That’s five things you likely did not know about kingfishers however there are many additional things to know (like do you realize that that these birds actually have a brown color and it’s the way light bounces off their feathers which gives their gorgeous color?) Take a peek at my tales from watching the birds, and then read more about ways to assist any of them:

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