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Birds
of the Animal Kingdom
Living on Planet Earth
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Birds
 Birds
are part of the Animal Kingdom.
Other classes of animals include:
mammals, amphibians, fish, reptiles and
invertebrates.
Birds
 All
members of the kingdom of animals
have one thing in common—they have a
mouth or similar method of ingesting food.
If they absorb food they belong to
another kingdom of life.
Birds
 Have
mouths to ingest food
 Have vertebrae to support their bodies
 Are warm-blooded
 Breathe with lungs
 Have a beak made of bone
 Have wings
 Have skin covered in feathers
Birds
 Birds
have vertebrae that are very stiff,
strong and dense. They have fewer bones
than mammals.
 Bird bones are highly specialized. They are
more rounded which makes them difficult
to break and reduces wind resistance
which aids in flight.
Birds
 Birds
are warm-blooded, maintaining their
body temperature by eating food and
drinking water.
 Many of the soft, fluffy feathers found on
the bird’s neck, chest and back insulate
the body.
Birds
 Many
bird species migrate to warmer
climates when temperatures in their
summer environments begin to cool.
Birds
 Birds
breathe air into lungs. The heart
moves oxygen from the lungs into the
blood. Each heart beat pushes blood
throughout the body. The body’s skeleton,
organs and muscles depend upon good
oxygen circulation from the heart and the
lungs.
Birds
 The
bird’s beak, also called a bill, is made
of bone. It takes the place of our lips and
teeth.
 The wide variety of beak sizes and shapes
among all species of birds influences what
they eat.
Birds
 The
beak and tongue help the bird learn
about its surroundings. Because the wings
are used for flight, the beak and tongue
are used to touch things.
Birds
A
bird will nip at your finger with its beak
just as a baby will reach out its arm and
grab your finger with its hand.
 Birds will try to taste your finger to learn if it
would be something good to eat.
Birds
 Birds
have wings, rather than arms, hands
and fingers.
 Some birds are unable to fly while others
have soared as high into the sky as jet
planes.
Birds
 Birds
have skin
covered in feathers
not hair. No other
animals have
feathers. Every
animal that has
feathers is a bird.
Birds
 The
length and stiffness of
wing and tail feathers help
the bird fly.
 Feathers are important for
social relations because
birds recognize each other
by color, shape and size.
Birds
 Many
birds have keen senses and highly
developed instincts. They use their brains
to think much like people do.
Birds
 Birds
communicate with vocal sounds and
wing flapping. They have strong senses of
sight and hearing.
Birds
 They
communicate with
each other using a
variety of sounds that
seem the same to us but
carry greater meaning to
them.
Birds
 Birds
depend upon
their vision to find
safety and food.
Eyesight varies among
species and
determines where
birds find food and at
what time of day.
Birds
 Birds
see things in a different way than
humans do. For example, hunting birds
can see all the mice moving on a football
field at the same time. We might notice
one mouse if we are lucky enough to be
looking in that direction.
Birds
 Water
birds can clearly see plants and fish
under water. Nocturnal owls watch prey
moving in fields at night. Songbirds keep a
watchful eye on the sky for attacking
hawks.
Birds
 There
are at least 10,000 bird species living
on land and near water. We’ll look at
some characteristics that make birds
different from other animals.
 We’ll also learn some of the special
features animals possess to adapt and
survive in the wild.
Birds
 Female
birds lay eggs. One or both of the
parents will incubate the eggs in the nest
until they hatch. They will feed the chicks
until they grow and are ready for life on
their own.
Birds
 Some
birds make very complex nests that
can withstand severe weather. Others
simply make a shallow depression in the
sand or find a vacant hole in a tree in
which to lay her eggs.
Birds
 The
chicks, developing in the eggs, learn
to recognize the parent’s voice. Some
birds will use a vocal sound in the egg
telling the parent they are too hot.
Birds
 It
takes 3 to 4 weeks for birds
to develop and hatch.
