A Sample Essay on Birds
A bird is a warm-blooded creature that has unique characteristics and features compared to other animals. According to history, their existence was from 160 million years ago, and there are more than 10,400 species. There are many species of birds depending on their size, uniqueness, classification, facts, and many more. Moreover, all birds have some features which are similar, though they may differ in some characteristics. These common features are:
- All birds lay eggs.
- They have feathers.
- They have wings.
- They have two legs.
- They have a beak with no teeth.
- Lightweight skeleton.
- Four chambered hearts.
Different classifications of birds are of different sizes in body and height, the smallest bird on earth is Bee Hummingbird measuring 5.5 centimeters in height and the largest bird is Ostrich measuring approximately 2.8 meters. Since birds are known for flying, an Ostrich cannot fly, this is due to their body size and height making it different from other birds. The digestive system of birds is unique. They have a high metabolism rate; this is the process by which the body converts the food and water we take to energy.
There are many types of birds depending on what they feed. A lot of birds feed on seeds or grains, insects, fruits, and berries depending on the season and time of the year. Other birds feed on fish, aquatic vegetation, dead animals, other birds, eggs, garbage, larvae, and many more. Birds are assigned to be reptiles in their class, this is because they have scales on their feet. Crocodilians are said to be the closest relative to birds.
There before bird species were considered to pass knowledge and information to people and that was taken as a cultural thing. Birds communicated through calls, songs, and visual signals and also participated in various activities such as hunting, predator mobbing, flocking, and breeding. Some birds are monogamous and others are polygamous. Usually, birds multiply by laying fertilized eggs and then they are laid for a period of a few days so that they can hatch to chicks. After they have hatched, most of the birds have to take care of the chicks and feed them until they are able to look after themselves.
Most birds usually migrate to look for greener pastures for themselves. They always migrate due to temperature, and change of season, look for habitats for breeding, and search for food. Different groups of birds vary in migration. Some birds such as land birds usually take long-distance migration annually. These birds have unique features in their characteristic of which they spend time in different regions according to temperature (SHUMAKE). Birds always reduce the size of some organs and increase fat in their bodies before migrating from one place to another. During the migration of birds, they need to be extremely energetic since they cross different places with different weather conditions, and of which they have to travel long distances. Some birds have specific routes of migration while others don’t have specific routes. During migration, some birds disperse from others after breeding or do not have a specific route of migration.
Birds, depending on their species have different beaks or bills depending on what they feed on. Birds such as flamingos, and ducks are filter feeders. Some others like hawks, eagles, and kingfishers are predators which means they feed on flesh only. Others are known for stealing food from other birds, these birds are known as Kleptoparasites. Vultures have short, curved, sharp beaks and are known as scavengers they eat dead animals. Birds like Hummingbirds are nectar feeders they are known for their short beaks.
According to (Lincoln) Some birds are known to stay in small groups while others stay to form large groups of flocks. A large flock of birds helps in safety and protection against the enemy and predators. Birds like seabirds associate with non-avian species such as dolphin which pushes fishes toward the surface. Birds are said to have quick eye-opening during sleeping time. This helps them to respond and escape any threat quickly. Also, birds are believed to sleep during flights.
From early time until now birds are said to be of more importance in human lives. Some birds are kept at home for various reasons such as, they are a source of meat and eggs, they provide security in the homestead, and for beauty purposes (Brown). Some people keep these domestic birds for other commercial products that are of much valuable such as feathers which are used for cloth insulation and bedding, and bird waste products which are helpful in the source of nitrogen and phosphorus to plants. Also, there are some birds that are kept as pets, the parrot is one example. They also play diverse roles in traditional culture and religion. Some like dove served as symbols of certain religions. However, birds may spread diseases from one place to another and they can be transmitted to human beings easily leading to fever and even some diseases may lead to death.
Brown, Lester. "3: Moving Up the Food Chain Efficiently."." Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures. (2005).
Lincoln, Frederick Charles, and Steven R. Peterson. Migration of birds. No. 16. Fish & Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior, 1979.
SHUMAKE, STEPHEN A. "Food preference behavior in birds and mammals.". 1978.