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Class - Birds (AVES) - (4th Grade and up)

Birds are in the Class Aves and come in all shapes and sizes from hummingbirds weighing less than 1/10 of an ounce to 200-pound ostriches. All have some important traits in common.

  1. They are the only animals with feathers.
  2. They have beaks instead of teeth.
  3.  They are warm-blooded.
  4. They do not give birth to live young like mammals, but lay eggs.
  5. Most birds take care of their young, feeding them until they are old enough to find their own food.
  6. Most birds build nests.
  7. Many birds travel south to a warmer climate in winter and return north in summer to feed and reproduce (migration).
  8. Most birds can fly, so have large chest muscles for wing power and hollow bones to make them lighter.

Flightless birds include the ostrich, emu, rhea, cassowary, kiwi, penguins, and others. They nest on the ground and have developed ways of defending themselves from predators. They are fast runners or fast swimmers. Some can kick. Many flightless birds lived on Islands where there were no predators, so didn’t need to fly. When people came to the islands bringing dogs and pigs, they had no defenses. This led to the endangerment of many species and the total extinction of the dodo by the 1700s. The Class Birds is broken down into many Orders (though their classification is changing over time). Study some of the current Orders below to find the birds in your area. Phylum - Chordata, Subphylum - Vertebrata, Class - Birds, Orders:

Class - Birds (AVES) - (4th Grade and up)
Class - Birds (AVES) - (4th Grade and up)

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