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Groups of Birds. Bird Groups. Bird species are often categorized into six groups based on the bird’s lifestyle Perching birds Birds of prey Flightless birds Water birds Wading birds Diving birds. Terrestrial (land) Birds.

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bird groups
Bird Groups
  • Bird species are often categorized into six groups based on the bird’s lifestyle
    • Perching birds
    • Birds of prey
    • Flightless birds
    • Water birds
    • Wading birds
    • Diving birds
terrestrial land birds
Terrestrial (land) Birds
  • Most perching birds, birds of prey, and flightless birds are terrestrial birds
    • They live mainly on dry land
  • Terrestrial birds have feet adapted to running, perching, or hunting and beaks adapted to eating fruits, seed, insects, or small animals
perching birds
Perching Birds
  • Are the most common group of birds
  • In order to perch and grip onto branches:
    • One toe points backwards
    • All other toes point forwards
  • The beaks of perching birds are:
    • Strong for cracking open seeds and nuts
      • Ex. Goldfinches
    • Long thin beaks for catching insects in the air or digging them out of the ground or tree trunks
      • Ex. Warbler
birds of prey
Birds of Prey
  • Most Birds of prey are hunters with keen vision
  • Eagles, hawks, and smaller birds of prey hunt during the day
  • Owls have huge eyes and hunt for small prey during the night
  • Some birds do not use vision to hunt
    • Vultures rely on their incredible sense of smell to find dead animals
birds of prey6
Birds of Prey
  • Most birds of prey have sharp talons and curved beaks
    • Talons are used to grasp prey
    • Curved beaks are used for tearing flesh
  • Most birds of prey hunt alone
  • However, some birds of prey hunt in groups and flush prey towards their waiting partners
flightless birds
Flightless Birds
  • Flightless birds are the largest birds
    • The biggest flightless birds are ostriches, emus, rheas, and cassowaries
    • There are some small flightless birds
      • Example: Flightless Kiwi is the size of a chicken
  • They have small wings and are built to run on land
    • Ostriches can run up to 55 km/h
flightless bird legs
Flightless Bird Legs
  • Many flightless birds have long, strong legs
    • Ostriches have two large, clawed toes on each foot
    • Cassowary has powerful legs it uses to deliver blows and uses its claws to tear at attackers
aquatic birds
Aquatic Birds
  • Diving birds, water birds, and wading birds are aquatic birds
    • Live mainly in water
  • Aquatic birds have feet adapted to paddling and wading
  • Aquatic birds have beaks adapted to eating aquatic organisms
diving birds
Diving Birds
  • Not all flightless birds live on land
    • Penguins are flightless, and their wings and feet have been adapted for swimming
    • All 17 species of penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Some diving birds are found in the Northern Hemisphere
    • Their wings can still be used for flight, so they CANNOT dive as well as penguins can
diving birds penguins
Diving Birds – Penguins
  • Their wedge-shaped wings work as flippers
  • Webbed feet can be used as paddles
  • Have a thick coat of feathers and a layer of fat beneath their skin that allows them to live in freezing temperatures
    • A rich diet of krill and fish help penguins maintain the fat layer
water birds
Water Birds
  • Swan, Geese, and Ducks are water birds, or birds found in or near the water
  • Water birds have webbed feet for paddling
  • Have long, flattened beaks with rounded tips
    • Beaks are ideal for a variety of food such as small insects, fish, and grass
  • Seabirds are an unrelated group of birds that also live near open waters, but they are found in oceans
  • They have webbed feet like water birds
  • However, their beaks are longer
    • Beaks are made for catching their typical meal of fish or squid
wading birds
Wading Birds
  • Herons, storks, flamingos, and egrets are wading birds
  • Wading birds feed in shallow waters that are rich with fish and invertebrates
  • Wading birds have long, slender legs to feed in a range of depths
    • Have long toes to keep them from sinking into the mud
wading birds15
Wading Birds
  • Many wading birds have spear-shaped beaks for fishing
    • Fishing waders stand motionless as they wait for fish
    • When they see a fish they quickly snatch it in their beak or may even spear it
  • Waders that feed on invertebrates in the mud may have beaks that are built for stabbing into the mud to find prey
review questions
Review Questions:
  • 1. Relate the bald eagle’s methods of hunting and feeding to its external body features
  • 2. Compare and Contrast the foot structure of water birds and wading birds
  • 3. Classify a bird that has delicate, curved feet with slender toes and a small, pointed beak (DO NOT just write terrestrial/aquatic bird). Explain how you know
  • 4. Like most birds penguins have large, keel-shaped sternums, but ostriches do not. Provide an explanation for this difference