Fun Surfbird Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Oct 20, 2022 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
A few fascinating surfbird facts totally worth your time.

What could be more interesting than a bird that can surf? The surfbird is one of the most fascinating animals in the world!

These birds are an amazing type of shorebird that has adapted to life in coastal habitats where they feed their young by catching fish with their beaks while they swim in shallow water. They fly and swim in the ocean for food, which is mostly small fish.

These birds have some really interesting and fascinating facts about them that kids love to learn more about!

It takes a lot of work for these birds just to find food let alone make a home! The young surfbird starts the migration for the winter.

In April after the winter, it returns to an existing nest in Alaska, along with its young babies. In order for its breeding plumage to stay wet, it has an oil gland near its tail that secretes oil when needed.

You might also enjoy reading saker falcon facts and peregrine falcon facts.

Surfbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a surfbird?

The surfbirds are birds and love to fly! These graceful creatures have a range of some pretty cool features, like their large wings that allow them to soar through the air. They also enjoy spending a lot of time in the water with other sea life because they can't swim very well without getting tired quickly.

What class of animal does a surfbird belong to?

The surfbirds belong to the class Aves (meaning bird) and the order Virgata. They can often be found near the longest and narrowest shorelines because they need an easy access point during high tides when there's no dry land available anymore which means not being able to build a nest anywhere.

How many surfbirds are there in the world?

The surfbird's population is still a mystery! Nobody knows for sure, but as their status is of Least Concern they have been doing just fine! The surfbird distribution could be as few as 10 million or more than 100 million worldwide.

Where does a surfbird live?

The surfbirds, also known as Aphriza virgata, are found mostly across the longest and narrowest rocky mountain chains, spending most of their time on rocky coastal shores and islands. Migrating throughout the year between mountain tundras, traveling between their North American breeding grounds to South America for the winter is not an uncommon occurrence.

What is a surfbird's habitat?

The surfbird habitat includes a rocky range map of South and North American regions, Southern Chile, Central, and the Western United States; Canada's southern provinces all the way up through Alaska, and the Yukon.

Who do surfbirds live with?

The surfbird species, belonging to the Virgata order, live as a family and fly together in colonies, mostly in winter. They are known for their range of non-breeding, breeding activities, and distinctive vocalizations which can be heard up to two miles away on a calm day.

Their calls include a series of resonant 'ork-ork' sounds as well as other unique clicks, whistles, and squawks.

How long does a surfbird live?

The surfbird lifespan has been estimated to be around 10 years. This is because they are capable of riding the largest waves for extended periods and their wings allow them to catch thermal air flows which in turn helps give the bird more energy than other birds.

How do they reproduce?

The surf bird species is an aquatic bird that lays eggs in the ocean. The female must find a male to fertilize her eggs before winter to lay them on the rocky shores.

The bird of this species is one of the many birds in America that nest on cliff ledges. The males and females take turns incubating their eggs during breeding.

What is their conservation status?

The surfbirds species are currently considered as of Least Concern by the IUCN. Lightly armored, these birds can be found in a range map of habitats due to their frequent breeding activities!

Surfbird Fun Facts

What do surfbirds look like?

An orange-black beak of the surfbird looks mesmerizing.

The surfbird's physical appearance reflects its habitat: a sturdy build with capable wings enabling them to soar above the waves catching urchins, and anchovies among their many prey items like crustaceans, mollusks, insects, or even smaller fish which will be snatched right out of mid-air. A surfbird can be identified by its long, slender bills and flatheads.

The Aphriza virgata has a color range of black to brown, with a white stripe running down the center of their chest to create an S shape on each side.

How cute are they?

The surfbirds, also known as Calidris virgata, are very cute and everyone loves them. These birds love going out on the beach to take a swim in a range of waves in the salty water, especially in winter.

How do they communicate?

The surfbirds can communicate with each other by using a number of different methods.

They may use vocalizations, visual cues like beak color and size, or body posture to signal dominance in the presence of rivals; they could also rely on chemical signals that are released from glands over their skin when they're attacked or excited during the breeding season.

How big is a surfbird?

The surfbird size range between 10-12 in (25-30 cm) size, and in winter they can be found on the East Coast of North American rocky shores. They are around 20-25 times smaller than a regular sea eagle!

How fast can a surfbird fly?

The surfbirds are moderately fast creatures that can outrun many other birds in flight Their flying range is 30-40 mph (45-60 kph). The young surfbirds start their migration from Alaska in early May.

They are capable of building a nest and raising their own chicks with little help from adults, so they don't need to stay behind during migration like other species do!

How much does a surfbird weigh?

A surfbird can weigh anywhere from 0.4 to 0.5 lb (180-200 g), which is the weight of just one banana!

What are the male and female names of the species?

The surfbirds male and female alike- do not differ by any names assigned based on sex.

What would you call a baby surfbird?

The surfbirds have been spotted all over the world, but there is no denying their true home: surfing beaches! Surfers love surfbird babies, who ago by the name chicks, because they can use them to predict upcoming waves; when you hear a chick chirping loudly from atop an incoming wave, it's time for action.

Even the crane has cute little colts!

What do they eat?

The surfbird diet includes aquatic invertebrates such as shrimp, mussels, seeds, or clams based on where they live along the coastlines! Unfortunately, they themselves are preyed on by any octopuses in the area!

Are they dangerous?

The surfbird can be a dangerous bird, often stealing food or attacking without warning. It is known for being extremely hostile towards different family animals as well.

Would they make a good pet?

A surfbird is not the easiest bird to keep as they are very sensitive and need lots of attention. They often fly away from home! Try a kea parrot for petting instead.

Did you know...

The surfbird's bodies resemble that of a pelican while their head looks similar to an albatross or shearwater around its eyes.

It has two types of breeding plumage on each wing: short ones near the body for flight, and long feathers in between them which are used during breeding season with males displaying by shaking these wings at females as part of courtship ritual.

But unlike other rocky shoreline plovers who often walk away following this display; a female bird will stay put to mate!

How is the surfbird different from other birds of the Scolopacidae family?

Scolopacidae is a family of shorebirds that consists mainly of wading birds with long, slender legs. They have pointed bills and the most common characteristic between them is their webbed toes for scouring food from mud or wet sand.

The surf bird doesn't have webbed feet so you might think that would make them less adept at traversing different terrain than other Scolopacidae family members such as Sanderlings.

The surfbird species are different than other birds of the Scolopacidae family. The species is a master at catching waves, but it does not fly in order to do so instead they use their feet and powerful wings for balance as well as propelling themselves forward over water without using any energy from flapping!

The bird from this species has an odd way of getting around on land: walking with their head above ground or swimming like most shorebirds would dive underwater.

Surfbird vs black turnstone

The surfbird and the black turnstone are two birds with similar characteristics that can be found on beaches across Alaska, and the Yukon.

Both share a similar breeding, distinctive white stripe extending from their forehead to behind one eye, both have long wings for riding wind currents in search of food, and they both use feathers near each wingtip when diving into the water as part of feeding behavior.

The differences between these species include size where the turnstone is larger than its counterpart, a color pattern which includes dark brown stripes running up either side of head ending at back edge or eyes unlike Surfbirds' unbroken pale grayish-blue streaked all over the body.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our white gyrfalcon and pygmy falcon facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable surfbird coloring pages.

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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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