BIRDS

Birds are warm-blooded, covered in feathers and lay eggs. All birds have wings, a beak and stand on two legs. Most birds fly, but some cannot. Some species, particularly penguins and members of the Anatidae family, are adapted to swim. Some birds eat only seeds and berries. Some also eat insects. Birds of prey eat small animals. Male birds are usually more brightly colored than females, while females have better camouflage which helps to protect their nests.

WOODPECKER

Natural avian drilling experts, woodpeckers are well-known in popular culture. These notorious members of the Picidae family are almost exclusively tree-dwellers, and are found in treed areas throughout most of the world, with the exception of Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar and the more extreme Polar Regions. There’s far greater species diversity present in rainforest habitats, but woodpeckers can be found in savannahs, scrublands and bamboo forests as well. A few species do inhabit grassland or desert, sometimes nesting in taller cacti plants instead of trees, or, like the enterprising ground woodpecker, in holes that they dig themselves.

MACAW

Colorful denizens of the trees, macaws are some of the most beautiful and charismatic birds on earth. Part of the parrot family Psittacidae, macaws in particular are New World creatures, native to South America, Central America and Mexico. There are 19 recorded species of macaw, including endangered or extinct ones; while most  are found in rainforest habitats, where their bright plumage fits in with other colorful flowers, fruits and plants. Other species also exist in woodland or drier savannah-type regions.

HUMMINGBIRD

Besides being some of the most enthralling avians that exist on earth today, hummingbirds are also tiny powerhouses of motion and energy. Belonging to the family Trochikilidae, these minute birds are found exclusively throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, and they vary richly in appearance. Between 325 and 340 unique species of hummingbirds have been observed to date, with nine major branches described that separate species depending on size and coloration. South America (the Andes Mountains in particular) boasts the most diverse population of hummingbirds in the world.

TOUCAN

The iconic toucan is known the world over for its large, colorful bill. Found only in the tropical forests of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, there are more than 40 species of toucans alive today.  The most common and recognizable species of toucan bears the scientific name, Ramphastos toco. All species of toucans are of the Order Piciformes, to which woodpeckers also belong. Toucans acquired their name from the sound that they make. Their song often resembles frogs croaking.

COCKATOO

Cockatoos are parrots of any of the 21 species that belong to the bird family called Cacatuidae. The main family in the superfamily known as Cacatuoidea. Alongside the Strigopoidea (huge New Zealand parrots) and the Psittacoidea (real parrots), they make up the order Psittaciformes (parrots). Cockatoos are identifiable by their conspicuous crests and curved bills. With their high energy levels and natural curiosity, they are among the most remarkable and adored members of the parrot family. Their plumage is mostly less colorful than the other parrots.

BOOBY

A booby is a seabird in the genus Sula, part of the Sulidae family. The bird family Sulidae also includes gannets. Collectively called sulids, they are medium-large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish and similar prey. Sulids are distributed mainly in tropical and subtropical waters. Gannets are also found in temperate regions. They usually stay close to the coasts. Sulids measure about 24 to 33 inches in length and have a wingspan of about 4.59 to 5.74 feet. They have long, narrow and pointed wings, and a quite long, graduated, lozenge-shaped tail with outer feathers shorter than the central ones.

PENGUIN

Penguins are flightless sea birds. They can be many different colors from the chest up. Most species have black backs and white fronts. Penguins are able to control their body temperature on land by facing either their black back or white front to the sun. This coloration also camouflages them in the water. They have a thick layer of blubber that helps keep them warm. There are 17 penguin species, varying greatly in size. The largest is the emperor penguin at 4 feet tall and about 65 to 90 pounds. The smallest is the little penguin, also known as the blue or fairy penguin, which weighs 2 pounds.

EAGLE

Eagle, common name for large predatory birds of the family Falconidae (hawk family), are found in all parts of the world. Eagles are similar to the buteos, or buzzard hawks, but are larger both in length and in wingspread (up to 7 1⁄2 feet) and have beaks nearly as long as their heads. Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh. In most cases, the females are considerably larger than the males.

HAWK

The term hawk refers to birds of prey in any of three senses: Strictly, to mean any of the species in the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis, and Megatriorchis. The widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks, sparrowhawks, the sharp-shinned hawk and others. They are mainly woodland birds that hunt by sudden dashes from a concealed perch. They usually have long tails and high visual acuity. More generally, to mean small to medium-sized birds that are members of the Accipitridae, the family which includes the true hawks (Accipiters) and also eagles, kites, harriers, buzzards and Old World vultures. Loosely, to mean almost any bird of prey.

PELICAN

A pelican is any of several very large water birds with a distinctive pouch under the beak belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae. Along with the darters, cormorants, gannets, boobies, frigatebirds, and tropicbirds, they make up the order Pelecaniformes. Like other birds in that group, pelicans have all four toes webbed (they are totipalmate).

OWL

Owls include about 200 species of mostly solitary and nocturnal birds of prey. They have an upright stance, a large, broad head, binocular vision and binaural hearing, and feathers adapted for silent flight. Owls hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds, although a few species specialize in hunting fish. They are found in all regions of the earth except Antarctica and some remote islands. Owls are divided into two families: the true owls, Strigidae; and the barn-owls, Tytonidae.

FALCON

A falcon is any of several species of bird of the genus Falco, such as the peregrine falcon, which are raptors or birds of prey. These birds have thin, pointed wings which allow them to dive at extremely high speeds. Peregrine falcons, the fastest birds on earth, are said to have reached speeds of up to 200 mph. Other falcons include the gyrfalcon, Lanner falcon, and the Merlin. Some small insectivorous falcons with long, narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which hover as they hunt for small rodents are called kestrels.

FLAMINGO

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3–5 feet in height living in large flocks around aquatic areas. The bird is found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres and is more numerous in the latter. There are four species in the Americas, while two exist in the Old World. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly-shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume, and are uniquely used upside-down. The filtering of food items is assisted by hairy structures called lamellae which line the mandibles, and the large rough-surfaced tongue.