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Birds are a group of vertebrates that includes about 30 groups such as albatrosses, gamebirds, herons, hummingbirds, owls, parrots, penguins, perching birds, woodpeckers, and many others. There are between 9,000 and 10,000 species of birds alive today. The first birds evolved from reptiles during the Mesazoic Era, about 150 million years ago. The articles listed below provide information about the characteristics, classification, and evolution of birds.
  1. Albatrosses and Petrels (7)
  2. Birds of Prey (6)
  3. Buttonquail (1)
  4. Cassowaries and Emus (0)
  5. Cranes, Coots and Rails (1)
  6. Cuckoos and Turacos (2)
  7. Flamingos (2)
  8. Gamebirds (1)
  9. Grebes (1)
  10. Herons, Storks, and Ibises (1)
  11. Hummingbirds and Swifts (5)
  12. Kingfishers (1)
  13. Kiwis (1)
  14. Loons (2)
  15. Mousebirds (0)
  16. Nightjars and Frogmouths (0)
  17. Ostriches (2)
  18. Owls (9)
  19. Parrots (4)
  20. Pelicans (4)
  21. Penguins (3)
  22. Perching Birds (8)
  23. Pigeons and Doves (0)
  24. Rheas (0)
  25. Sandgrouse (1)
  26. Shorebirds (3)
  27. Tinamous (1)
  28. Trogons (0)
  29. Waterfowl (2)
  30. Woodpeckers and Toucans (3)

Birds are vertebrates that have four limbs, wings, feathers, hollow bones and other adaptations for an aerial lifestyle.

The Basic Bird Groups
An introduction to the 30 basic groups of birds including birds of prey, buttonquails, gamebirds, herons, hummingbirds, owls, rheas, and many others.

Facts About Birds
Learn interesting facts about birds and find out about their diversity, evolutionary history and the characteristics make them different from other animal groups.

Bird Characteristics
Bird characteristics include numerous adaptations for flight such as feathers, a furcula and hollow bones. This article explores the key characteristics that together distinguish birds from other animal groups.

Bird Pictures
Pictures of birds including vultures, puffins, jays, cranes, sandgrouse, robins, gannets, plovers and more.

Feather Anatomy and Function
Feathers are a unique adaptation of birds. Feathers are made up of keratin, an insoluble protein that is also found in mammalian hair and reptilian scales.

The Evolution of Flight
The story of the evolution of flight is not one limited to birds. Flight evolved not only in birds, but also in insects and mammals.

The Flight Feathers of Birds
Feathers are a unique characteristic of birds and are a key requirement for flight. Feathers are arranged in a precise pattern over the wing. When the bird takes to the air, its wing feathers spread to create an aerodynamic surface.

Understanding Migration
Migration, like flight, is a phenomenon not limited to birds. In general, migration is the annual movement of animals between their breeding grounds and wintering sites. Migration occurs in response to changing seasons and is predictable and repeated each year.

Quiz - Can You Identify These Birds?
Put your bird identification skills to the test in this quiz.

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