[KIDS] Blood-Sucking Birds

vampire birds | Readorium

[Image from Wikimedia Commons]

What travels only at night, turns into a bat, and sucks blood? A vampire, of course! And while we all can sleep comfortably, knowing that vampires are not real, did you know that many animals do actually suck blood? And did you know that some of these animals are birds?

Yes, that’s right: blood-sucking birds! The “vampire finch”, or Geospiza difficilis, is a type of bird that lives in the Galapagos Islands. It has a sharp bill that’s normally good for picking seeds, fruits and grubs. However, when food is scare, the vampire finch feeds on blood!

It climbs onto other seabirds (usually a bird called a “booby”), pecks at the base of its feathers, and greedily drinks up the blood! Supposedly, the booby isn’t too hurt by this, but hey, I wouldn’t want a bird sucking up my blood!

vampire birds | Readorium

The “vampire finch” before its hungry enough to drink blood [Photo from Wikimedia Commons]

 

Vocab

Bill: a type of bird’s beak

Grubs: a maggot or caterpillar; a wormlike insect

Scarce: rare; only in small amounts

Books to read if you liked this article

vampire birds | Readorium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bunnicula by James Howe and Deborah Howe: A dog and a cat must work together to find out if the new pet rabbit is a vampire!

 

vampire birds | Readorium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood, Bones and Body Bits by Nick Arnold: Learn all about the weird and disgusting things that go on inside your body

 

vampire birds | Readorium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stella Luna by Janell Cannon: the story of a bat who finds her way back to her family and friends.

 

Where we got our information

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/animal-planet-presents/videos/top-10-bloodsuckers-vampire-finches/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04hkysz