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Currently about 1,200 species of birds are threatened with extinction by human activities, though efforts are underway to protect them.
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Eagles are large birds of prey which are members of the bird family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species the Bald and Golden Eagles can be found in the USA and Canada, nine more in Central and South America, and three in Australia.
Eagles are differentiated from many other birds of prey mainly by their larger size, more powerful build, and heavier head and beak. Even the smallest eagles, like the Booted Eagle which is comparable in size to a Common Buzzard or Red-tailed Hawk, have relatively longer and more evenly broad wings, and more direct, faster flight. Most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from the vultures. Species named as eagles can range in size from the South Nicobar Serpent-eagle, at 500 grams -1.1 pounds and 40 cm -16 inch, to the 6.7-kg Steller's Sea Eagle and the 100 cm -39 inch Philippine Eagle.
Like all birds of prey, eagles have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, and powerful talons. They also have extremely keen eyesight which enables them to spot potential prey from a very long distance. This keen eyesight is primarily contributed by their extremely large pupils which ensure minimal diffraction scattering of the incoming light.
Eagles build their nests, called eyries, in tall trees or on high cliffs. Many species lay two eggs, but the older, larger chick frequently kills its younger sibling once it has hatched. The dominant chick tends to be the female, as they are bigger than the male. The parents take no action to stop the killing.
The Osprey Pandion haliaetus, sometimes known as the sea hawk, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching 60 centimetres 24 inch in length with a 2m wingspan . It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings.
The Osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. It is found on all continents except Antarctica although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding migrant.
As its other common name suggests, the Osprey's diet consists almost exclusively of fish. It has evolved specialised physical characteristics and exhibits unique behaviour to assist in hunting and catching prey.
As a result of these unique characteristics, it has been given its own taxonomic genus, Pandion and family, Pandionidae. Four subspecies are usually recognised. Despite its propensity to nest near water, the Osprey is not a sea eagle.
The Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis is a bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the "chickenhawk," though it rarely preys on chickens. It breeds throughout most of North America, from western Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies, and is one of the most common buteos in North America. Red-tailed Hawks can acclimate to all the biomes within its range. There are fourteen recognized subspecies, which vary in appearance and range.
It is one of the largest members of the genus Buteo in North America, typically weighing from 690 to 1600 grams 1.5 to 3.5 pounds and measuring 45–65 cm ,18 to 26 inch in length, with a wingspan from 110 to 145 cm 43 to 57 inch. The Red-tailed Hawk displays sexual dimorphism in size, with females averaging about 25% heavier than males.
The Red-tailed Hawk occupies a wide range of habitats and altitudes, including deserts, grasslands, coniferous and deciduous forests, tropical rainforests, agricultural fields and urban areas. It lives throughout the North American continent, except in areas of unbroken forest or the high arctic. It is legally protected in Canada, Mexico and the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Because they are so common and easily trained as capable hunters, the majority of hawks captured for falconry in the United States are Red-tails. Falconers are permitted to take only passage hawks which have left the nest, are on their own, but are less than a year old so as to not affect the breeding population. Adults, which may be breeding or rearing chicks, may not be taken for falconry purposes and it is illegal to do so. Passage red-tailed hawks are also preferred by falconers because these younger birds have not yet developed adult behaviors, which can make training substantially more challenging.
A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. The word comes from their Latin name falco, related to Latin falx "sickle" because of the shape of these birds' wings.
Adult falcons have thin tapered wings, which enable them to fly at high speed and to change direction rapidly. Fledgling falcons, in their first year of flying, have longer flight feathers which makes their configuration more like that of a general purpose bird such as a broadwing. This is to make it easier for them to fly while learning the exceptional skills required to be effective hunters as adults.
Peregrine Falcons have been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour 320 km/h, making them the fastest-moving creatures on Earth. Other falcons include the Gyrfalcon, Lanner Falcon, and the Merlin. Some small falcons with long narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which hover while hunting are called kestrels. The falcons are part of the family Falconidae, which also includes the caracaras, Laughing Falcon, forest falcons, and falconets.
