The World’s Birds
Birds are warm-blooded vertebrates that are members of the Aves order. Their characteristic features include feathers, toothless beaks, hard-shelled eggs, and a high metabolic rate. They have a light, strong skeleton and strong wings. Despite their size, birds are surprisingly fast-moving animals, enabling them to climb trees, fly high above the ground, and carry out other complex tasks.
Most birds are found in all continents and on many islands and live in all major habitats. The distribution of birds varies greatly, though, and a variety of factors affect where they are found. Their habitats are limited by climatic conditions, predators and competitors, and food. In many places, the breeding range of a particular bird differs from its nonbreeding range, with certain species living in different locations for longer periods of time than others.
A bird’s wing bones are similar to those of a human upper arm. A hollow humerus connects the wing to the air sac system in the lungs, and powerful flight muscles are attached to the keel, a special bone ridge that runs down the middle of the sternum. The dove and raven use their tail feathers for steering, and a dove uses its wings to navigate.
The human interest in birds has permeated human culture from prehistoric times until the present. During the Cretan and Aboriginal times, people carved bird figures into rock walls, and these images are now preserved in a cave in France. Throughout history, birds have been featured in literature and mythology. The interest in birds and their abilities crystallized into a record of a culture. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs contain images of birds. The Bible mentions Noah’s raven and dove as messengers of the Flood, and even has an all-time favorite of the gods.
Some birds are native to remote islands, but they are not always native to those places. The species’ range is very large, so that the world’s birds are spread throughout the entire globe. Their distribution is also very diverse. From tropical islands to subtropical regions, most species have been found on every continent, including in the Pacific Ocean. These birds can be found in all major habitats, and are represented in various languages and cultures. If you are unsure of which bird is native to a country, be sure to look up its name.
Historically, birds have been characterized by their complex social lives. While some of them may be nocturnal, they do have a sexually active lifestyle. In some parts of the world, birds are considered to be more domesticated than humans. Moreover, they are also more adaptable to climate change than humans, and can even adapt to the environment. A bird is more likely to adapt than a plant, so it may not have to.