Penguins are flightless birds that have stiff wings and distinct coloration (black or gray feathers on their backs and white feathers on their bellies). Their wing bones are fused to form flipper-like limbs and enable the birds to dive and swim with great skill. Penguins have long bills that are laterally narrow. Their legs are short and positioned at the posterior of ther body. They have four forward pointing toes. There are 17 species of penguins.
Perching birds are the most diverse of all bird groups, with over 5,200 species. Perching birds, also known as songbirds, are distinguished by their feet which have four toes, three of which point forward and one of which points backwards. Perching birds are active birds that inhabit a wide range of terrestrial habitats including forests, wetlands, grasslands, deserts and tundra. Perching birds are varied in appearance, with some species being dull in color while others are brightly colored.
Pigeons and doves are gregarious plant and seed eating birds that includes 312 species. They have a plump body, small head and a small bill. The range in color from brown to grey and blue and some species have pink, bronze or iridescent highlights. Pigeons and doves often feed in flocks. Two well-known extinct birds, the dodo and the passenger pigeon, both belonged to this group. Today, pigeons and doves face threats from hunting, habitat destruction and introduced predators.
Rheas are a group of flightless birds that includes 2 species, both of which inhabit South America. Rheas, like ostriches, have flat breastbones that lack a keel, the bone structure to which flight muscles attached. They have long, shaggy feathers and three toes on each foot. They also have a claw on each wing that they use to defend themselves when threatened. Rheas inhabit open lands such as deserts, grasslands, and steppes.
Shorebirds include birds such as waders, gulls and auks are a group of shore-dwelling birds. The group includes 344 species. Waders, gulls and auks are small to medium sized birds with thin bills and long legs. They prefer open coastal habitats such as shorelines and beaches. There they feed on insects, worms and other small aquatic animals by probing in the soft sediment or picking them off the ground.
Tinamous are ground dwelling birds. They are generally well camouflaged birds, with patterned plumage that ranges from light to dark brown or gray. They tire easily when flying or running, so their plumage helps them to blend into their surroundings to avoid predators. There are 47 species of tinamous.
Trogons are a group of 39 species of tropical forest birds that inhabit the Americas, southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. They have a short beak, rounded wings, and a long tail. Trogons feed on insects and fruit. Trogons build their nests in tree cavities or by moving into abandoned insect nests.