Bird Behaviour

Bird behaviour is undoubtedly for me the most fascinating aspect of studying them. Birds are often intelligent, and creative in their behaviours, having a wide range of stereotypic actions that combine to build up their behaviour. There are many aspects of bird behaviour that are fun to learn about and then observe, in a page like this I will at best be able to scrape the surface of this subject and hope it will leave you hungry for more so that you will search out the source material and open for yourself a lifetime of wonder.

Bird Behaviour While Playing
Bird Behaviour While Playing

Currently information is available on the following topics.

Bird Calls And Songs

Bird Calls And Songs: The Complete Guide To Various Bird Sounds

Bird song is one of the wonders of the natural world. It has uplifted and cheered human beings for as long as history has been recorded. Yet its beauty continues to charm us more than ever in this modern technological world.

Bird Eyes

Bird Eyes: Exactly How Does A Bird’s Vision Work?

  • How Does A Bird’s Vision Work?
  • A bird’s eye is very similar in its basic structure to a human eye.
  • Though with certain modifications and differences.

Bird Flight

Bird Flight 101: Explaining The Mysteries Of Airflow & The Bird’s Wing

Explaining The Mysteries Of Airflow and the Bird’s Flight

The fact that birds fly is one of the most amazing things about them.

The sight of crows or ravens playing in the wind, of seagulls gliding effortlessly along the seashore… or of buzzards soaring silently about the countryside always inspires me.

Bird Intelligence

Bird Intelligence 101: What Is The True Capability Of The “Bird Brain”? Do birds have intelligence?

The answer is undoubtedly yes. In fact we might say that everything has a certain innate intelligence – it’s ability to deal with variability in the world it experiences.

But this intelligence is itself highly variable in form and function. Somewhere, from rigidly hard-wired, innate actions arise the ever increasing degrees of choice, flexibility, creativity and consciousness that we call intelligence. Having accepted that intelligence is something measured on a continuum, we must accept that birds have some intelligence.

Two Parrots Kissing
Two Parrots Kissing

Bird Mating

Bird Mating Strategies 101 (Including The Peculiar “Leks”). Like all living things, birds reproduce.

However, unlike most other animals, their breeding rituals and special physical constructions are often visible to us. This opens a door of wonder and fascination to all. For besides the great variety in nest construction and placement, birds exhibit – somewhere – just about every breeding strategy you could imagine (such as leks).

Bird Migration

Bird Migration 101: When & How Do Birds Migrate?

In everyday speech, migration is regarded as the mechanism behind the seasonal appearance and disappearance of some species of birds, mammals, fish and insects. To most people however, migration equals bird migration (or perhaps mammals too).

Though in fact many insects, some mites and spiders, some reptiles, amphibians and even plants migrate regularly.

Bird Nests

Bird Nest Identification – 12 Types and How to Spot Them

Birds – far more than any other animal besides humans – are notable for their tendency to build a home. A home in which to raise their young… and in some cases to use all year round.

Bird nests are a tool used by nearly a whole class of animals. Every year, billions of birds put in an amazing amount of effort to construct some of the most elaborate creations in the animal kingdom.

And did you know that in most cases, it is possible to identify the bird by its nest?

Birds Preening

Preening In Birds (Including The Bizarre Act of “Anting”)

Preening In Birds Feathers are of ultimate importance to birds. And though they can be replaced, if they are to function properly they have to be kept in good condition. There are two main activities involved in feather care: preening and bathing. And several minor ones including sunning and anting.

Bird Respiration

Bird Respiration; The Breath of Flight. Bird respiration, the breathing sort of respiration, is far more complex in birds than in mammals.

Like us birds have lungs, and like us, they need to breathe air in and out of their lungs. This is to fulfill the cycle of bringing oxygen into the body – to be used in metabolism – and also to take the waste CO2 away from the body.

Bird respiration, or breathing begins when air is breathed in through a bird’s two nostrils, situated at the base of the bill (except in Kiwis where they are at the tip of the bill and gannets – where nostrils have become redundant and breathing is through the mouth).

Bird Sense of Touch

The Sense of Touch in Birds. Birds have contact and touch sensors on various parts of their bodies.

These include their feet, bills, and tongues (i.e. Woodpeckers).

This relates to the fact that it is these parts of their bodies that most often come into contact with the rest of the world. In some birds the tactile sensors are particularly well developed in the beak, allowing them to feed mostly by probing and feeling for prey. This is most evident in waders.

Two Saffron Finches In The Rain On The Ground
Two Saffron Finches In The Rain On The Ground

Bird Smell & Nose

The Bird Nose and Sense of Smell (can birds even smell anyway?) Modern data based on experiments and anatomy of both the nasal cavities and the olfactory lobes of the brain suggest that most birds have practically no sense of smell.

Update December 2020: According to Gabrille Nevitt, birds actually have 6 senses just like us.

The exceptions are Kiwis, which have poor eyesight and hunt worms using their sense of smell.

The Evolution Of Birds

The Evolution Of Birds From The Archaeopteryx. Birds belong to a group called Avialae, which includes all theropod dinosaurs more closely related to living birds than to tyrannosaurs. This evolutionary relationship shows birds descended directly from small feathered coelurosaurian dinosaurs during the Jurassic period.

Bird Orders and Taxonomy

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