Featured Species

American Dipper | American RobinArctic Tern | Bald EagleBaltimore OrioleBlack-Capped ChickadeeBrown-Headed Nuthatch | Brown Pelican | Burrowing Owl Cedar Waxwing | Common Loon | Eastern Towhee | Greater Roadrunner | Great Horned Owl | Mallard | Northern MockingbirdNorthern Spotted OwlOspreyPeregrine FalconPintail | Red-Bellied WoodpeckerRed-Cockaded WoodpeckerRed KnotRuby-Throated Hummingbird | Sandhill CraneWestern Scrub Jay | Whooping Crane | Wood Duck | Yellow-Headed Blackbird

Antarctica Penguins

What is a bird?

To identify an animal as a bird, it should have these characteristics:

  • Feathers! All birds have feathers.
  • Birds have a backbone. They are vertebrates.
  • All birds are warm-blooded. They can regulate their body temperature.
  • Female birds lay eggs. Their young develop inside of the egg.
  • Birds have wings, but not all birds use them to fly. Penguins and ostriches are examples of birds that do not fly.

Some common birds are blue jays, pigeons, eagles, vultures, mallards and hummingbirds. What birds can you identify in your community?

How are Birds Doing Worldwide and in the United States?

Scientists have identified approximately 10,000 species worldwide. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 12 percent of birds worldwide are known to be threatened or extinct.  
Bald eagle in snowstorm

Over 800 birds occur in the United States. Some live here year-round, others migrate to the United States seasonally, while others only stop in on their migratory routes to other countries. Of the approximately 800 bird species, 90 are listed on the Endangered Species List. A few of the birds on the Endangered Species List are the California condor, the whooping crane, the red-cockaded woodpecker, the Hawaiian goose and the Florida scrub-jay.  Birds in Hawaii are some of the most critically threatened, because they are found no where else on Earth and are threatened by habitat loss and invasive species.


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