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Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
Bird Adaptations
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Bird Adaptations


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  • 1. Bird Adaptations
    Dara King
    Professor Swatski
    Biology 101
    29 December 2010
  • 2. Bird Adaptation Overviewyou will learn about adaptations in:
    Bird wings
    Bird feet
    Bird Beaks
    Bird songs
  • 3. Bird Wings: Feathers
    Feathers are one of the most prominent features of a bird's anatomy, and they are unique to birds.
    Birds replace feathers once or twice a year, depending on the species; called molting.
    They have many functions; some obvious, some not.
  • 4. Feather functions
    Provide insulation
    It is believed by most scientists that this insulating effect was the primary force driving the evolution of feathers; ancestral birds developed feathers to keep themselves warm).
    Protection against UV light.
  • 5. They control what a birds look like
    The colors help with camouflage
    Birds have adapted to their surroundings by their feathers changing colors to match environment.
    Sexual characteristics
    Sexual display
  • 6. Sexual Characteristics and Display
    Male birds tend to have more colors, while female birds tend to be brown, or more plain.
    Example: Male peacock vs female peacock.
  • 7. Different Kinds of Feathers
    A bird has many different sorts of feathers which perform different jobs.
    These include contour feathers and down feathers.
    Four others: Semiplumes; Filoplumes; Bristles and Powder feathers.
  • 8. Contour Feathers
    Largest and most important feathers.
    Give the bird its round shape and visual coloring.
    Include both the flight feathers (remiges), and the tail feathers (retrices).
    Provide a first level of defense against physical objects, sunlight, wind and rain.
  • 9. Retrice (tail) and Remige (flight) Feathers
  • 10. Down Feathers
    Second most important feather.
    They are soft and fluffy.
    Are not as neat as contour feathers.
    They provide most of the insulation.
    What we use to put into sleeping bags and coats to help keep us warm.
  • 11. Semiplume Feathers
    Half-way between a contour feather and a down feather.
    Its purpose is to help supply insulation and a certain amount of form.
  • 12. Filoplume Feathers
    Much smaller feathers.
    Have only a very few barbs at their tips
    Believed to have a sensory function, helping birds keep their feathers in order.
  • 13. Bristle Feathers
    Have no barbs at all and are stiff.
    They are around the eyes and mouths of some birds and are protective in function.
    They are found on the honey buzzard, which feeds on the nests and young of social bees and wasps and needs protection around its beak from the stings of the adult bees and wasps.
  • 14. Powder Feathers
    Unusual because they grow continuously
    They disintegrate at the tip.
    The barbs break down into a fine powder called Keratin, which is known as “Feather Dust.”
    Occur scattered throughout the plumage (covering of feathers on birds) of most birds, and help with insulation.
  • 15. Bird Wing Shapes and Functions
    Birds wings are flat on the bottom and curved on the top.
    As the wing moves through air, the air on top has a longer way to go than the air moving over the bottom. This makes low pressure over the top and higher pressure over the bottom. The wind pulls the wing up from the top and pushes it up from the bottom. It creates "lift". Airplane wings work the same way.
    The shape of the birds wings can tell you a lot about how it lives and hunts.
    Four different shapes of wings.
  • 16. Long Wings that End in a Point
    Used for gliding
    Long and narrow
    Helps the bird to hover, turn, and dive for food in the water.
    The air at wing tips and along the back side of the wing create little swirls of wind that slows the bird down.
  • 17. Wings that are Broad, Long and End in Little “Fingers”:
    These little "fingers" help the bird make small changes while gliding.
    Allows bird to stay high in the air for a long time, while using the up drafts caused by hot air rising.
    These birds soar with little or no flapping while they look for food.
    Vultures and osprey have this wing shape.
  • 18. Medium-long and Pointed with a Bend Backwards:
    These wings are medium length.
    They are a bit pointed and tend to point backwards.
    These wings are a bit slow to take off the ground, but are quicker in the air and are good for long distance flying.
    Not good for soaring
    Ducks have this wing shape.
  • 19. Short and Wide Wings:
    Great for grabbing air quickly for lift off.
    Not too good for long distance flying.
    Pheasants and ibis have this shape.
    They can explode off the ground, but they're not the greatest flyers.
  • 20. Works Cited
    “Bird Anatomy.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 24 September 2010. Web. 10 October 2010. <>.
    “Bird Beaks.” Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan. Web. 10 October 2010
    “Bird Flight.” Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia.August 2010. Web. 10 October 2010.
    Conrad, Jim. “Bird Migration.” Backyard Nature. 31 March 2010. Web. 10 October 2010 <>.
    Davies, Gareth. "Birds Songs." The Life of Birds. PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 10 Oct. 2010. <>.
    Henry, Gilbert. “Bird Adaptations.” Squidoo. Web. 10 October 2010. <>.
    Meng, Alan, and HuiMeng. “Bird Adaptations-Beaks.” Virtual Teacher Aide. Web. 10 October 2010. <>.
    Ramel, Gordon. “The Wonder of Bird Feathers.” The Earth Life Web. Web. 10 October 2010 <>.
    Photos: Henry, Gilbert.
  • 21. Works Cited (Continued)
    Video: Bird Mimicry: