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Big Ideas for Birds, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Scientists recognize around 10,000 species of birds worldwide, with new species still being discovered (Fergus 128). In birds, every aspect of the body seems dedicated to the ability to fly. Birds have sleek shapes and thin, hollow bones. Their skulls weigh little: evolution has whittled away excess ounces by eliminating teeth, heavy jaws, and jaw muscles. A bird’s lungs and heart are large as compared to its body size (128). Connected to the lungs is a system of air pouches, which supplement lung capacity and help cool the speedy avian metabolism. Rapid, skillful flight requires eyesight, quick spontaneous effects, and superb coordination, and so the nervous system is complex in birds. The brain of a small bird weighs ten times that of a lizard having the same body weight (128). In birds, the parts of the brain that control vision and muscle coordination are particularly well developed.

Birds’ abilities to fly and to survive in dramatically differing environments have let them colonize almost every part of the globe (Fergus 129). Like mammals, birds are warm-blooded, able to regulate their own internal temperature so they can remain active when it is hot or cold. Birds evolved from an early line of reptiles, and their feathers are believed to have developed from reptilian scales, the feathers at first functioning as heat-conservation insulation and only later being used for flight (129).

Birds lay eggs, out of which hatch young that are able to move about and feed themselves almost immediately or requiring several weeks of parental care and feeding before they become independent. Most birds eat insects and plant matter, particularly seeds and fruits; some are predators of other birds and of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles (Fergus 129). Birds’ bills vary in shape and may be dedicated to exploiting certain foods.

How do you know it’s a bird?

Perhaps humans present the most striking evidence of this evolutionary diversity. In a 6 billion population, with the possible exception of identical twins, each is incredibly unique. No fingerprint is duplicated, no person is the same. Similarly, birds come in all shapes, sizes and colors.Inorder to identify birds, Fenimore (15)developed an eye for detail. Learn to concentrate on certain features:

  • Posture and movement: the way a bird perches or moves often reveals its identity. Wrens cock their tails; woodpeckers and goldfinches have an undulating pattern of flight.
  • Size and proportions: when you see bird you do not recognize compare its size with a bird you do know – say, a robin or a crow. Note whether the bird is slender or robust, and whether its legs or beak are unusually long.
  • Songs and calls: Birds have two sets of vocal cords, and some have been recorded singing two songs at once. Recognizing a bird by sound is often easier than identifying it by sight, especially with small birds in deep foliage.
  • Color and markings: these attributes most strikingly reveal a bird’s identity, although some species change colors depending on season, sex, or age. With experience, you will be able to absorb more and more information in a quick glance and will learn the special characteristics that separate closely related species – say, the bill color of a tern or the wing bars of a vireo.
  • Nest and eggs: With a little practice, you will be able to identify the nest and the eggs of many species. Field guides describe the variations in both. Do not disturb nests or steal eggs (Fenimore 17).

These questioning techniques will be helpful. Bird shapes are extremely important. Some aspects of birds’ shapes are obvious. For example, if the beak, legs, or tail happen to be exceptionally long, we will notice that immediately. Look at the head: is the crown relatively flat, rounded, peaked, and double-peaked? Does the forehead look steep relative to the base of the upper mandible? Does the head seem large, small, or “normal” for the size of the body, and is the neck notably long or short? And the body itself: is it elongated, slender, and chunky? These subtle hints displayed by the bird’s physical features will help identifying the birds.

What makes a bird different from cat?

It is first necessary to give a little insight on a few of the basic differences between cats and birds. “The cat is out and the birds are in jeopardy as he seeks a tasty lunch; however, his jingling bell saves the birds” –Ehlert’s vibrant collages and illustrations of humorous cat expressions produce an enjoyable book experience. The way Lois Ehlert accurately portrays the independent, moody, cantankerous, playful nature of cats combine to make Top Cat a delightful read-aloud.

The problem of the cat versus the bird is as old as time.Cats meow and birds chirp. Ofcourse, birds have feathers, and cats do not! But there is a basic difference between cats and birds. Cat is a mammal. Mammalian reproduction is regulated primarily by the female requiring input from the male at the time the female is receptive (Grindol and Roudybush 212). This enables cats to reproduce without regulation, except when the availability of food and space is limited. Most bird species, on the other hand, must form pair bonds and have specific environmental conditions available before they breed (213). This means that producing more birds requires significant input from bird breeders, while producing more cats happens pretty much on its own.

