Nature Around Us
Concept: All About Birds
We see so many beautiful birds flying in the sky. Some are big; some are small; while some have attractive feathers on their body and others have huge wings. So let us take a detailed look at the birds we see around us.
Body parts of birds:
Beaks and claws:
- Birds use their beaks to catch and eat food. A bird’s beak can be of different sizes and shapes.
- Claws are sharp and curved nails on the feet of a bird.
- Depending on their food, birds have different shapes of beaks and claws to gather and eat the food.
- Sparrows and pigeons feed on seeds, small insects and worms, etc., and so have small beaks that help pick up their food. Their claws are small as they do not use them during their feeding.
- Crows, eagles, vultures, kites feed on small animals (dead or alive). Their beaks and claws are strong, curved, and large.
- A woodpecker’s beak is strong and sharp. It makes holes in the wood to make nests and collect worms or small insects to eat.
- Birds like ducks and swans feed in water and have flat, broad beaks. They have webbed feet that help them move in the water.
Body colouration and feathers:
- Birds show a magnificent variety of body colours and feathers.
- Pigeons, sparrows, mynah have small wings with grey, brown or black feathers.
- Eagles and vultures have large wings with long feathers that help them fly high in the sky.
- Peacocks have long and brightly coloured feathers, making them one of the most beautiful birds in the jungle.
Sounds made by birds:
- We have heard different birds making different sounds. These are called bird calls.
- A crow makes a Caw-Caw or kra-kraaaa sound; a cuckoo makes koohu-koohu sound, while a pigeon makes a gutur-guturr sound.
- The sounds made by birds depend on their activities like flying, eating, searching for a partner or just sitting on the trees.
Nests of birds:
- Birds make nests of different shapes by using different materials.
- Some birds like to make their nests near rivers, lakes, etc., while others make nests on large branches of trees.
- Sparrows and pigeons make nests in people’s houses as well.
- Woodpeckers make their nests by pecking the wood of the tree trunk.
- Tailorbirds build a unique nest by sewing leaves together and using grass to cushion inside.
Animals other than birds who can fly:
- Bats are excellent fliers, but they are not birds.
- All insects have one or two pairs of wings. These wings are visible when they are flying. At other times, the wings remain folded over their back.
Webbed: When the toes of the feet are connected by skin.
Pecking: Making a hole on a surface by continuously striking it with the beak.
Did You Know?
- Birds like penguins and ostriches have wings, but they cannot fly. Their wings help them to swim and maintain their body balance.
- Interestingly, some birds like parrots and mockingbirds can exactly mimic human sounds.