“It was a warm but breezy afternoon when I noticed a Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) perching on the branch of an aging Coral Jasmine (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis) down below from my balcony. It was exploring the surroundings with ever vigilant eyes. It looked left and right and at one stage turned its head back 180 degrees to see what was happening behind.
“It is thought that only owl can turn its head 180 degrees. Actually, most birds can turn their heads (and neck) 180 degrees.
“Birds have many more vertebrae in the neck than humans, ranging from about 14 or 15 and up to a maximum of 25 in the swan. Humans have 7. In the parakeets, they are said to be 11. In all birds, they are much more flexible than in mammals, which is why most birds can turn their heads 180 degrees.
“A short video clip is shown above.”
Sun Chong Hong
21st January 2014