The Drinking Bird, a Scientific Toy for the Ages

I enjoyed watching the drinking bird at my grandma's house, but could never have one of my own because I keep cats. The bird never stops, and since there's no such thing as a perpetual motion machine, there must be some reasonable explanation for the bird's persistence.
One can only wonder if the inventor of the dipping bird, Miles V Sullivan broke even from his invention.  The idea began years before the patent and originally, as you might suspect, it had nothing to do with the bird.  Sullivan was an inventor-scientist at Bell Labs but as a young man he enjoyed evenings out.

It wasn’t the music or the lights but the bubbles in the tube at the sides of a juke box that grabbed his attention.  He noticed that the energy wasn’t going anywhere and the inventor determined that something could be done with them.  What he wanted to do was to harness motion- the idea of the bird came along later to make it more entertaining.  Of course, while it is simply for fun it is the science behind it which makes it work.

Oh, you'll get an explanation of how it works, and more, from Kuriositas. Link

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I will say this - NEVER EVER break the bird and let its space age polymer liquid get on anything. PERMANENT STAIN FOREVER AND EVER. Seriously.
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