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12 surprising flightless birds

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on June 2, 2017, 11:34 a.m.
Unlike so many other flightless bird species, the Tasmanian nativehen has actually benefited from humans moving into their territory.

Photo: Edoddridge/Wikipedia

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Tasmanian nativehen

This chicken-like bird is endemic to (you probably guessed it) Tasmania. This is a really unusual species of flightless bird because unlike so many other species that have gone extinct or declined with the arrival of humans, the Tasmanian nativehen has actually thrived alongside its new also-flightless counterparts. What they love is the agricultural practices that provide easy food for grazing. While it has been blamed for crop damage, researchers found that the blame was misplaced. It was actually rabbits causing the trouble. The nativehens are grazers that prefer areas of short grass, so they benefit from introduced rabbits and the agricultural practices of clearing new grasslands.

As for being flightless, it's really not an issue for this little bird which can run like lightning. They have been clocked at up to 30 miles per hour.

This species lives in small flocks of a few individuals, and sticks to clear territories of about 5 acres. Because they keep their own territories, fights break out at the borders when intruders press in on someone else's turf.