Compared to other birds of prey, the fossil record of the falcons is not well distributed in time. The oldest fossils tentatively assigned to this genus are from the Late Miocene, less than 10 million years ago. This coincides with a period in which many modern genera of birds became recognizable in the fossil record. The falcon lineage may however be somewhat older than this and given the distribution of fossil and living Falco taxa is probably of North American, African or possibly Middle Eastern or European in origin.
The Owls are the order Strigiformes, comprising 200 extant birds of prey, species. Most are solitary, and nocturnal, with some exceptions e.g. the Burrowing Owl. Owls hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds, though a few species specialize in hunting fish. They are found in all regions of the Earth except Antarctica, most of Greenland, and some remote islands. Though owls are typically solitary, the literary collective noun for a group of owls is a parliament. Living owls are divided into two families: the typical owls, Strigidae; and the barn-owls, Tytonidae.
Owls have large forward facing eyes and ear holes, a hawk like beak, a flat face, and usually a conspicuous circle of feather a facial disc around each eye. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets, as with other birds, and they must turn their entire head to change views. Most birds of prey sport eyes on the sides of their heads, but the stereoscopic nature of the owl's forward facing eyes permits a greater sense of depth perception necessary for low light hunting.
Owls are farsighted and are unable to see anything clearly within a few centimetres of their eyes. Caught prey can be felt by owls with the use of filoplumes, which are small hair like feathers on the beak and feet that act as "feelers". Their far vision, particularly in low light, is exceptionally good. Contrary to popular myth, an owl cannot turn its head completely backwards. It can turn its head 135 degrees in either direction; it can thus look behind its own shoulders, with a total 270 degree field of view.
Different species of owls make different sounds; the wide range of calls aids owls in finding mates or announcing their presence to potential competitors, and also aids ornithologists and birders in locating these birds and recognizing species. The facial disc helps to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. In many species, these are placed asymmetrically, for better directional location.
Toucans are a family, Ramphastidae, of near passerine birds from the neotropics (i.e. Southern Mexico, Central, South American, and Caribbean region). The family is most closely related to the American barbets. They are brightly marked and have large, colorful bills. The family includes five genera and about forty different species. The name of this bird group is derived from Tupi tucana.
Toucans range in size from the Lettered Aracari Pteroglossus inscriptus, at 130 g 4.6 oz and 29 cm 11.5 inches, to the Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco, at 680 g 1.5 lb and 63 cm 29 inches. Their bodies are short of comparable size to a crow's and compact. The tail is rounded and varies in length, from half the length to the whole length of the body. The neck is short and thick.
The wings are small, as they are forest dwelling birds who only need to travel short distances, and are often of about the same span as the bill tip to tail tip measurements of the bird. The legs of a toucan are strong and rather short. Their toes are arranged in pairs with the first and fourth toes turned backward. The majority of toucans do not show any sexual dimorphism in their coloration, the genus Selenidera being the most notable exception to this rule hence their common name, dichromatic toucanets.
However, the bills of female toucans are usually shorter, deeper and sometimes straighter, giving more of a "blocky" impression compared to male bills. The feathers in the genus containing the largest toucans are generally black, with touches of white, yellow, and scarlet. The underparts of the araçaris smaller toucans are yellow, crossed by one or more black or red bands. The toucanets have mostly green plumage with blue markings.
The colorful, giant bill, which in some large species measure more than half the length of the body, is the hallmark of toucans. Despite its size it is very light, being composed of bone struts filled with spongy tissue of keratin between them. The bill has forward facing serrations resembling teeth, which historically led naturalists to believe that toucans captured fish and were primarily carnivorous; today it is known that they eat mostly fruit. Researchers have discovered that the large bill of the toucan is a highly efficient thermoregulation system, though its size may still be advantageous in other ways.
Parrots, also known as psittacines are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most warm and tropical regions. The order is subdivded in three families: the Psittacidae 'true' parrots, the Cacatuidae cockatoos and the Strigopidae New Zealand parrots. Parrots have a pan tropical distribution with several species inhabiting the temperate Southern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of parrots is found in South America and Australasia.
