BIO 370 Vertebrate Zoology
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Vertebrate Diversity
Class Aves Birds

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Aves Characteristics

  • Forelimb modified into wings
  • Forelimb digits reduced; no claws
  • Body covered in feathers
  • Many weight-saving and strengthening adaptations of skeleton
  • Horny beak without teeth
  • Note: birds shown here mostly are the same as or closely related to those observed as skins, mounts, skulls, or feet in lab
  • Note: birds shown here are organized by Feeding (bill adaptations) and habits (leg/foot adaptations)

See also:
Pigeon Anatomy page
Origins of Birds page


American Robin
American Robin (Turdus migratorius; Order Passeriformes), KY
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: general omnivore
Starling
European Starling (Sturnus vulgarus; Order Passeriformes), CA
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: general omnivore
Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura; Order Columbiformes), CO
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: small seeds swallowed whole
House Sparrow
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus; Order Passeriformes), CA
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: seed crusher

Cockatoo
Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea; Order Psittaciformes)
Habits: climbing with grasping feet
Feeding: eats nuts & large seeds
Elegant Trogon
Elegant Trogon (Trogon elegans; Order Trogoniformes), AZ
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: fruit eater, insects
Hornbill
Trumpeter Hornbill (Bycanistes bucinator; Order Bucerotiformes)
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: primarily fruit
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata; Order Passeriformes), AZ
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: insect gleaning

Didrik Cuckoo
Didrik Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx caprius; Order Cuculiformes), Kenya
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: insect gleaning, especially caterpillars
Striped Kingfisher
Striped Kingfisher (Halcyon chelicuti; Order Coraciiformes), Kenya
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: preys on large insects, frogs
Racket-tailed Roller
Racket-tailed Roller (Coracias spatulata; Order Coraciiformes)
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: preys on large insects, lizards
Coopers Hawk
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperi; Order Accipitriformes), A
Habits & Feeding: diurnal; captures birds with grasping talons

Barn Owls
Barn Owls (Tyto alba; Order Strigiformes), CA
Habits & Feeding: nocturnal; captures rodents with grasping talons
Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica; Order Passeriformes), UT
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: aerial insectivore
Pauraque
Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis; Order Caprimulgiformes), Belize
Habits: percher
Feeding: arboreal insectivore (nocturnal)
Sunbird
Olive-bellied Sunbird (Nectarinia chloropygia; Order Passeriformes), Kenya
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: probing for nectar

Anna's Hummer
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna; Order Apodiformes), AZ
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: probing for nectar
Whitefaced Ibis
White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi; Order Pelecaniformes), UT
Habits: wading
Feeding: probing in mud
Long-billed Thrasher
Long-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma longirostre; Order Passeriformes), TX
Habits: arboreal perching
Feeding: probing in crevices
Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea; Order Pelecaniformes), FL
Habits: wading
Feeding: fish-spearing

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis; Order Pelecaniformes), CA
Habits: swimmer (webbed foot)
Feeding: scoops fish
Puffin
Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica; Order Charadriiformes), ME
Habits: swimmer (webbed foot)
Feeding: fish-eating
Western Gull
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis; Order Charadriiformes), CA
Habits: swimmer (webbed foot)
Feeding: fish-eating, scavenging
Mallard
Mallard (Anas playtrhynchos; Order Anseriformes), PA
Habits: swimmer (webbed foot)
Feeding: strains mud and vegetation

Rhea
Greater Rhea (Rhea americana; Order Struthioniformes)
Habits: terrestrial runner (flightless)
Feeding: herbivore
Chukar
Chukar (Alectoris chukar; Order Galliformes), UT
Habits: terrestrial runner
Feeding: herbivore
Coot
American Coot (Amphispiza bilineata; Order Gruiformes), CA
Habits: swimmer (lobed foot)
Feeding: herbivore
Snow Goose
Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens; Order Anseriformes), NJ
Habits: swimmer (webbed foot)
Feeding: herbivore

Bird Wing Types


Black-footed Albatross
Dynamic Soaring
Black-footed Albatross (Diomedea nigripes; Order Procellariiformes); CA
Arctic Tern
High Speed
Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea; Order Charadriiformes); ME
Red-chested Owlet
Eliptical (rapid takeoff, manuverability)
Red-chested Owlet (Glaucidium tephronotum; Order Strigiformes); Kenya
Red-tailed Hawk
Soaring (slotted high-lift)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis; Order Accipitriformes); AZ
Magnif Frigatebird
Dynamic Soaring
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens; Order Suliformes); Belize
N Pintails
High Speed
Northern Pintails (Anas acuta; Order Anseriformes); AZ
Aberts Towhee
Eliptical (rapid takeoff, manuverability)
Abert's Towhee (Melozone aberti; Order Passeriformes); AZ
Jabiru
Soaring (slotted high-lift)
Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria; Order Ciconiiformes); Belize
This page last updated 19 December 2015 by Udo M. Savalli ()
Images and text Udo M. Savalli. All rights reserved.