Birds can fly, walk, run and even swim! Because they have wings, birds are able to fly to all parts of the world, from steamy rainforests to the icy arctic. There are about 9000 different types of birds, from beautiful barn owls to giant ostriches
Why do birds have beaks?
Instead of having teeth, birds have really strong mouths that are called beaks, or bills. Sharp, pointed beaks are good for grabbing bugs and short beaks are great for cracking nuts open.
Beaks and feathers are made of a special tough material. See if you can you discover what it’s called.
The early bird !
The oldest-known bird lived about 150 million years ago. Archaeopteryx (ark-ee-op-ter-ix) had feathers and wings, but it had teeth instead of a beak.
Why do birds lay eggs?
Birds lay eggs so that their babies can grow. Baby birds are called chicks and they begin life in an egg. The eggs are kept safe in a nest until they hatch.
Which is the biggest bird?
The ostrich is the world’s biggest bird. The tallest ostriches reah nearly 3 meters in height and can weigh twice as much as an adult human! Although ostriches have wings and their bodies are covered in fluffy feathers, they are far too heavy to fly.
Big Bird !
The great Bustard is the world’s largest flying bird. It measures up to one meter in length and can weigh as much as 20 kilograms. That’s the same weight as a five-year-old child !
What birds has the biggest wings?
Birds can spread their wings and glide in the wind like a kite. Alabatrosses are very good flyers because they have the largest wingspan (the measurement from wing-tip to wing-tip) of any bird. Their wingspan may measure up to 3.3 meters
Using a measuring tape find out how tall an ostrich is. Its height is on Page 6
Why is hummingbird so tiny?
Hummingbirds are tiny so that they can reach inside flowers. They feed on the sweet juice, called nectar, which flowers make. The bee hummingbird is the world’s smallest bird. It measures only 5 centimeters and weighs less than a spoonful of rice.
How do birds Fly?
Birds can fly because they have wings, powerful muscles and vry light bones. Feathers also help birds move smoothly through the air. This peregrine falcon is the fastest of all animals. It can reach top speed of 180 kilometers per hour as it swoops and dives
How far can a bird fly?
Birds can fly very long distances. Swifts are super fliers and even eat and mate while they swoop through the clouds. When young swifts leave the nest they may fly for the next two years and travel more than 500,000 kilometers!
If a bird beats its wings ten times in one second, how many times would it beat its wings in two seconds?
Do all birds fly?
All birds have wings, but not all of them fly, this speedy roadrunner lives in desert. It can fly, but it prefers to walk or run as it looks for lizards, snakes, and bugs in the sand.
Hum That tune!
Hummingbirds beat their wings 50 times a second. As the wings slice through the air they make the humming noise that gives the birds their name.
Why can’t penguins fly?
Penguins can’t fly because their wings are too short and stumpy. They use their tiny wings like flippers to help them dive into icy water at Antarctic. Penguins don’t need to fly because they are great swimmers and can find plenty of food underwater.
Can penguins swim fast?
Some penguins can swim fast. The gentoo penguin can swim up to 27 kilometers per hour- faster than most people can run! Penguins swim well because they have smooth bodies, webbed feet and flipper-like wings
How do seabirds catch fish?
Seabirds live near ocean, which is packed full of fish and other treats. Gannets need good eyesight to spot fish just below the water’s surface. When they have seen something interesting, they dive into the water and grab it in their beaks.
Penguins may be great swimmers, but they are clumsy walkers. When waddling takes too long, they jump on their bellies and slide along the ice instead!
Penguins love at the freezing Antarctic. Look at an atlas to find out where the Antarctic is.
Why are some birds colourful?
Birds can be big show-offs and they use bright colours to make themselves look attractive. Male birds are usually more colourful than females. When this peacock sees a female (a peahen) he displays his fine tail and shakes it, so she can admire his great beauty.
Great crested grebes are water birds that dance for each other. During the dance they offer each other gifts-beakfuls of water weed. Lovely!
Which bird strut around and coo?