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Most parrots are predominantly green, with other bright colors, and some species are multi colored. Cockatoo species range from mostly white to mostly black, and have a mobile crest of feathers on the top of their heads. Most parrots are monomorphic or minimally sexually dimorphic. They are the most variably sized bird order in terms of length.
The most important components of most parrots' diets are seeds, nuts, fruit, buds and other plant material, and a few species also eat insects and small animals, and the lories and lorikeets are specialised to feed on nectar from flowers, and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest in tree holes or nest boxes in captivity, and lay white eggs from which emerge altricial helpless young.
Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays and magpies, are some of the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some parrot species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Trapping of wild parrots for the pet trade, as well as other hunting, habitat loss and competition from invasive species, have diminished wild populations, and parrots have been subjected to more exploitation than any other group of birds. Recent conservation measures to conserve the habitats of some of the high profile charismatic parrot species has also protected many of the less charismatic species living in the ecosystem.
The underside of the wings and tail have pale yellow or lemon color, which flashes when they fly. The White Cockatoo can live up to, and perhaps beyond, 80 years in age. The White Cockatoo is 48 cm 19 in long, and weight are about 400 grams for small females and up to 800 grams for big males.
The male White Cockatoo usually has a broader head and a bigger beak than the female. During their puberty the female White Cockatoo can begin to develop a more reddish iris than the male. The feathers of the White Cockatoo are mostly white. However, both upper and lower surfaces of the inner half of the trailing edge of the large wing feathers are a yellow colour. The yellow colour is most notable on the underside of the wings because the yellow portion of the upper surface of the feather is covered by the white of the feather immediately medial nearer to the body and above. Similarly, areas of larger tail feathers that are covered by other tail feathers, and the innermost covered areas of the larger crest feathers, are yellow. Short white feathers grow from and closely cover the upper legs.
Swans, genus Cygnus, are birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the tribe Cygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae. There are six to seven species of swan in the genus Cygnus; in addition there is another species known as a swan, the Coscoroba Swan, although this species is no longer considered related to the true swans. Swans usually mate for life, though 'divorce' does sometimes occur, particularly following nesting failure. The number of eggs in each clutch ranges from three to eight.
The swans are the largest members of the duck family Anatidae, and are amongst the largest flying birds. The largest species, including the mute swan, trumpeter swan, and whooper swan, can reach length of over 1.5 m -60 inches and weigh over 15 kg -33 pounds. Their wingspans can be almost 3 m -10 ft. Compared to the closely related geese they are much larger in size and have proportionally larger feet and necks.
They also have a patch of unfeathered skin between the eyes and bill in adults. The sexes are alike in plumage, but males are generally bigger and heavier than females. The Northern Hemisphere species of swan have pure white plumage but the Southern Hemisphere species are mixed black and white. The Australian Black Swan Cygnus atratus is completely black except for the white flight feathers on its wings; the chicks of black swans are light grey in colour, and the South American Black-necked Swan has a black neck.
The legs of swans are normally a dark blackish grey colour, except for the two South American species, which have pink legs. Bill colour varies: the four subarctic species have black bills with varying amounts of yellow, and all the others are patterned red and black. The Mute Swan and Black necked Swan have a lump at the base of the bill on the upper mandible.
Duck is the common name for a number of species in the Anatidae family of birds. The ducks are divided between several subfamilies listed in full in the Anatidae article; they do not represent a monophyletic group but a form taxon, since swans and geese are not considered ducks. Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than the swans and geese, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water.
Ducks are sometimes confused with several types of unrelated water birds with similar forms, such as loons or divers, grebes, gallinules, and coots. The overall body plan of ducks is elongated and broad, and the ducks are also relatively long necked, albeit not as long necked as the geese and swans. The body shape of diving ducks varies somewhat from this in being more rounded. The bill is usually broad and contains serrated lamellae which are particularly well defined in the filter-feeding species. In the case of some fishing species the bill is long and strongly serrated.
