All About Birds
Wings are one feature that all birds have in common, but each individual species has distinct behaviors or attributes that make them unique. From the frigid South Pole to the brambling shrubs that thrive in some of the world’s hottest deserts, birds have adapted to survive. Some swim for their food, while others catch their prey in flight or even probe for food hiding underground. No matter the circumstance that Mother Nature may throw their way, birds are survivors!
Birds have many different types of beaks and each beak shape is designed for eating a certain type of food. They can be hooked, short and heavy, or long and pointy. They use their beaks to get food and drink water. Birds also use their beaks to preen, collect nesting materials, scratch, and feed their young.
Birds use their feet for defense, carrying things, perching, or combing feathers. Most birds have three toes facing forwards and one toe facing backwards. Special tendons in the feet help keep birds' feet clasped, allowing them to rest on telephone wires, branches, and other seemingly precarious sites. The structure of a bird's feet helps to determine where the bird finds its food and how it moves around those environments. Looking at the feet in the picture above, can you guess where each of these birds might hunt or forage for food?
Did You Know?
Eighteen species of birds found at Padre Island National Seashore are state or federally listed as endangered, threatened, or a species of concern. More...