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Birds

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Birds

  1. 1. Birds
  2. 2. Characteristics of Birds Feathers Help birds stay dry and warm, attract mates, and fly  Preening and Molting  Preening: the act of grooming and maintaining their feathers  Preening spreads oil over the feathers, which makes them waterproof  Molting: process of shedding old feathers and growing new ones  Most birds shed once a year
  3. 3.  Two kinds of feathers  Down feathers  fluffy feathers that lie next to the bird’s body  Keep birds warm by trapping body heat next to body  Contour feathers  stiff feathers that cover a bird’s body and wings  Colors and shapes attract mates  Streamlined surface helps bird fly
  4. 4.  Fast Digestion  Birds eat a lot because they need a lot of energy  Birds eat seeds, insects, nuts, and meat because they are high in protein  Modern birds don’t have teeth, so they can’t chew  Food goes from the mouth to the crop, which stores food until it goes to the gizzard the gizzard has small stones which grind up the food so that it can be easily digested
  5. 5.  Flying  Birds have air sacs attached to their lungs to store air  Most birds have large eyes and excellent eyesight; birds such as hawks and eagles can see 8 times better than humans can see!  Wing shape is related to how a bird flies- short wings for quick turning, long wings for soaring
  6. 6.  Rigid skeleton allows a bird to move its wings efficiently Powerful flight muscle attached to a large breastbone called a keel Birds have hollow bones so that they are light Getting off the ground  Air moving around a bird’s wing changes in speed and direction, creating an upward force that keeps a bird in the air  “lift” is an upward force on a bird’s wings
  7. 7.  Raising Baby Birds  Most birds build nests to lay their eggs  Brooding act of sitting on eggs and using body heat to keep them warm
  8. 8.  Some birds are active soon after birth; others are weak and helpless  Precocial active chicks, such as chickens and ducks; can stand up and follow parents around  Altricial have no feathers and eyes are closed when born; cannot walk or fly at birth, such as hawks and songbirds
  9. 9. Kinds of Birds Flightless birds  Most do not have the large keel that anchors a birds’ flight muscles  Some run quickly to move around  Others are skilled swimmers  Examples: penguins, kiwi, ostrich
  10. 10.  Water birds Usually have webbed feet for swimming or long legs for wading  Examples: cranes, ducks, geese, swans, pelicans
  11. 11.  Perching birds  Have special adaptations for resting on branches  Its feet automatically close around a branch  Even if it falls asleep, its feet will stay closed—it won’t fall off the branch  Examples: chickadees, parrots, robins, sparrows
  12. 12.  Birds of Prey  Hunt and eat other vertebrates  Have sharp claws on their feet and a sharp, curved beak  Also have very good vision  Most hunt during the day, but most owls hunt at night  Examples: owls, osprey, hawks, vultures

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