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Interesting Facts of Birds

There are over 9500 species of Birds in the world. Scientists typically group them in to 30 categories. Birds are the most widespread of all animals around the world.

Characteristics that are unique to birds are 1) Feathers, 2) Bills, and 3) a furcula (fused collarbone, or Wishbone)
Approximately 2/3 of all the bird species are found in tropical rain forests.

Many birds consume 1/5 of their body weight in food every day to get the energy they need to Fly
To make them lightweight, most birds do not have bladders to store Urine. Rather than producing liquid urine to get rid of wastes, they produce a white, pasty substance. However, while an ostrich does not have a bladder like a mammalian bladder, it is unique among birds because it does have a complete separation of feces and urine.

Bird’s lungs are more complicated and efficient and take up more space than those of mammals, such as human’s lungs compose about 1/20 of its body, but a bird’s takes up 1/5.

The Australian pelican has the longest bill of any bird in the world. It is nearly 2 feet (0.5 m) in length. The sward- billed hummingbird, with its 3.9 inch(10 Cm0 bill, is the only bird with a bill that’s longer than its body.

The song of a European wren is made of m ore than 700 different notes a minutes can be heard 1650 feet (500m) away.

Owls cannot swivel their eyes. Instead they move their heads completely around to see straight behind them. They live on every continent except Antarctica. Soft fringes on their wings make their flight essentially silent.

The only bird with nostril at the end of its beak is the kiwi. This placement helps it sniff for food, such as worms and insects of the ground. It often snorts to clear its nostrils.

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Identifying Birds

Bird identification doesn’t have to be difficult, however, and this topic can help you correctly identify any bird you find.

Observation is the most critical step for identifying wild birds, but it is also the one that most birders don’t spend enough time on. Observing is more than just looking at a bird, it is noting any unusual markings, shapes or colors that can help clarify the bird’s identity.

When observing birds, look for these characteristics:

Bill: Shape, color, length, curve and markings will show how the bird uses its bill and can be a key for proper identification. Also observe the size of the bill compared to the bird’s head and how high up on the head the bill reaches.

Color: Overall body colors and special patches of color are one of the easiest clues to a bird’s identity. Check the abdomen, head, back, chest, outer tail feathers, legs, eyes and feathers around the eyes for different colors.

Size:A bird’s overall size may be an easy way to identify birds with similar colors and markings. Note the body length, wingspan and body proportions for accurate bird identification. If there is no way to measure the bird, compare its size to more familiar birds and objects for a rough size estimate.

Habitat: Different birds occupy different territories. Observe the nearby habitat for clues to a bird’s identity. Characteristics such as the types of trees, density of plants, urbanization, water sources and elevation can be effective clues. Also note where the bird is observed – along the coast or inland, in a particular state, etc. – for comparison to current range maps for different species.

Behavior: Observing how birds behave can be challenging but can also be critical for proper wild bird identification. Note sounds, flight patterns, where the bird lands, what it eats and how it interacts with other birds.

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Birds Behavior

Bird behavior refers to the actions of a bird in response to environmental situations. Some bird behavior is intuitive, whilst other behavior is learned. Behavior includes caring for itself, feeding and interaction with others (birds, humans, and other animals).

To develop a happy and satisfying relationship with your pet bird it is important to understand its behavior. Birds view people as part of their flock and therefore act accordingly. Dominant behavior by birds is displayed when the bird believes it is head of the pecking order. It is thus very important to establish the pecking order with your bird as the subordinate. A dominant bird may develop “bad”; behavior such as biting or screeching. It may feel it needs to defend its territory against disliked people and attack them. Such behavior by birds can be avoided by keeping the top of the bird’s head level with your chest. Do not allow it to perch above you or on your shoulder as this encourages dominant behavior.

Bird behavior can often be interpreted, much like a foreign language. Tongue clicking is an invitation to interact. Grinding of the beak indicates contentment. Panting is a sign that a bird is overheated or perhaps uncomfortable. A sharp flick of the wings demonstrates annoyance. Observe your pet bird’s behavior carefully and you will gain much insight into its state of mind and general well-being.

Preening is an important part of bird behavior as it keeps feathers in good condition. Preening involves the smoothing of feathers by stroking the feathers with the beak. Preening behavior by garden birds may include dust baths and splashing around in water.

Bird feeding behavior may change due to hotness, time of year and time of day. This is especially evident in the feeding behavior of garden birds. In winter they are more likely to make use of bird feeders due to a lack of natural food sources. Many birds expect to be fed at a certain time every day. Some species are very messy feeders and feed with great enthusiasm.

Bird behavior is intricate and fascinating, whether you are observing the behavior of garden birds, birds in the wild or your own beloved pet.

ramesh

Birding Ethics

  • Be Quiet, avoid harassment, don’t disturb the birds
  • Be extra care during the breeding season of the birds
  • Do not handle eggs or young of stay too long at nest.
  • Follow all rules of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries
  • Don’t use birds call audio tapes to attract birds. Unless very necessary for some research.
  • Divide larger group of people in to smaller more manageable numbers.
  • Leave no liter of trash, carry it back with you
  • Use flash sparingly when photographing birds
  • Be aware of other in your group and how your actions affect their enjoyment.
blue-throat

Parts of Birds

Successful bird identification knows the basic parts of a bird.

basic-parts-of-a-bird

Head: The bird’s head is one of the best places to look for field marks such as eye color, stripes, eyebrows, eye rings, and eye lines. The crown and nape are also key parts of the head that can help identify a bird.

