Some Strange Defence Mechanisms in Birds

Birds are one of the most amazing creatures in the world that can not only fly, but also have certain unique defence mechanisms. Their forelimbs are transformed into wings which help them to fly and with the help of beaks they eat. Birds in general have an amazing capability to adapt to various environmental changes and also to survive under peculiar circumstances. Enlisted below are some major bird species that possess strange defence mechanisms.

strange defence mechanisms in birds

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

These owl variety birds are powerful when it comes to feed on rodents and nice, or when they need to protect themselves. They are strong enough to defeat the other species of birds in order to obtain food. Small ferruginous pygmy owls are vulnerable to mobbing and protect themselves with the help of two big spots in the back of their head.

Hooted Pitohui

These birds are dangerously poisonous and this very poison is their defence mechanism. Its main food is beetles, which has a poison in them known as neurotoxin alkaloid. Hooted Pitohui use this poison as a weapon to protect themselves from preys.


Also known as ghost birds, these strange nocturnal predators feed on birds, bats and insects. They defend themselves from enemies by sitting motionless on tree branches and thus camouflaging as broken stumps of tree or dead. They can also see their predators even through closed eyes and remain undeterred even in front of large predators.


Fulmar is also known as Foul Gull and it has a strange defence mechanism of possessing foul odour. This peculiar smell and weird lifestyle are the self-protection mechanisms for these birds and are highly daring for their preys.

Burrowing Owls

These peculiar owls dig out their own hideaways or burrows or make abandoned ones their home. When this owl feel the presence of an approaching predator, the chick makes a hissing sound to alert its partner about the attacker. This is the defence mechanism used by burrowing owls to protect themselves.


This bird’s main food is plant leaves and they digest it by fermenting the leaves with the help of specific type of bacteria, thus making it stinky. These birds are excellent swimmers and they dive into water when any predator approaches, and come back to land when they feel safe again.

African White Masked Owl

This particular variety of owl possess strange defence mechanism, when faced by a predator it clouds its features out to look large and start to hiss. This makes its enemies stay away.


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