Yes, everything about birds! Important identification tips and nice little habits. Prepare to know about bird beaks, feathers, flight patterns, even whiskers!
Now, this information is not actually from my own observations, but it makes sense; it's actually from my mother (Anita). I thought it was really cool.
Beak shape is important to diet. Things like grosbeaks and cardinals have little sharp beaks. These are for nut-cracking, or eating berries; other berry eating birds might have beaks a bit more narrow, however. Things such as hawks and eagles have very sharp curved beaks, well designed for tearing prey; prey is actually caught with talons. Ducks and other fishing sorts of birds have long blunt beaks, designed for catching and holding fish, since which a short beak it would be hard to keep a fish from leaving.
Now, I said eagles had hawk beaks; real eagles, not fisher eagles. The bald eagle has a longer beak, since they also eat fish, not just other prey creatures. I suppose it makes sense that they're fisher eagles, not real eagles, although that's tragic.
Now vultures and other carrion birds, such as condors, they have rather blunt beaks, since they don't have to deal with fresh prey very often. And they have ugly faces!
And now for my favorite beak thing! Flycatchers and the like! They have long short beaks, that don't go as far into their head as a nut-cracking bird. These are designed for catching insects out of the air. And the best part about flycatchers are their whiskers.
These actually serve as whiskers. They are designed to help catch insects- or larger prey, since owls have them too. As the birds move to swallow the prey, they can no longer see it. So if the prey is off to one of the sides, the whiskers will feel it and the bird can make a correction- and be fed! Some birds with whiskers are flycatchers, owls, and nighthawks.
Yes, flight patterns! Birds of prey soar more than other birds, excepting swallows (and falcons!). Swallows rarely flap their wings. Falcons are what they call power-flyers, I think; this means that they flap their wings a lot more than other birds of prey. Many smaller birds such as sparrows, woodpeckers, including pileated, tanagers, cardinals, etc. hop as they fly and use their wings often.
Oh, I said I would do feathers! What am I supposed to do? Colorations? More brightly colored birds are usually males. There would be exceptions, I am sure. But other than that I can't really say anything else.
Good, good. Now, problem number one: the chickadee. The chickadee sits upright on a branch, sideways on a tree, and even upside down. It makes it a little hard to distinguish them from nuthatches, if you didn't see if it was a chickadee. Anyway, let's not get carried away by the evil little birds. Don't get me wrong, they are still cute!
Woodpeckers, everyone knows what those do, right? Some woodpeckers live in holes in dead trees, the rest in live trees. Owls live in holes in dead trees, but for the desert ones, including the burrowing owl and the elf owl. So, most importantly, woodpeckers will drill into trees, so that they can eat the bugs there. And one of them, I believe, hides acorns in holes in the trees. The sound produced is called a 'drum.'
Nuthatches face down on trees, and walk towards the bottom, while creepers go up. Ducks can be distinguished by the way they fish. There are so many habits! The only way to know them all is to research all the birds!
The next post is about summer tanagers.
I like observing animals, especially birds. I also take care of the goats. I like goats.
My assistant photographer! She also takes care of African geese.
Another assistant photographer! She takes care of the rabbits, and the hutch is teeming with crawly things.