|Common Bird (Flybirdus vulgaris)|
Many - see text
Bird classification is the process of identifying birds into classes.
There are several orders of class Birdidae. The systematics of this taxon are most complex, and bemuse anyone but the most committed and knowledgable birdologist.
A simplified classification tree follows:
These are the most common bird group. They are found in the air, although one occasionally sees them on the ground due to a frequently occurring medical condition generally of brief duration known as wing cramp or pterostasis . Only one species is known to be immune from pterostasis: the Swift (Flybirdus peterpanii).
These are also commonly seen members of the Birdidae and can usually be recognised due to their predilection for tree-rich habitats. Their habits usually consist of sitting on branches, defecating from them onto nearby objects (people, cars, etc.) and the occasional flapping of wings without moving anywhere.
However, one must be careful to ensure that a suspected tree bird is not in fact an air bird which was suffering from wing cramp whilst flying over a tree, and thereby momentarily placed itself in the wrong environment. If this eventuation is thought likely, a generally failsafe test is to throw the suspected air bird upwards and watch its movements carefully: if it remains in the air habitat, then one can safely assume that it is a bona fide air bird. Tree birds can hybridize with air birds, and the result is a bird that usually hovers in the air surrounding a tree.
Belonging to this order are the numerous Little Boring Grayish Birds (Family Vulgarobirdus), the scourge of birdwatchers everywhere. The family contains exactly one species, Microbirdus ennui, with 2,369 subspecies.
In a fascinating example of evolution at work, birds of this order have evolved the capability to utilize new habitats, giving rise for example to the Telephone Wire Bird (Cablobirdus mabellii).
Water Birds are subdivided into several subgenera:
Found on or by the sea. Closely related to air birds, they can sometimes be found in the air directly above the sea. Such species have been dubbed "Sea-Air birds" by some birdologists.
These are found on or in the direct vicinity of lakes. A common example of an Avielakeian is the duck (Avielakeius quackkus) and its close relative, the goose (Avielakeius honkomuchus). Lake birds generally feed on a diet of water and crusty bread, although some species have been known to take cigarette ends.
Found in or near flowing inland waters, the best example of this group is the swan, Flavescobirdus albocorpus.
These are also commonly seen members of the Birdidae and can usually be recognised due to their predilection for ground rather than arboreal habitats. Their habits usually consist of sitting on the ground, eating table scraps and other sorts of trash, and the occasional flapping of wings without moving anywhere.
However, one must be careful to ensure that a suspected ground bird is not in fact an air bird which was suffering from wing cramp whilst flying overhead, and thereby momentarily placed itself in the wrong environment, or a tree bird which for some reason fell from its arboreal habitat. If this eventuation is thought likely, a generally failsafe test is to throw the suspected air bird or tree bird upwards and watch its movements carefully: if it remains in the air habitat or moves quickly to an arboreal habitat, it is safe to assume it is not a ground bird. Ground birds are not closely related to ground beef.
Hill birds are found mostly in the hills of Northeastern India. Though there are varieties of hill bird in other areas, they are certainly most common there.
Sand birds, the oddball cousins-twice-removed of the order, are native to the Sahara desert. Not well known to experts, much about them still remains a mystery. Since there is no vegetation in the Sahara, it is generally believed that sand birds feed exclusively on sand with the occasional snack of the most unfortunate lost tourist.
Related to tree birds, the Owl (Hootibirdus swivelocapitus) is probably the best known example of this order. They are easily recognised by their distinctive hooting sound, which is for the purpose of courtship, to wit, to woo.
Night birds are also known as Nocturnal birds, a term derived from the Latin "nox", meaning "night", and "urna", meaning "jar", hence, Nightjar.
Many other bird genera and subgenera exist, and some are very hard to differentiate, even for the most experienced birdologist. Hybridisation also takes place; for example, it is thought that the Common Statue bird (Templobirdus vulgaris) has interbred very much with the Common Pigeon (Urbobirdus shittalottus), resulting in the bird variety commonly seen in London.
Of course, biodiversity is greater in tropical climates, and the tropics boast a far greater variety of bird types; for example:
- Buffalo birds from the African savannah
- Oil birds from the Persian Gulf.
- Nasty Dictator birds (genus Saddavis) have also been spotted from that area, although S. massdestructionis var. weaponii has been conspicuously absent in recent times, due to habitat destruction. Recently, the United States of America launched a campaign to bring about their extinction, with great success.
- A related genus Nasty Dictator birds II (genus Grand) have been spotted to the East and are remarkably similar. G. ayatollus khamenei var. massdestructionis nucleii is the supreme variety.
- Another related genus Nasty Dictator birds III is also common in the Gulf and North African regions, yet despite sharing many similarities with types I and II, they seem to be immune from US efforts at eradication. Housus saudiis var. majorusarms clientus and hosnii mubarakus var. puppetus are two common types. A very interesting type is the muammarus gaddafii which has recently evolved from type I to to type III, which is the opposite process scientists observed in relation to S. massdestructionis var. weaponii.
- Yet another related genus, Nasty Dictator Birds -I (genus Naziius), previously inhabited Western Europe and the Americas, but the European species (Naziius hitlerus), has been extinct since 1945, and the North American species, Naziius antinigrus, is critically endangered. However, the South American species (Naziius killothersicus) yet thrives.
- It is also to be noticed that the "Big Bird" indigenous to the area known as "Sesame Street" has not been given a proper phylum or species, due to the fact that only one has ever been seen at one time. This has caused debate that it may only be a genetic mutation, perhaps a harmful one. The US government has recently received a bill to pass a vote on to eliminate any and all "Big Birds" that should arise.
Traditionally, birdologists have confined their studies to those species that live on or near the surface of Earth. However, birds exist throughout the observable universe, and astrobirdologists are now beginning to document the little that is currently known about the different kinds of non-planetary birds.
These inhabit the surface of the Sun, and other stars of similar spectral class. They feed almost exclusively on helium, and have evolved feathers able to withstand temperatures of 8,000 Kelvin. In a fascinating example of stellar-avian symbiosis, it is thought that the accumulation of their droppings in the stellar core inhibits supernova activity.
Some astrobirdologists refer to these birds as Solar Birds, however this usage is best avoided, since it risks confusion with photovoltaic or solar-powered birds.
Deep Space Birds
These come in two types: Matter Birds and Antimatter Birds. The two forms cannot hybridise, any attempt to do so resulting in the instant annihilation of both birds. It is unknown whether Galactica magnumavis is a matter or antimatter bird.
However, in cases where a medium-sized antimatter bird attempts to mate with a slightly larger matter bird, a small quantity of matter may remain, and it is postulated that this may have been how some of the smaller planetary species, such as wrens, were originally formed.
Astrobirdologists have postulated a third form, Dark Matter Birds, which, if true, would go a long way towards explaining some of the physical universe's conundra. However, as of 2011 it has not been conclusively proven that dark matter takes the form of birds.