Beaks Bird beaks come in a variety of shapes and sizes – all for the purpose of assisting the bird in eating a specific diet
Eye Dropper Beaks Food: Nectar Birds: Hummingbirds Long, very narrow beaks for probing flowers for nectar
Chopsticks Beaks Food: Worms/Insects in mud/sand Birds: Snipe, Curlew Long, straight, medium-wide beak for probing soft ground for food
Nutcracker Beaks Food: Seeds & Nuts Birds: Finch, Cardinal Short, wide, pointed beak for cracking open seeds and nuts
Slotted Spoon Beaks Food: Fish & other water creatures Birds: Pelicans Beak with a pouch for holding fish
Strainer Beaks Food: Tiny water plants & Water animals Birds: Flamingo Short, down-curved beak for separating mud from shell fish and algae
Fish Net Beaks Food: Flying Insects Birds: Whip-Poor-Will, Black Phoebe Very short, slightly curved beak for catching insects in midair
Forceps Beaks Food: Caterpillars & Other Tree Insects Birds: Warbler Medium-length, chisel- shaped beak for breaking into tree bark for insects
Hooked Beaks Food: Small animals Birds: Eagles, Birds of Prey Sharply hooked beak for tearing animal tissue
Feet Most birds have four toes on each foot, and all birds have a claw at the tip of each toe. However, the arrangement and size of the toes and the size and shape of the claws vary according to the birds' ways of life
Hens & Pheasants Birds that scratch the soil for worms & insects have nail like toes
Flightless Birds Strong-legged flightless birds, like the cassowary, protect themselves by kicking with their powerful feet and sharp claws.
Swimming Birds WATER BIRDS such as ducks have webbing between their toes for swimming. GULLS also have feet similar to these so they don't sink while walking in the soft sand or mud near the water's edge.
Climbing Birds WOODPECKERS have two toes pointing forwards and two backwards; for climbing up, down, and sideways on tree trunks.
Birds of Prey RAPTORS such as hawks, eagles, and owls use large claws (called talons) to capture, kill, and carry prey with their feet.
Perching Birds SONG BIRDS or PERCHING BIRDS (warblers, thrushes, wrens, etc.) have independent, flexible toes, with one pointing backwards, ideal for grasping perches.
Birds & Flight Feathers, Wings, Bones
Feathers Feathers are highly modified scales Feathers are used for: Flying - flight feathers, grow in the wings and the tail Thermal insulation - soft down feathers that grow close to the skin keep birds from getting too cold or too hot Courtship and mating displays - these vary tremendously from species to species
Wings – 4 types Elliptical a. Tends to be even pressure over most of the surface. b. Usually found in birds that live in forests. … facilitates a subtle change in the angle of the wing. c. Sparrows.
Wings – 4 types High Aspect Ratio a. Much longer than it is wide. Has lot of vertical lifting area. Not much slotting. b. Not fast flying birds but more soaring birds c. Albatross, or Frigate bird.
Wings – 4 types High Speed Wings a. Falcons, Plovers b. Wings that are narrow and come out to a sharp tip. These wings reduce drag. More of the wing-beat is producing forward thrust.
Wings – 4 types Soaring Wings a. Extreme slotting in the wing-tips b. Vultures, Eagles, etc.
Bones Porous, only 4% of body weight Hollow Bones
Circulatory System Large, 4 chambered heart High heart rate (canary – 600/min!) Blood –reduced hemoglobin… Homeothermic – get energy and heat from digested food (seeds,etc.) No sweat glands! (gape, defecate on legs)… High body temp ( *)