The scaled legs are strong and well developed, and generally set far back on the body, more so in the highly aquatic species. The wings are very strong and are generally short and pointed, and the flight of ducks requires fast continuous strokes, requiring in turn strong wing muscles. Three species of steamer duck are almost flightless, however.
Many species of duck are temporarily flightless while moulting; they seek out protected habitat with good food supplies during this period. This moult typically precedes migration. The drakes of northern species often have extravagant plumage, but that is moulted in summer to give a more female like appearance, the "eclipse" plumage.
Flamingos or flamingoes are gregarious wading birds in the genus Phoenicopterus and family Phoenicopteridae. There are four flamingo species in the Americas and two species in the Old World. Six flamingo species are recognised by most sources, and these are generally placed in one genus. Two species, the Andean and the James's Flamingo, are often placed in the genus Phoenicoparrus instead of Phoenicopterus.
Flamingos often stand on one leg, the other tucked beneath the body. The reason for this behavior is not fully understood. Some suggest that the flamingo, like some other animals, has the ability to have half of its body go into a state of sleep, and when one side is rested, the flamingo will swap leg and then let the other half sleep, but this has not been proven. Recent research has indicated that standing on one leg may allow the birds to conserve more body heat, given they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water.
As well as standing in the water, flamingos may stamp their webbed feet in the mud to stir up food from the bottom.Young flamingos hatch with grey plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta carotene obtained from their food supply. A well fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly coloured and thus a more desirable mate. A white or pale flamingo, however, is usually unhealthy or malnourished.
Captive flamingos are a notable exception; many turn a pale pink as they are not fed carotene at levels comparable to the wild. This is changing as more zoos begin to add prawns and other supplements to the diets of their flamingos.
Flamingos feed on brine shrimp and blue green algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, and are uniquely used upside down.
Kingfishers are a group of small to medium sized brightly coloured birds in the order Coraciiformes. They have a cosmopolitan distribution, with most species being found in the Old World and Australia. The group is treated either as a single family, Alcedinidae, or as a suborder Alcedines containing three families, Alcedinidae river kingfishers, Halcyonidae tree kingfishers, and Cerylidae water kingfishers. There are roughly 90 species of kingfisher.
All have large heads, long, sharp, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. Most species have bright plumage with little differences between the sexes. Most species are tropical in distribution, and a slight majority are found only in forests. They consume a wide range of prey as well as fish, usually caught by swooping down from a perch.
Like other members of their order they nest in cavities, usually tunnels dug into the natural or artificial banks in the ground. A few species, principally insular forms, are threatened with extinction.
The kingfishers were traditionally treated as one family, Alcedinidae with three subfamilies, but following the 1990s revolution in bird taxonomy, the three former subfamilies are now often elevated to familial level. That move was supported by chromosome and DNA-DNA hybridisation studies, but challenged on the grounds that all three groups are monophyletic with respect to the other Coraciiformes. This leads to them being grouped as the suborder Alcedines.
The kingfishers feed on a wide variety of items. They are most famous for hunting and eating fish, and some species do specialise in catching fish, but other species take crustaceans, frogs and other amphibians, annelid worms, molluscs, insects, spiders, centipedes, reptiles including snakes and even birds and mammals. Individual species may specialise in a few items or take a wide variety of prey, and for species with large global distributions different populations may have different diets.
Woodland and forest kingfishers take mainly insects, particularly grasshoppers, whereas the water kingfishers are more specialised in taking fish. The Red-backed Kingfisher has been observed hammering into the mud nests of Fairy Martins to feed on their nestlings. Kingfishers usually hunt from a exposed perch, when a prey item is observed the kingfisher swoops down to snatch it, then returns to the perch. Kingfishers of all three families beat larger prey on a perch in order to kill the prey and to dislodge or break protective spines and bones.
Birds class Aves are winged, bipedal, endothermic warm blooded, vertebrate animals that lay eggs. There are around 10,000 living species, making them the most numerous tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from the 5 cm -2 in Bee Hummingbird to the 3 m /10 ft Ostrich.