Chicks have a growth on
their beak called an egg
tooth that helps them crack
open the egg.
 The egg tooth disappears a
few days after the chick has
hatched.
Birds
 Many
birds have natural
defenses that keep them
safe. Many of these are
instinctual or learned from
the parents and the flock.
Birds
Camouflage
 Some
birds are so colorful they can be
spotted easily while others blend into the
trees, plants and grasses and are noticed
only if they move.
Birds
Camouflage
 In
the winter the Willow Ptarmigans
become almost invisible to predators by
growing white feathers that match the
snow-covered ground where they nest.
Birds
Webbed Toes
 Animals
that spend a lot of time in the
water have webbed toes to help them
swim faster. Look for this characteristic
with ducks, swans and many of the fishing
birds.
Birds
Finding Food
 Birds
that find and hunt other animals are
called carnivores because they eat meat.
 These hunters have keen senses and
strong bodies. They often hunt animals
that are larger than themselves.
Birds
Finding Food
 Carnivores
have beaks
shaped to help them
stab, grip and tear the
fleshy meat. This allows
them to eat their food in
bits and pieces.
 Carnivores that eat leftover flesh are also called
scavengers.
Birds
Finding Food
 Animals
that eat only plants found
growing in their ecosystem are called
herbivores.
 They are often the prey or hunted
animals.
Birds
Finding Food
 You
will notice that many herbivores have
an eye on each side of their head. They
see the world differently than carnivores.
 While they are looking for food with one
eye they watch for a predator with the
other.
Birds
Torpor
 When
temperatures get very cold birds
are able to slow down their body
functions such as breathing, heart beats
and digestion in order to conserve
energy. This process is called torpor.
Birds
Magnetic Senses
A
number of animals are able to sense
the magnetic field of the earth. This helps
them pick a direction to travel where they
will find a safe place or a good food
source.
 Scientists think some birds use their
magnetic senses to migrate.
Birds
Chemical Release
 Some
species of sea birds called the
fulmars can spit up a sticky, fowl
smelling oil from their stomachs as they
are being attacked.
Birds
Poison Defenses
 Some
birds can safely eat
plants or animals that have
poison. This toxin comes out
in the bird’s skin making it
dangerous food for the
predators. Many hunters
learn to leave these birds
alone.
Birds
Defending the Nest
 When
birds are unable to fly away they
will become quiet and still to avoid being
discovered by an approaching predator.
 If necessary, they will fiercely attack the
predator with loud warning sounds,
forceful flight, pecking and clawing.
Birds
Echolocation


Several species of night flying and cave dwelling
birds make clicking sounds with their voices that
bounce off surrounding objects and return to the
bird’s ears.
This skill of echolocation lets them know they are
getting close to walls and other things that they
can’t see clearly.
Birds
Electroreception
 Birds
sense magnetic gradients to
navigate. They can find their way across
great distances, returning to the same
home in spring and winter.
 Some shore birds may also use a special
electric sense to probe in the mud for live
food.
Birds
 There
are many interesting characteristics
found among all the animal species. It’s
fun to learn what they have in common
and some of the things that make them
different.
Birds
 We
hope you’ve enjoyed learning about
the birds of the Animal Kingdom.
Birds
Orders
 Flightless
Birds
 Loons, Grebes and Petrels
 Pelicans and Their Relatives
 Herons and Their Relatives
 Swans, Geese and Ducks
 Birds of Prey
 Game Birds
Birds
Orders
 Cranes
and Their Relatives
 Shorebirds
 Jaegers, Gulls and Terns
 Auks
 Pigeons and Doves
 Parrots
 Owls
Birds
Orders
 Nightjars
and Frogmouths
 Cuckoos and Their Relatives
 Swifts and Hummingbirds
 Trogons and Mousebirds
 Kingfishers and Their Relatives
 Woodpeckers and Toucans
 Perching Birds
Birds
of the Animal Kingdom
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Birds
of the Animal Kingdom
Living on Planet Earth