There are estimated to be ten-thousand different species of birds across the globe.

Birds come in all different sizes and colors, but they all have feather and wings. The have babies by laying eggs. They are all also warm-blooded meaning they maintain a consistent core body temperature. Unlike humans, birds have completely hollow bones making them super light. This aids them in having the ability to fly. You can think of their bones like a straw. About two in five birds, across the globe, migrate a long distance or height every year. This is usually to follow their food sources as they move to warmer climates.

Birds are the only creatures that have feathers. The number of feathers that birds have can differ greatly from species to species. In some cases, a bird's feathers may weigh more than their skeleton. Scientist seem to agree that some dinosaurs may have had feathers. Birds are interesting creatures that are have thought to have evolved from theropod dinosaurs. The Ostrich is the biggest bird and it also has the fastest running speed. They can run at speeds approaching sixty miles per hour. These worksheets will provide students with an outlet to learn about different types of birds through the help of well written reading passages that are appropriate to their reading level. Students will explore a wide array of species that inhabit specific ecosystems and have set diets. We will also look at unique aspects of these creatures like the sounds that they make and the path of their flight and migration patterns. We will even look at prehistoric versions of these creatures.

Get Free Worksheets In Your Inbox!


Printable Bird Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and answer key.

What Are Birds?

Feathers are made of the same material as a human fingernail, called keratin. The structure of a feather includes a hollow shaft (the rachis) and many thin branches (called barbs).

What Are They? Questions

Which of the following is NOT part of the structure of a feather?

Raptors

Birds that hunt for meat to eat are called birds of prey, or raptors. Raptors have hooked beaks and very sharp hooks on the ends of each toe called talons. They use these beaks and talons, along with their strong feet, to snatch and kill prey like mice, rabbits, fish, snakes, or smaller creatures. Eagles, osprey, hawks, the Great Horned Owl, kites, harriers, buzzards, merlins, vultures, goshawks and condors are all raptors.

QUESTIONS: Raptors

What is the function of talons? How many eyelids do raptors have?

Waterfowl

Waterfowl are birds that swim. Because their legs are so far apart, when walking on land, waterfowl have a characteristic walk called a waddle. An animal that waddles takes short steps and their body sways back and forth as they walk.

QUESTIONS: Waterfowl

Waterfowl have a beak that is distinctive from that of other birds. The beaks of waterfowl are long, flat, and rounded, an advantageous shape for rooting in soft soil for plants and small mammals.

Bird Sounds

They can make many different kinds of sounds. They chirp, rattle, whistle, trill, and croak. Waterfowl make quacking or honking sounds. Some also cackle, cluck, squeal, or squeak. One male Redhead Duck makes a wheezy coughing sound that is similar to the meow of a cat.

QUESTIONS: Sounds

Why are they sometimes able to make two sounds at the same time?

Birds and Reptiles

Under phylogenetics, they belong to the group Diapsida, which also includes reptiles like crocodiles, turtles, snakes and lizards. This is because they are most closely related to reptiles in general, and crocodiles in particular.

QUESTIONS: Birds and Reptiles

Which biological classification system groups according to physical characteristics?

Chickens

Chickens are domestic animals that are kept for meat, eggs, or even, sometimes, as pets. Chickens typically live for between 10 and 15 years. As is generally the case with these animals, the males (called roosters) are bigger and more brightly colored than the females (hens).

QUESTIONS: Chickens

How do chickens break down the food that they eat?

Wind Energy and Birds

Currently, wind power provides about 8% of the energy currently being generated in the United States. Wind energy is a renewable resource that does not create any pollution. It is very space efficient, since a wind turbine does not require much horizontal space.

QUESTIONS: Wind Energy

A radar tracking system that uses the Doppler effect to indicate the location and velocity of weather phenomenon is called what?

Flightless Birds: The Ostrich

Ostriches are the biggest birds in the world. They also have the distinction of being unable to fly. Ostriches are found in the wild in Africa. They are also farmed worldwide for their meet.

QUESTIONS: The Flightless Ostrich

What records do ostriches hold with regards to their appearance?

Did Birds Evolve from Dinosaurs?

Today's birds are the descendants of a group of bipedal dinosaurs called therapods. Members of the therapod group included Tyrannosaurus rex and small velociraptors. Those most closely related to birds weighed between one and five hundred pounds, and had large snouts, big teeth, and small brains.

QUESTIONS: Did They Evolve from Dinosaurs?

What is one simple but significant change that occurred in dinosaurs that eventually became birds?

Flightless: Penguins

Penguins live in extremely cold climates like Antarctica at the South Pole, however they are also found in warmer places like the Galapagos Islands, Australia, and South Africa. Penguins are one of several breeds of birds that cannot fly. Penguins spend the majority of their time in the water, where they swim with their wings in a manner that resembles the way that others use their wings to fly.

QUESTIONS: Flightless Birds: Penguins

How can you tell the difference between breeds of penguins?