Bird Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

What do you think life would be like if you were a bird? Come and learn about how birds look, how they act, as well as some of the different types of birds in the world.

Characteristics of Birds

Did you know that many scientists have very convincing proof that birds evolved from carnivorous dinosaurs? Dinosaurs evolving means that the dinosaur gradually developed into a bird over a long period of time. One way that birds and dinosaurs are the same is that they are both vertebrates, meaning that they have backbones. They also both lay eggs, and that is where their babies come from.

These black bird eggs are ready to hatch soon!

Of course, there are many things about birds that are different than dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex. For one thing, birds have feathers. Male birds tend to have brighter, more colorful feathers, while females' feathers tend to be duller. Their feathers keep them warm and are all over their body, including their wings. While all birds have wings, not all birds can use their wings to fly, like ostriches and penguins. The birds that can fly, however, can do so because of the shape of their wings and their hollow bones.

Have you ever been outside on a cold, winter day and just wished you could be somewhere warm? Well, some birds wish for the same thing and act on this wish by flying south for the winter. Flying south for the winter is called migration and about 20% of birds migrate far distances to avoid the cold every year. Birds can tell that winter is coming based on the air and when the days begin to get shorter. They just don't like the cold. Maybe this is why more than 50% of birds choose to live in the warm and tropical rain forest!

Birds love to eat. In fact, many birds can eat twice their body weight every day! When they are babies, the birds will wait in the nest to be fed by their mothers. Sometimes, the mothers will chew up the food and spit it in their babies' open mouths.

Baby birds waiting to be fed

Types of Birds

There are close to 10,000 different species of birds, so let's just focus on a few of them and some interesting facts about what makes them unique.

• Penguins: While penguins have wings, they are not able to fly. A bird not being able to fly is known as being a flightless bird. However, penguins can swim.

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