Birds are animals that are adapted for flight. And even though a few species aren’t able to fly, their bodies are designed for flight. Many birds can also run and swim. Birds can be found on all seven continents and in all types of habitats. You will find them in remote rainforests or in bustling cities, high in the mountains or on the prairie and everywhere in between. It is believed that there are between 9,000 and 10,000 species of birds in the world today.
All birds have many things in common. They all have wings, feathers, toothless beaks, and all lay hard-shelled eggs. However, birds range in size from the tiny bee hummingbird to the 9 ft. tall ostrich. Their diets are varied with many eating nectar, fruit, plants and seeds, while birds of prey and some other species will feast on carrion or small animals.
A few species, like ostrich and other ratites as well as penguins, have evolved over the years so that they are no longer able to fly. However ostriches can run up to 40 mph while penguins are able to swim and dive with ease.
Check out the birds at Rolling Hills Zoo – can you spot their similarities as well as their differences?
- There are around 10,000 different species of birds worldwide.
- The ostrich is the largest bird in the world. It also lays the largest eggs and has the fastest maximum running speed (97 kph).