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Aves - All About Birds

Cedar WaxwingBirds have backbones and feathers. Like mammals, birds are warm-blooded, or endothermic. They can live in warm and cold climates. Most birds fly, but there are some species, like the penguins, that swim. Others, like the ostrich, are ground-dwelling.

Birds have bills and no teeth, and they lay eggs. They have four parts to their bodies: a head, a neck, a torso, and a tail. They have light, hollow bones that make flight easier, and they have two legs and two wings.

There are about 9,600 species. Scientists believe that birds are descended from dinosaurs. There are two subclasses of birds: Archaeornithes and Neornithes. Archaeornithes are, or were, primitive birds from the Jurassic or early Cretaceous periods. The Neornithes subclass includes all of the birds alive today.

Educational Resources

oystercatcher New Hampshire Birds
Learn about the bird species that are found in NH.
little blue heron Parts of a Bird
Do you know your bird parts?
oystercatcher Bird Characteristics
The characteristics that set birds apart from other animals.
oystercatcher Bird Watching Tips
Get ready to discover the birds in your backyard and beyond.
oystercatcher Bird Observation Form
Keep track of what you see!
oystercatcher Riding Thermals
Learn how some birds save energy when they fly.

Bird Orders

aaa Accipitriformes (hawks, eagles)
aaa Anseriformes  (ducks, geese, swans)
aaa Apodiformes (hummingbirds, swifts)
aaa Bucerotiformes (hornbills, hoopoes)
aaa Caprimulgiformes (nightbirds)
aaa Cathartiformes (New World Vultures)
a Charadriiformes (shorebirds)
a Ciconiiformes (herons, storks, vultures)
a Coliiformes (mousebirds)
a Columbiformes (doves, pigeons)
a Coraciiformes (kingfishers)
a Cuculiformes (cuckoos, hoatzins)
a Falconiformes (falcons)
a Galliformes (turkeys, pheasants, quails)
a Gaviiformes (loons)
a Gruiformes (coots, cranes, rails)
a Passeriformes (perching birds)
a Pelecaniformes (pelicans, boobies)
a Phoenicopteriformes (flamingos)
a Piciformes (woodpeckers, toucans)
a Podicipediformes (grebes)
a Procellariiformes (albatrosses, fulmars)
a Psittaciformes (parrots, parakeets)
a Sphenisciformes (penguins)
a Strigiformes (owls)
a Struthioniformes (ostriches, kiwis)
a Tinamiformes (tinamous)
a Trogoniformes (trogons)

Bird Photo Galleries

Ducks, Geese, Swans
Herons, Egrets
Perching Birds 1
Perching Birds 2
Perching Birds 3
Doves, Pigeons
Kingfishers, Hornbills
Cuckoos, Hoatzins
Falcons, Hawks, Eagles
Turkeys, Pheasants

Coots, Cranes, Rails
Pelicans, Boobies
Albatrosses, Fulmars
Parrots, Parakeets
Ostriches, Emus, Kiwis