queen-of-birbs  asked:

I have a question about birds! How come Rex bobs her head when she walks around but other bird breeds don't (or don't look like they do...) ?

Originally posted by biomorphosis

[Quick correction: breed generally refers to a group a domesticated species, species is the work you’re looking for!] Sorry for the lack of super science words, I am not a scientist!

Before you read, try this: Fixate your eyes on a single thing and move your head around, walk around but stay looking at it. It’s cool how you’re able to keep that in focus, it’s cool how it doesn’t get blurred by motion, yeah? This is thanks to the vestibulo-ocular reflex, AKA little muscle twitches that keep your eyes stable! 

Most mammals have these muscles in their eyes and work like this as well, but birds have huge brains eyes and can’t afford to put energy into eye muscles that will keep them focused, much less make them fit, instead they put those in the neck!

(source) This is why owls can rotate their heads so weirdly, their eyes are just too big to do all that moving! Pigeons, chickens, and kestrels are most known for the funky dances that come about when their body moves but they’re looking at something! The head bobbing comes from this as since they would have really shitty vision if the world just became a blur when they went for a stroll. Their head stays in place while the body moves forward just long enough to get the information before their head has to move too. 

Try this too: Take a video of yourself or someone else looking out the window of a moving vehicle, notice how the eyes flutter like crazy, well that’s the equivalent of a pigeon bobbing their head!

Check out that image source for a better explanation (and probably more accurate, all this knowledge comes from the depths of my brain from when I researched it before). Thanks for the ask and I hope it helps <3

Originally posted by perrier