Bill: The size, shape and color of a bird’s bill is critical for identification. Also check for any curvature in the bill or distinctive markings such as differently colored tips or bands.

Chin: The chin, directly below the bill, is often hard to see on many birds, but when it is a different color it can be an exceptional body part to check for identification.

Throat: A bird’s throat may be a different color from its surrounding plumage, or it may be marked with spots, streaks or lines. Stripes may frame the throat as well, helping set it off from the rest of a bird’s body. For many birds, the chin and throat have similar colors and markings.

Back: A bird’s back is often broad and easy to see in the right posture. Look for different colors and markings along the back that distinguish it from the neck, rump and wings.

Neck: The neck of a bird is hard to see on many species, since it can be relatively short and insignificant. On wading birds, however, the neck is much more prominent and can be a good place to look for field marks. The length of the neck can also help distinguish different bird species.

Chest: The chest (also called the breast) is the upright part of the bird’s body between the throat and the abdomen. A bird’s chest may be differently colored or marked with stripes, streaks or spots that can help with identification.

Abdomen: The abdomen or belly of a bird extends from the bottom of the chest to the under tail coverts. The colors and markings on the abdomen may vary from the chest and flanks, making it a good feature to check for identification.

Flanks: The flanks of a bird are located between the bottom of the wings and the belly. In many bird species, the flanks have distinctive colors or markings, though depending on how the birds carry their wings, the flanks may be not easy to see.

Wings: Birds’ wings are their upper limbs used for flight. Wing bars or patches are useful field marks, as are the lengths of the wings compared to the length of the tail when the bird is perched. In flight, wing shape is also a great field mark.

The InfoVisual.info site uses images to explain objects.
The InfoVisual.info site uses images to explain objects.

Tail: The length, shape and colors of a bird’s tail are important for proper identification. The tail can be held in different positions when the bird is perched or flying, however, and watching for different markings can help decide for different birds.

Rump: A bird’s rump is the patch above the tail and low on the back. For many birds, the rump does not stand out, but some species show distinctive rump color patches that are useful for identification.

Under tail Coverts: The short feathers underneath the tail are called under tail coverts, and these feathers often show distinctive colors or markings that can distinguish bird species.

Legs: Birds’ legs vary in length and color, both of which can be useful field marks for proper identification. The thickness of the leg, while difficult to see on many species, can also be a clue, as can any feathering. Some raptors, for example, have heavily feathered legs that can be used to identify the birds.

Feet: Many birds’ feet are the same color as their legs, but not always. The point of reference of the toes, the size of the talons and how a bird uses its feet are also useful identification distinctiveness.

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About Birds

Bird are feathered, winged two-legged, warm-blooded, egg- laying vertebrates. Modern birds are characterized by feathers, a beak with no teeth, the laying if hard- shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four chambered heart, and a light weight but strong skeleton. Extant birds have more or less developed wings, the most recent species without wings was the moa, which is generally considered to have become extinct in the 16th centaury. Wings are evolved forelimbs, and most bird species can fly. Flightless birds include ratites, penguins, and diverse endemic island species. Birds also have digestive and respiratory system that are uniquely adopted for flight. Some birds, especially corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animal’s species, several bird species make and use tools, and many social species culturally transmit knowledge across generations.

Many species annually migrate so long distances, and many more do those same shorter irregular movements. Birds are social, communicative with visual signals, calls, and songs, and participating in such social behavior as cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking and mobbing of predators. The vast majority of bird’s species are socially monogamous, usually for one breeding season at a time, sometimes for years, but rarely for life. Other species have polygynous (many Females) of rarely, polyandrous (many males) breeding systems. Eggs are usually laid in a nest and incubated by the parents. Most birds have an extended period of parental care after hatching.

Birds Classification

Birds are named on the basis of the Linnaean system of binominal nomemclature. Under this system each birds have a name consisting of two parts – the first part known as the generic part and the second part the specific part. The table below gives of 26 orders of birds.

