3 Poisonous Birds

Snakes, spiders, plants, insects…these are all things that are commonly known to contain poisonous and venomous species. But birds? That’s more unusual. Here are three species of birds that are poisonous.



The Hooded Pitohui is one of the birds of paradise that natives of New Guinea know to steer clear of. These birds are not ripe for feather picking, because their feathers and flesh are poisonous!



The Little Shrikethrush was discovered to be poisonous in 2000, when a team of researchers discovered that its feathers secreted a poison related to the toxins found in the poison dart frogs of Central and South America.



The Common Quail, unlike the Little Shrikethrush, has been known to be potentially deadly for thousands of years. In fact, the quail’s flesh was written about in the New Testament, describing whole hunting parties being stricken with vertigo and seizures after eating the bird. The bird itself however, is not poisonous. The beetles it eats are poisonous, and if enough poison builds up in its meat, it can become deadly. That’s why the Roman Empire banned eating quail in the 1st century AD, and why you can only find specially raised quail at today’s supermarkets.



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