Male birds puff up their feathers, strut around and make noises to impress the females. These cocks-of-the-rocks also dance and spread their wings to show off to the female birds. They live in the South American rainforest.
Why do birds sing?
Birds sing to get the attention of other birds. Like their colourful feathers, they may use songs to attract mates. Some birds squawk loudly if they are being attacked. Most baby birds learn to sing by copying their parents.
A bird’s feathers are called its plumage. Put on some bright clothes and see if anyone notices your plumage!
Why do birds lay eggs in nests?
Birds lay their eggs in a nest to keep them safe. Once the eggs have hatched, the little chicks stay in the nest until they have grown enough to be able to fly. These bald eagles build giant nests up to 2.5 Meters across.
Why are cuckoos lazy?
Cuckoos don’t bother making their own nests. Instead, they lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. This way cuckoos do not have all the hard work of looking after their own chicks – other birds do it for them!
How do birds build nests?
Birds build their nests in different ways, but most of them use twigs and sticks. African weaver birds make their delicate nests using strips of leaves and grass. They knot and to make a cozy, safe home.
Use sticks and twigs to make a nest. Make a soft lining with grass or straw. Pop some chocolate eggs in the middle.
Watch the birdie!
Most birds take minutes to lay an egg. The mother cuckoo can lay an egg in 9 seconds! This allows her to quickly pop it in the nest of another bird.
When is a bird like a sponge?
A bird like a sponge when it can soak up water! Sandgrouses live in dry deserts and when they find a pool of water they lie in it The feathers on their tummies soak up the water, which the birds can then take back to their thirsty chicks.
Why do vultures look so peculiar?
Vultures do not have feathers on their heads and necks. They feed on dead animals and their heads are feather-free so they don’t get messy when they eat! Vultures have good eyesight so they can spot dead animals from far away.
Which bird lives in a cactus?
The tiny elf owl from America sometimes makes its home in a prickly cactus. This might be uncomfortable for the bird, but it does help keep its eggs and chicks safe from any lizards or snakes that might want to eat them.
Vultures are birds that eat mainly dead animals. The lammergeier vulture even munches on bones. It drops big bones onto rocks to smash them into pieces before eating them
Find out the name for special places in the desert where there is water and plants can grow.
What is a bird of prey
Birds of prey are hunting birds. As they soar and glide across the sky they search for animals to eat. Golden eagles have extremely good eyesight and can spot food far away. They swoop to the ground and grab rabbits and mice with their sharp claws.
Eagles like to build their nest in high places. One pair of sea eagles made their nest on top of a light-tower by the coast in Norway.
How does a sea eagle catch a fish?
Sea eagles need good eyes and strong claws to catch a swimming fish. Each foot has a pointed hook for holding onto a slippery fish. Sea eagles take their fish to a cliff or rocky ledge where they can eat in comfort
Do hunting birds live in towns?
It’s unusual to see big hunting birds such as eagles in towns. But you might see smaller ones, such as ravens. These black birds are very clever animals. They hunt mice and rats but they will eat almost any food that they can find.
Eagles use their feet to grab their food. See if you can pick up anything using just your feet.
How birds look after their chicks?
Chicks are an easy target for other animals that may want to eat them. Their parents have to take special care of them. When ducklings hatch from their eggs they stay close to their parents and follow them everywhere.
Why do birds sit on their eggs?
Birds sit on their eggs to keep them warm. Eggs need to be warm for the chicks to grow. Emperor penguins keep their eggs cosy by holding them off the ice. They rest the eggs on their feet, beneath a flap of skin and feathers.
Penguins huddle together to warm themselves and eggs. They even take it in turns to stand on the edge of the group and brave the cold winds!
Eggs are unusual shape to stop them rolling away. Place an egg on a table and see how far it rolls.
How does a chick grow inside an egg?
Inside an egg, the white, clear liquid protects a chick from bumps and knocks. Yellow yolk contains goodness to help the chick grow. The hard shell keeps the chick safe. When it is ready to hatch, the chick breaks its way out of the egg.