 

1 Struthionidae Ostrich
2 Rheiformes

Rheidae

Rhea
3 Casuariiformes

Casuariidae

Dromaiidae

 

Cassowary

Emu

4 Apterigyformes

Apterigidae

 

Kiwi

5 Gaviiformes
6 Podicipitiformes

Podicipedidae

 

Grebe

7 8 Procellariiformes

Diomedeidae

 

Procellariidae

Albatross
Shearwater
9 Pelecaniformes

Phalacrocoracidae

Pelicanidae

 

Cormorant and

DarterPelican

10 Ciconiiformes

Ardeidae

Ciconiidae

Threskiornothidae

Phoenicopteridae

 

Heron

Stork

Ibis

Flamingo

11 Anseriformes

 

Anatidae

Duck
12 Falconiformes

Accipitridae

Falconidae

Sagittariidae

 

Hawk,

Vulture and Osprey

FalconSecretary Bird

13 Tinaminiformes

Tinamidae

 

Tinamou

14 Galliformes

Phasianidae

 

Pheasant, Partridge and Quail

15 Gruiformes

Rallidae

Gruidae

 

Moorhen

Crane

16 Charadriiformes

Jacanidae

Rostratulidae

ScolopacidaeLaridae

 

Jacana

Snipe

SandpiperGull

17 Columbiformes

Columbidae

Pteroclidae

 

Pigeon

Sandgrouse

18 Psittaciformes

Psittacidae

 

Parrot

19 Cuculiformes

Cuculidae

 

Cuckoo

20 Strigiformes

Tytoninae

Strygidae

 

Barn Owl

FalconOwl

21 Caprimulgiformes

Caprimulgidae

 

Nightjar

22 Apodiformes

Apodidae

Hemiprocninae

Trochilidae

 

SwiftCreasted

Swift

Humming bird

23 Trogoniformes

Trogonidae

 

Trogon

24 Coraciiformes

AlcedinidaeMeropidae

Coraciidae

Upupidae

Buceroitidae

Kingfisher

Bee-eater

Roller

Hoopoe

Hornbill

25 Piciformes

Capitonidae

Picidae

 

Barbet

Woodpecker

26 Passeriformes (Perching Birds)

Pittidae

Alauddae

Hirundinidae

Campiphagidae

PhycnonotidaeIrenidae

Lanidae

Motacillidae

Muscicapidae

Paridae

Dicaedidae

Nectariniidae

Zosteropidae

Emberizidae

Fringillidae

Ploceidae

Sturnidae

Oriolidae

Dicruridae

Corvidae

PittaLarkSwallowCuckoo-shrikeBulbulLeafbirdShrikeWagtailThrushTitmouseFlowerpeckerSunbirdWhite-eyeBuntingFinchWeaverbirdStarlingOrioleDrongoCrow

 

 

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Bird Calls & Sounds

Bird calls are a language of their own and are carefully expressed to convey important messages. Bird sounds are a great form of communication as they can be heard even when the “narrator” is not seen or is a far way off.

Bird sounds are separated into songs and calls. Bird calls are simple notes produced by males and females throughout the year. Different bird calls are sounded for different purposes. Contact calls keep birds in a flock aware of each others whereabouts. The sound of bird song is more elaborate and musical, telling other birds: “This is my territory”. Alarm calls attract other birds to assist in attacking predators and stopping their silent approach.

Bird song is especially important at the beginning of the breeding season, Bird song is most effective in the morning as sound travels farther in the still air. Birds will often perch on high, exposed positions to make their voices heard, as this reduces interference from surrounding bush and allows the sound to travel more effectively.

Many people listen to recordings of bird calls and use these in identifying birds as each bird has unique calls and sounds. So next time you listen to birds calling outside your window, consider what message they are trying to convey.

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Binocular / Spotting Scopes

Binoculars are a parallel combination of two telescopes for viewing an erect image with both eyes. Because they are designed so that an image of the same size can be viewed with both eyes, Birders can observe objects more comfortably than with a single eye. Also, the perspective and three-dimensional effect of binoculars make viewing more enjoyable.

binocular

Binoculars are viewing tools that can magnify distant objects and bring them visually closer to us. In simple terms, they are two telescopes mounted side by side, one for each eye. A basic telescope has two magnifying glasses placed in line at a fixed distance. The front glass is the objective lens and the one near the eye is the eyepiece. As telescopes invert images, binoculars require a third element – an erecting prism to flip the image for us to enjoy a naturally magnified view of objects

binocular-instructions

Binoculars are what makes bird-watching pleasurable – so invest in the best that you can afford, they are sure to give you years of memorable moments!

General Information

Birding is always big fun. It’s holding something deep mind blowing interesting seems to get fulfilled. Birding is a connection made with the immense beauty of nature. Birding has become a popular hobby among people, such that some birding enthusiasts even go to the extent of traveling across the world just to get a glimpse of one of the most spectacular creations of nature.. Everybody can do birding; there is no age limit for this stunning sport. If you have an interest in this field and sure will started to love birds, “no” feathered friends. Because birding is easy for all ages to enjoy, it is a popular family activity that can lead to a lifelong hobby.

As birders observe new species, they not only learn about different birds, but they also learn about migration, bird behavior, feed preferences, courtship and bird territories. Dedicated birders who want to attract more birds often study landscaping and geography as well. The practice of photographing birds can lead to a study of photography, while frequent use of field guides makes birders experts in detailed observation and species comparison. Birding also fulfills another basic instinct the quest for knowledge. Birding is about acquiring knowledge. Not just about birds’ names, but also about their songs, their behavior, and how they relate to the rest of nature. It’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy a unique human pleasure the successful exercise of wisdom.