You’re watching FreeSchool! Hi, everyone! Today we’re going to learn about
birds. Birds are a large group of animals. They are
vertebrates, which means they have backbones, and, like mammals, they are warm-blooded.
All birds have two legs, wings and feathers, a beak or bill, and they lay eggs. Birds can
be found everywhere in the world, from the frigid antarctic, to hot desert climates,
to oceans. They range in size from the tiny bee hummingbird – only 5 cm or 2 inches in
length – to the ostrich – 2.75 meters or 9 feet tall. There are more than 10,000 species
of birds in the world. Birds are everywhere! Birds eat many different types of food. Some
eat insects, some eat fish. Some eat meat, and some eat seeds, fruit, or nectar. Most
birds fly, but not all of them. Some birds, like penguins, use their wings to help them
swim instead. Other birds, like the ostrich, don’t need to fly because they can run so
fast. Still others, like the kiwi, were able to do without flight because the islands on
which they live had few native predators. Birds are some of the most colorful animals
on the planet. While many birds have feathers that are brown, gray, black, or white, colors
that help camouflage them and hide them from sight, other birds put on beautiful displays.
In many cases, when we see a brightly colored bird, it is the male. Females are often more
quiet colors that make them harder to spot. The male birds wear their bright bold feathers
to show the females how strong and healthy they are, so the females know they would make
a good father. Once eggs have been laid, someone has to take
care of them. In some bird species, both parents take turns keeping the eggs warm, or incubating
them. In others, only one parent does. Once the eggs have been laid, they may take as
little as 10 days to hatch, or as many as 80. When the eggs hatch, the baby birds need help
to survive – some more than others. Some baby birds hatch blind and featherless, and need
to be fed and kept warm by their parents. Other chicks are ready to run around and eat
the same day they hatch out. There are even a few kinds of birds that can fly and take
care of themselves as soon as they hatch! Other birds, however, will take care of their
chicks for a very long time. The greater frigatebird will help feed and take care of its chick
for almost two years after it hatches. Many types of birds are important to humans.
Some birds are kept for their eggs or meat. Some birds are kept for their beautiful feathers.
Still other birds are kept as pets. Most birds, however, are wild animals, and while we may
enjoy watching them, they should be left alone. I hope you enjoyed learning about birds today.
Goodbye till next time!