Is it true that parrots can talk?
Parrots are intelligent birds that can copy all sorts of sounds- including us! Scarlet macaws live in the south America. They live in large groups (called flocks) and they screech and squawk loudly to one another.
What is the most beautiful bird?
The quetzal is one of the most beautiful birds. The male has shiny green feathers and a bright red chest. His tail feathers sail behind him as he flies.
A jungle fowl looks very similar to a farmyard chicken. These birds live in rainforests, and they feed on seeds and insects.
What do birds eat?
Birds can eat lots of different types of food. Popular food for birds include seeds, nuts, fruit, insects, slugs, snails and meet. Hoatzin birds live in trees in the south American rainforest. They are unusual birds because they eat almost nothing but leaves.
Draw a rainforest bird and colour it in using bright reds, greens and blues.
Why do woodpeckers peck
Woodpeckers peck at trees to disturb the little insects that live in the bark. They then gobble them up. These birds can also use their strong, pointed beaks to hammer at the tree until they have made a hole big enough for a nest.
Hummm, I’m Hungry!
Bee hummingbirds beat their wings 200 times a second. If we used up the same amount of energy, we would need to eat three times our own weigh in potatoes each day!
How do honeyguides find their food?
Honeyguide birds follow honey badgers to find their favourite food- delicious bee grubs! The clever birds follow the badgers when they go in search of a bee’s nest. When the badger opens the nest, it feeds on the birds eat the grubs and beeswax.
Ask an adult to help you make a bird feeder. You can then hang it upside down from a tree.
Do antbirds eat ants?
Antbirds follow army ants as they march through the forest, but they don’t usually eat them. The birds perch on trees as the army ants pass by, then they pounce on the other small animals and insects that come to feed on the ants.
Why is a snowy owl coloured white?
Snowy owls live near the freezing Arctic where there is snow and ice. Because their feathers are mostly white they can perch on the ground and stay hidden. This means they can hunt animals such as hares without being seen.
Why do some birds travel to warmer lands?
Many birds travel away from cold areas during winter. Tundra swans live near the cold Arctic in summer, but when the weather gets worse they fly to warmer places to find food.
Do penguins get wet and cold?
Penguins live at the freezing South Pole. They have special feathers that are coated in oil to keep water off their bodies. They also have a thick layer of fat under their skin. When they are on land, penguins huddle together to keep warm.
The Canada goose spends summer in the Arctic and flies south in winter. This way the bird gets warm weather all year round!
Animals in snowy areas are often white. What colours would be best for animals living in forests?
How does a bird eat a snail?
Birds that eat snails need to get the soft body out of the hard shell. Some birds smash snails against rocks. This snail kite uses its sharp beak to cut the slimy snail away from it shell and hook it out.
Flamingos look as if they have got back to front legs. Actually, what appear to be their knees are really their ankles!
Which bird has a scissor shaped beak?
The beak of a skimmer is shaped like scissors. This is because the lower beak is much longer and flatter than the top beak. As it flies over water, the skimmer dips its lower beak below the surface. When it touches a fish it snaps its beak shut.
Why do flamingos have long necks?
Flamingos have long necks so that they can reach underwater to find their food. They use their beaks to catch tiny pink creatures called shrimps that float past. Flamingos turn pink after eating lots of these shrimps!
Can you remember what a skimmer’s beak is shaped like? If you can’t read this page again to find out.
Do you remember what you have read about birds?
These questions will test your memory. The pictures will help you. If you get stuck, read the pages again.
- Why do birds lay eggs?
- How far can a bird fly?
- Why do birds sing?
- How do birds build nests?
- Why are cuckoos lazy?
- When is a bird like a sponge?
- What is a bird of prey?
- Do antbirds eat ants?
- Which bird lives in a cactus?
- How does a chick grow inside an egg?
- Why do woodpeckers peck?
- Do hunting birds live in towns?
- Why do flamingos have long necks?
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