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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Which biological classification system groups according to physical characteristics?
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).
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.
A radar tracking system that uses the Doppler effect to indicate the location and velocity of weather phenomenon is called what?
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.
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.
What is one simple but significant change that occurred in dinosaurs that eventually became birds?
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.
All About Birds
No matter where you live, you can always see and hear birds around you. So, what are some important facts to know about these feathered creatures?
Birds are feathered and winged vertebrates that lay eggs. They are warm-blooded, have beaks, and come in various sizes, colors, and shapes. They have lightweight skeletons to facilitate flying and have a furcula, a bone that protects their chests while flying.
They 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, they 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.
Read further to find out how many bird types there are and what they eat. I'll also explain where they live and why they sing.
How Many Types Are There?
There are 11,162 types of birds in the world, with Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Indonesia having the widest variety of species. They inhabit every continent. These feathered creatures all belong to the Aves Class and are further classified into 41 orders.
Each bird order has families, genera, and species, with the birds in these categories grouped according to similar characteristics, such as waterproof feathers, size, etc.
The largest bird in the world is the ostrich, which has a typical height of 2.25 meters (7.38 feet) and weighs approximately 102 kg (224.9 lb). In contrast, the smallest bird is the Bee Hummingbird, which is slightly larger than a bumblebee and weighs only 2.2 g (0.078 oz).
Below are some of the world's most common species:
- Domestic Chicken
- Red-Billed Quelea
- Mourning Dove
- American Robin
- Common Pheasant
Over the past few centuries, as the human population has grown, some bird species have become endangered, with dwindling populations. Many bird species are now also threatened, which means they risk becoming endangered.
Human settlement and the introduction of invasive plants and trees have sadly made some bird species extinct. Here are some examples of birds that have gone extinct over the past few hundred years:
- Arabian Ostrich
- Mysterious Starling
- North Island Piopio
- Least Vermillion Flycatcher
- Eskimo Curlew
What They Eat?
Birds eat small insects, fruit, and seeds, but their diet ultimately depends on the species. Some of them drink nectar, while others eat plant material, rodents, and other small mammals. Large fowl occasionally eat smaller birds.
Birds of prey, including owls and falcons, hunt for food and eat rodents and other small mammals. Meanwhile, nectar-feeding fowl (like hummingbirds or chickadees) obtain nectar from flowers and sometimes eat tiny insects.
Where Do They Live?
Most birds live in nests that they build in trees. However, some nest on the ground after making scrapes in the ground. Some of them, including barbets, live in holes created in trees by other birds, such as woodpeckers.
Nest-dwelling birds make nests out of suitable material they find around them. This material can be:
- Dry stems
Male bowerbirds like to create elaborate bowers made from colorful objects they find. These objects are typically all the same color and are usually shiny.
Birds living on the ground will make a small indentation in the soil with their feet and lay eggs there.
Why Do They Sing?
Birds sing to attract mates, warn each other of a predator, and defend their territories. They sing a lot at dawn because it's still too dark to hunt for food. They might also sing as a signal to others indicating that they've survived the night.
Each bird species has its own song, which makes it easy to identify a bird, even if you can't see it.
With over 11,000 species worldwide, birds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. With the ever-expanding human population and introduction of invasive trees and plants, some of them are sadly becoming endangered or extinct.
Most birds eat seeds, insects, and fruit, but others (such as owls and hawks) are carnivorous and eat small mammals and rodents.
They typically live in nests, but some create shallow holes in the ground for roosting.
Each bird species has a unique call to attract mates or mark their territory.