The fossil record indicates that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic period, around 150–200 Ma million years ago, and the earliest known bird is the Late Jurassic Archaeopteryx, c 150–145 Ma. Most paleontologists regard birds as the only clade of dinosaurs to have survived the Cretaceous Tertiary extinction event approximately 65.5 Ma.
Modern birds are characterised by feathers, a beak with no teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight but strong skeleton. All birds have forelimbs modified as wings and most can fly, with some exceptions including ratites, penguins, and a number of diverse endemic island species.
Birds also have unique digestive and respiratory systems that are highly adapted for flight. Some birds, especially corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animal species; a number of bird species have been observed manufacturing and using tools, and many social species exhibit cultural transmission of knowledge across generations.
Many species undertake long distance annual migrations, and many more perform shorter irregular movements. Birds are social; they communicate using visual signals and through calls and songs, and participate in social behaviours including cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking, and mobbing of predators. The vast majority of bird species are socially monogamous, usually for one breeding season at a time, sometimes for years, but rarely for life. Other species have breeding systems that are polygynous ("many females") or, rarely, polyandrous ("many males").
Eggs are usually laid in a nest and incubated by the parents. Most birds have an extended period of parental care after hatching. Many species are of economic importance, mostly as sources of food acquired through hunting or farming. Some species, particularly songbirds and parrots, are popular as pets. Other uses include the harvesting of guano (droppings) for use as a fertiliser.
Birds figure prominently in all aspects of human culture from religion to poetry to popular music. About 120 to130 species have become extinct as a result of human activity since the 17th century, and hundreds more before then. Currently about 1,200 species of birds are threatened with extinction by human activities, though efforts are underway to protect them.
The term peafowl can refer to the two species of bird in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. The African Congo Peafowl is placed in its own genus Afropavo and is not dealt with here. Peafowl are best known for the male's extravagant tail, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, though it is common to hear the female also referred to as a "peacock" or "female peacock." The female peafowl is brown or toned grey and brown.
The Indian Peafowl is a resident breeder in the Indian subcontinent. The peacock is designated as the national bird of the Republic of India and the provincial bird of the Punjab (Pakistan). The Green Peafowl breeds from Burma east to Java. The IUCN lists the Green Peafowl as vulnerable to extinction due to hunting and a reduction in extent and quality of habitat.
The male (peacock) Indian Peafowl has iridescent blue-green or green coloured plumage. The so-called "tail" of the peacock, also termed the "train," is not the tail quill feathers but highly elongated upper tail coverts. The train feathers have a series of eyes that are best seen when the tail is fanned. Both species have a crest atop the head.
Many of the brilliant colours of the peacock plumage are due to an optical interference phenomenon, Bragg reflection, based on periodic nanostructures found in the barbules (fiber-like components) of the feathers. Different colours correspond to different length scales of the periodic structures. For brown feathers, a mixture of red and blue is required: one colour is created by the periodic structure, and the other is a created by a Fabry-Perot interference peak from reflections off the outermost and innermost boundaries of the periodic structure.
Asiatic peafowl like the Indian Blue Peafowl, and especially the Green Peafowl, occupy a similar niche as the roadrunners, Secretary Bird, and seriemas. All of these birds hunt for small animals including arthropods on the ground and tall grass and minnows in shallow streams.
The white Peacock is frequently mistaken for an albino, but it is a colour variety of Indian Blue Peacock. Its white colour makes it look really magnificent and elegant.
The Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), also known as the Quarrion and the Weiro, is the smallest and genuinely miniature cockatoo endemic to Australia. They are prized as a household pet and companion parrot throughout the world and are relatively easy to breed. As a caged bird, cockatiels are second only in popularity to the Budgerigar.
The cockatiel is the only member of the genus Nymphicus. It was previously considered a crested parrot or small cockatoo. However, more recent molecular studies have settled the debate.