They both showlove. Cats purr. Birds re-enact the maternal feeding behavior. One thing birds do have in common with cats is that when injured they lick their wounds and are genetically incapable of stopping.

Little bird versus small bird

Sparrows are not outstanding or hold any special beauty that sets them apart; they can not be classified as ugly either, maybe just average, but they are in majority. They also have a very irritating habit of fighting one another with a “me first” attitude. They seem to be constantly fighting each other for the bird feeders, with this “me first” attitude. They never seem to get enough, nor do they show any faith that someone will refill the feeders again.

Now the Blue Jay! If a cat or any perceived danger comes near they make their special call (warnings or 911 for extra help) and all the smaller birds fly away and into the shelter of the hedges, or trees. They also are very protective of their babies, and will literally dive bomb more or beast if you come close to their fallen baby regardless of your size. If a more serious threat is present they will even call for backup and other blue jays in the area arrive to help. Nature is interesting to observe for me, and I believe you can learn from it as well. For some reason, they seem to build awfully weak nests, since they have so many babies falling out of them constantly. Or maybe, it could that the babies try to fly before they have grown adequate feathers.

Bibliography

Ehlert, Lois. Feathers for Lunch. Harcourt Brace, 1990. Print.

Children are introduced to both garden plants and birds. Illustrations and rhyming text identify 12 common birds, their calls, and the environments in which they may be found. Both birds and plants are labeled. The storyline is held together by the adventures of a stalking cat that is attempting to catch one of those birds. Although written for primary-school children, this book will appeal to older children as well and serve as an introduction to identifying birds and designing gardens that will attract birds. Bold, colorful illustrations lend themselves to follow-up activities using collages and labels.

Ehlert, Lois. Top Cat. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001. Print.

This book is engaging, with its unique story line, creative illustrations, and innovative print features on all book pages – all common features of Ehlert’s children’s books. Ehlert uses very few words to tell her story, and these words are in large print, making them easy to talk about and focus upon in alphabet-centered discussions. Also, as in other Ehlert books, she has small printed words sprinkled across the page, such as the words “swish swish” next to a cat’s tail and the “jingle jingle” next to the bell on a cat’s collar. These added print features provide excellent conversation starters to talk to children about print, including the alphabet.

Fenimore, Bill. Backyard Birds of New Jersey: How to Identify and Attract the Top 25 Birds. Gibbs Smith, 2009. Print.

Bill Fenimore, who has spend his career sharing the excitement of birding with newcomers, explains in this handy guide how to identify the twenty-five most common backyard birds – a good foundation on which to build children’s identification skills before they start to sort out the dozens of other species that pass through them each year. What’s more, he provides solid information on how to attract these and other birds, from building nest boxes to choosing the right foods to target specific birds.

Fergus, Charles. Wildlife of Virginia and Maryland and Washington. Stackpole Books, 2003. Print.

This book answers many of the commonly asked questions about birds. Taken together, Virginia and Maryland constitute a rich region that is home to many wild creatures. It entertains children who are interested in wildlife and inspires them to get out into nature and make their own observations of the creatures described in this.

Grindol, Diane, and Roudybush, Thomas. Teaching Your Bird to Talk. John Wiley & Sons, 2003. Print.

We live in an enlightened age. Avian experts, Tom and Diane, have compiled an impressive amount of background, training and research on the subject of bird verbalizations that will have children reeling!In this easy-to-understand guide, they reveal how children can communicate with birds far beyond “hello” and, in turn, understand what birdsare trying to communicate to them.

Kaplan, Gisela, and Rogers, Lesley J. Birds: Their Habits and Skills. Allen & Unwin, 2002. Print.

This book is an unusual collection of curious facts. It describes the fascinating behaviors and physiology of birds of all shapes and sizes – from the birds in our cities to the wild birds in rainforests and at sea shores, in deserts and plaints. Children will learn how birds evolved and why some came to be flightless. In short, this book explains why these creatures do the things that they do, so children can more fully enjoy and understand the birds they see every day.

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