Welcome to the Birds Portal! Birds
) are bipedal
, oviparous vertebrate animals
. Most scientists believe that birds evolved
from theropod dinosaurs
. Ranging in size from tiny hummingbirds
to the huge Ostrich
, there are between 9,000 and 10,000 known living bird species in the world, making Aves
the most diverse class of terrestrial vertebrate
A bird is characterized by feathers, a toothless beak, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a light but strong skeleton. All birds have forelimbs modified as wings and most can fly.
Birds are important sources of food, acquired either through farming or hunting. Numerous species of birds are also used commercially, and some species, particularly songbirds and parrots, are popular pets. Birds figure prominently in all aspects of human culture from religion to poetry and popular music. Numerous species of birds are threatened with extinction by human activities and as a result efforts are underway to protect them.
The family Procellariidae is a group of seabirds that comprises the fulmarine petrels, the gadfly petrels, the prions, and the shearwaters. This family is part of the bird order Procellariiformes (or tubenoses), which also includes the albatrosses, the storm-petrels, and the diving-petrels.
The procellariids are the most numerous family of tubenoses, and the most diverse. They range in size from the giant petrels, which are almost as large as the albatrosses, to the prions, which are as small as the larger storm-petrels. They feed on fish, squid and crustacea, with many also taking fisheries discards and carrion. All species are accomplished long-distance foragers, and many undertake long trans-equatorial migrations. They are colonial breeders, exhibiting long-term mate fidelity and site philopatry. In all species, each pair lays a single egg per breeding season. Their incubation times and chick-rearing periods are exceptionally long compared to other birds.
Many procellariids have breeding populations of over several million pairs; others number fewer than 200 birds. Humans have traditionally exploited several species of fulmar and shearwater (known as muttonbirds) for food, fuel, and bait, a practice that continues in a controlled fashion today. Several species are threatened by introduced species attacking adults and chicks in breeding colonies and by long-line fisheries.
The White-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis, is a small North American songbird.
||To a man, ornithologists are tall, slender, and bearded so that they can stand motionless for hours, imitating kindly trees, as they watch for birds.
Free online resources:
- SORA: The Searchable Online Research Archive (SORA) has decades worth of archives of the following journals: The Auk, Condor, Journal of Field Ornithology, North American Bird Bander, Studies in Avian Biology, Pacific Coast Avifauna, and the Wilson Bulletin. Coverage ends around 2000. The ability to search all journals or browse exists on the front page.
- Notornis: The Journal of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand covers New Zealand and the South Pacific.
- New Zealand Journal of Ecology: This journal often publishes bird-related articles. Like Notornis, this journal is concerned with New Zealand and surrounding areas.
- Marine Ornithology: Published by the numerous Seabird Research Groups, Marine Ornithology is specific and goes back many years.
- BirdLife International: The Data Zone has species accounts for every species, although threatened species and some key groups have greater detail with others only having status and evaluation.
- Authors Names: This is a good source for binomial authorities for taxoboxes.
There is also Birds of North America, Cornell University's massive project collecting information on every breeding bird in the ABA area. It is available for 40 USD a year.
For more sources, including printed sources, see WikiProject Birds.
The Peregrine Falcon
), also known simply as the Peregrine
, is a cosmopolitan bird of prey
in the family Falconidae
. It is a medium to large-sized falcon
, females being larger and about the size of a large crow
, with a blue-gray back, barred white underside, and a black head and "mustache". There are seventeen subspecies. Essentially, this species can be found everywhere on Earth, except in the polar regions
, on very high mountains, in deserts
, and most tropical rainforests
, making it one of the world's most widespread falcons. Both the English
and scientific names of this species mean "wandering falcon" and refer to the species
' wide range and its highly migratory
habits. It feeds almost exclusively on medium sized birds, but will very rarely hunt small mammals. It mates for life and nests in a scrape. The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species due to the overuse of pesticides such as DDT. Wildlife services bred the species in captivity, and the use of DDT
ceased; with this the Peregrine Falcon has made a recovery.
Collaboration of the month
Every month a different bird-related topic, article, stub or non-existent article is picked. Please improve the article any way you can.
|Class Aves, divided into superorders, orders, suborders (where indicated), and families.