These indicate that the Cockatiel belongs in the Cockatoo Subfamily Calyptorhynchinae (commonly known as Dark Cockatoos). They are hence now classified as the smallest of the Cacatuidae Cockatoo family. Cockatiels are native to the outback regions of inland Australia, and favour the Australian wetlands, scrublands, and bush lands.
The Cockatiel's distinctive erectile crest expresses the animal's state of being. The crest is dramatically vertical when the cockatiel is startled or excited, gently oblique in its neutral or relaxed state, and flattened close to the head when the animal is angry or defensive.
The crest is also held flat but protrudes outward in the back when the cockatiel is trying to appear alluring or flirtatious. In contrast to most Cockatoos, the Cockatiel has long tail feathers roughly making up half of its total length. At 300 mm to 330 mm (12 to 13 ins), the Cockatiel is the smallest and only parakeet type of Cockatoo species. The latter ranging between 300 mm to 600 mm (12–24 in) in length.
Puffins are any of three auk species (or alcids) in the bird genus Fratercula with a brightly coloured beak in the breeding season. These are pelagic seabirds that feed primarily by diving in the water. They breed in large colonies on coastal cliffs or offshore islands, nesting in crevices among rocks or in burrows in the soil. The Tufted Puffin was formerly placed in the genus Lunda.
All puffin species have large beaks. They will shed the colourful outer parts of their bills after the breeding season, leaving a smaller and duller beak. Their short wings are adapted for swimming with a flying technique under water. In the air, they beat their wings rapidly up to 400 times per minute in swift flight, often flying low over the ocean's surface.
Like many auks, puffins eat both fish and zooplankton, but feed their chicks primarily with small marine fish several times a day. The prey species of the Atlantic Puffin include the sandeel, herring and capelin. The puffins are distinct in their ability to hold several ,sometimes over a dozen small fish at a time, crosswise in their bill, rather than regurgitating swallowed fish. This allows them to take longer foraging trips, since they can come back with more food energy for their chick than a bird that can only carry one fish at a time.
The puffins are stocky, short winged and short tailed birds, with black upperparts and white or brownish grey underparts. The head has a black cap, the face is mainly white, and the feet are orange red. The bill appears large and colourful during the breeding season. Although the puffins are vocal at their breeding colonies, they are silent at sea. They fly relatively high above the water, typically 10 m (30 ft) as compared with the 1.6 m (5 ft) of other auks.
The woodpeckers, piculets and wrynecks are a family, Picidae, of near-passerine birds. Members of this family are found worldwide, except for Australia and New Zealand, Madagascar, and the extreme polar regions. Most species live in forests or woodland habitats, although a few species are known to live in treeless areas such as rocky hillsides and deserts.
The Picidae are just one of the eight living families in the order Piciformes. Members of the order Piciformes, such as the jacamars, puffbirds, barbets, toucans and honeyguides, have traditionally been thought to be very closely related to the woodpeckers, piculets and wrynecks. More recently, DNA sequence analyses have confirmed this view.
There are about 200 species and about 30 genera in this family. Many species are threatened or endangered due to loss of habitat or habitat fragmentation. Two species of woodpeckers, the Ivory billed Woodpecker and the Imperial Woodpecker, have been considered extinct for about 30 years there has been some controversy recently whether these species still exist.
The smallest woodpecker is the Bar-breasted Piculet, at 7 g and 8 cm (3 1/4 inches). The largest woodpecker was the Imperial Woodpecker, at an average of 58 cm (23 inches) and probably over 600 g (1.3 lb). The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is (or was) slightly smaller at 50 cm (20 inches) and a weight of 500 g (1.1 lb). If both the Ivory-billed and Imperial Woodpeckers are indeed extinct, the largest extant woodpecker is the Great Slaty Woodpecker of Southeast Asia, at about 50 cm (20 inches) and 450 g (1 lb).
Hummingbirds are birds comprising the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, and include the smallest extant bird species, the Bee Hummingbirds. They can hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings 12–90 times per second (depending on the species). They can also fly backwards, and are the only group of birds able to do so. Their English name derives from the characteristic hum made by their rapid wing beats. They can fly at speeds exceeding 15 m/s (54 km/h, 34 mi/h).
