Birds are warm-blooded, feather-bearing, egg-laying, amniotic vertebrates having the fore-limbs modified into wings. Ornithology is the scientific study of birds.
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Avian Reproduction: Anatomy and the Bird Egg
Notes on the bird reproductive system and the development of the embryo, with explanatory drawings and photographs.
Avian Reproduction: Clutch Size, Incubation and Hatching
Notes on clutch size optimization in birds, reproductive success, embryo development, incubation and the hatching process, with links to other similar articles.
Bird Banding Laboratory
Based at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, issues permits to researchers in the United States who place uniquely numbered bands (rings) on birds' legs. Site features the history of banding and reporting of bird band observations.
Article describing how the young of some birds are fed on special secretions from their parents.
Bird Respiratory System
Article explaining how air sacs play an important part in the gaseous exchange in birds, with many diagrams.
Bird Skull Collection
Images and data about skulls of western Palearctic and Tropical species, with complete skeletons of some species.
BirdMinds: Exploring Bird Intelligence
Examples of avian intelligence are reviewed for many different bird species, based upon scientific and anecdotal evidence.
Ornithological Council's website with comprehensive data about North American ornithological resources.
A number of fine photographs of the development of a chick inside the egg.
Article describing how some birds adopt the strategy of grouping their young, leaving them with a guardian while both parents go off to forage.
Development and Uses of Avian Skeleton Collections
Skeletons are essential for the identification of fossils, bones from archaeological sites and food items taken by predators as well as histological and physiological studies. [PDF]
Electronic Resources on Ornithology
Annotated links and ornithological articles by Christopher Majka.
Flapping Flight: Inertial Studies
Technical article by researchers at Bristol University who measured the wings of bats and birds and calculated their efficiency in flight.
Flight in Birds
How do birds fly? An introduction to flight in birds examining wing shape, airflows, flapping flight and gliding.
Incubation: Heating the Egg
Most birds create the required temperature by sitting on their eggs but some transfer heat through their webbed feet, and the megapodes of Australia bury them in a mound of decaying vegetation.
List of Essays
Many articles on every aspect of bird life. A comprehensive and useful resource.
Ornithology: Science of Birds
Includes data on the science of wild birds, with an emphasis on conservation and education.
The young of passerines when first hatched are naked, blind, and helpless and require much care which involves feeding, training and protection from predators.
Most birds are monogamous, but in some species the occurrence of polygyny, where one male mates with more than one female, is related to high-quality territories with an abundance of resources.
Essay discussing the factors behind the variation in the number of individuals in a bird population over time.
A Qualitative and Quantitative Study of the Lung of an Ostrich
The colossal body size, the relinquishment of flight and the extreme thermal stresses on the ground make the examination of an ostrich’s lungs rewarding.
Sense of Direction
Article from the Princeton Weekly Bulletin outlining how Biologist Martin Wikelski is helping to settle the long-standing debate over how migratory birds manage to navigate in darkness and bad weather.
Female birds of some species tend to choose as mates those males holding the most desirable territories, but there is little evidence that females preferentially select males with different degrees of ornamentation.
Many birds return to the same nesting site each season. This essay discusses why this should be so.
Article describing how birds try to exclude others of the same species from their home range.
Article discussing how birds have adapted to urban foraging amid the artificial concrete and steel ecosystems of cities.
Article describing how birds learn their songs from adult tutors and may incorporate sounds from other species into their repertoire.
Article describing how the songs of many avian species show geographic variation.
Songs identify the species of the singing bird. The territorial song of males serves the dual purpose of territorial proclamation directed at other males and of mate attraction directed toward females.
When and How do Birds Migrate
Article discussing the varying strategies adopted by birds in finding their way when taking part in their long distance journeys.
Wing Image Collection
The Slater Museum of Natural History provides a comprehensive selection of photographs of bird wings. [RSS]
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Last update:November 7, 2016 at 5:14:05 UTC