Hummingbirds drink nectar, a sweet liquid inside flowers. Like bees, they are able to assess the amount of sugar in the nectar they eat; they reject flower types that produce nectar which is less than 10% sugar and prefer those whose sugar content is stronger.
Nectar is a poor source of nutrients, so hummingbirds meet their needs for protein, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. by preying on insects and spiders, especially when feeding young. Most hummingbirds have bills that are long and straight or nearly so, but in some species the bill shape is adapted for specialized feeding.
Thornbills have short, sharp bills adapted for feeding from flowers with short corollas and piercing the bases of longer ones. The Sicklebills' extremely decurved bills are adapted to extracting nectar from the curved corollas of flowers in the family Gesneriaceae. The bill of the Fiery-tailed Awlbill has an upturned tip, as in the Avocets. The male Tooth-billed Hummingbird has barracuda-like spikes at the tip of its long, straight bill.
Hummingbirds do not spend all day flying, as the energy cost would be prohibitive; the majority of their activity consists simply of sitting or perching. Hummingbirds feed in many small meals, consuming many small invertebrates and up to five times their own body weight in nectar each day. They spend an average of 10–15% of their time feeding and 75–80% sitting and digesting.
A Lovebird is one of nine species of the genus Agapornis. They are a social and affectionate small parrot. Eight species are native to the African continent, while the Grey-headed Lovebird is native to Madagascar. Their name stems from the parrots' strong, monogamous pair bonding and the long periods in which paired birds will spend sitting together.
Lovebirds live in small flocks and eat fruit, vegetables, grasses and seed. Black-winged Lovebirds also eat insects and figs, and the Black-collared Lovebirds have a special dietary requirement for native figs, making them problematic to keep in captivity. Some species are kept as pets, and several color mutations were selectively bred in aviculture. Their average lifespan is 10 to 15 years.
Lovebirds are 13 to 17 centimeters in length and from 40 to 60 grams in weight. They are among the smallest parrots, characterized by a stocky build, a short blunt tail, and a relatively large, sharp beak. Wildtype lovebirds are mostly green with a variety of colors on their upper body, depending on the species.
The Fischer's Lovebird, Black-cheeked Lovebird, and the Masked Lovebird have a prominent white ring around their eyes. The Abyssinian Lovebird, the Madagascar Lovebird, and the Red-faced Lovebird are sexually dimorphic. Many colour mutant varieties have been produced by selective breeding of the species that are popular in aviculture.
The lovebird genus comprises nine species of which five are monotypic and four are divided into subspecies. Eight of them are native in the mainland of Africa and the Madagascar Lovebird is native to Madagascar. In the wild the different species are separated geographically.
The Rainbow Lorikeet, Trichoglossus haematodus is a species of Australasian parrot found in Australia, eastern Indonesia ,Maluku and Western New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. In Australia, it is common along the eastern seaboard, from Queensland to South Australia and northwest Tasmania. Its habitat is rainforest, coastal bush and woodland areas.
Rainbow Lorikeet are increasingly treated as separate species. Rainbow Lorikeets have been introduced to Perth, Western Australia, Auckland, New Zealand and Hong Kong.The Rainbow Lorikeet is very colourful almost every
colour of the rainbow can be found on their feathers. They are not large birds, with a Rainbow Lorikeet's length ranging from 25–30 cm (9.8-11.8 in) in size, and have a wingspan of about 17 cm (6.7 in). The markings of the best known subspecies T. h. moluccanus are particularly striking.
The features distinguishing a Rainbow Lorikeet include a dark blue or violet-blue head and stomach, a bright green back, tail and vent, and an orange breast and beak. Several subspecies have darker scalloped markings across the orange or red breast. Rainbow Lorikeets often travel together in pairs and occasionally respond to calls to fly as a flock, then disperse again into pairs. Rainbow Lorikeet pairs defend their feeding and nesting areas aggressively against other Rainbow Lorikeets and other bird species.
They chase off not only smaller birds such as the Noisy Miner, but also larger and more powerful birds such as the Australian Magpie.
Rainbow Lorikeets feed mainly on fruit, pollen and nectar, and possess a tongue adapted especially for their particular diet. The end of the tongue is equipped with a papillate appendage adapted to collecting nectar from flowers. They are also frequent visitors at bird feeders that supply lorikeet-friendly treats, such as store-bought nectar, sunflower seeds, and fruits such as apples, grapes and pears.
A pelican is a large water bird with a distinctive pouch under the beak, belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae.Along with the darters, cormorants, gannets, boobies, frigatebirds, and tropicbirds, pelicans make up the order Pelecaniformes. Modern pelicans, of which there are eight species, are found on all continents except Antarctica.
They occur mostly in warm regions, though breeding ranges reach 45° south Australian Pelican, P. conspicillatus and 60° North American White Pelicans, P. erythrorhynchos, in western Canada. Birds of inland and coastal waters, they are absent from polar regions, the deep ocean, oceanic islands, and inland South America.
Pelicans are large birds with large pouched bills. The smallest is the Brown Pelican (P. occidentalis), small individuals of which can be as little as 2.75 kg (6 lb), 106 cm (42 in) long and can have a wingspan of as little as 1.83 m (6 ft). The largest is believed to be the Dalmatian Pelican (P. crispus), at up to 15 kg (33 lb), 183 cm (72 in) long, with a maximum wingspan of nearly 3.5 m (11.5 ft). The Australian Pelican has the longest bill of any bird.
Pelicans swim well with their short, strong legs and their feet with all four toes webbed as in all birds placed in the order Pelecaniformes. The tail is short and square, with 20 to 24 feathers. The wings are long and have the unusually large number of 30 to 35 secondary flight feathers. A layer of special fibers deep in the breast muscles can hold the wings rigidly horizontal for gliding and soaring. Thus they can exploit thermals to commute over 150 km (100 miles) to feeding areas.
The Blue-footed Booby -Sula nebouxii -is a bird in the Sulidae family which comprises ten species of long winged seabirds. The natural breeding habitat of the Blue-footed Booby is tropical and subtropical islands off the Pacific Ocean, most famously, the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.
The Blue-footed Booby is on average 81 centimetres 32 inch long and weighs 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb), with the females slightly larger than the males. It has long pointed wings and a wedge shaped tail. They have strong, thick necks. The booby's eyes are placed on either side of their bill and oriented towards the front. They have excellent binocular vision. The Blue-footed Booby's eyes are yellow. The male has more yellow on its iris than the female does.
The Blue-footed Booby has permanently closed nostrils specialized for diving. They breathe through the corners of their mouths. Their feet range from a pale turquoise to a deep aquamarine. Males and younger birds have lighter feet than females do.
The Blue-footed Booby is strictly a marine bird. Their only need for land is to breed, which they do along rocky coasts.
The Budgerigar or Common Pet Parakeet -Melopsittacus undulatus, often called a budgie or parakeet, is a small parrot and the only species in the Australian genus Melopsittacus. A small long-tailed predominantly green and yellow bird with black scalloped markings on the wings and shoulders in the wild, the Budgerigar has been bred extensively with a profusion of colour forms resulting.
Thus, aviary birds may be blue and white, all yellow, all white, or various other combinations thereof. Some have even been bred with small crests. In the wild, it is a predominantly seed-eating species. The budgerigar is found throughout the drier parts of Australia and has survived for the last five million years in the harsh inland conditions of that continent.
The budgerigar is closely related to the lories and the fig parrots. Although budgerigars are often, especially in American English, called Parakeets, this term refers to any of a number of small parrots with long flat tails.
The Budgerigar was first described by George Shaw in 1805, and given its current binomial name by John Gould in 1840. The genus name Melopsittacus comes from Greek and means "melodious parrot". The species name undulatus is Latin for "undulated" or "wave-patterned".
Currently about 1,200 species of birds are threatened with extinction by human activities, though efforts are underway to protect them.
So Please lets take the time to protect what we have left for the children to come.