wildbird

This year’s focus has been the Year of the Bird which marks 100 years since the passing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, as part of this campaign we have had bird photo submissions from all over the world throughout the year, and shared as many interesting and diverse photos as we could. “Birds are...

Raptors are carnivorous birds that are physically and behaviourally adapted to hunt their particular prey which ranges from fish, to lizards and snakes, to small mammals and birds. The adaptations this group of birds use include hooked bills, excellent binocular vision, strong muscles, and sharp talons, all of which make killing their prey easier. Thanks...

Feathers vary widely in their shape and size and are one of the defining characteristics of birds. Feathers perform many functions for birds which include flight in most species, thermoregulation, waterproofing in marine species, and communication and camouflage via their colour. Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of bird feathers, your pictures...

Forests are very productive ecosystems accounting for a third of the Earth’s primary productivity. This productivity, and their many layers from forest floor to canopy, make them a great habitat for many bird species across the globe. Worldwide however anthropogenic factors such as logging, introduced invasive species, and land conversion for agriculture, have reduced the...

Mountains provide habitats for many birds. Mountain ecosystems have adapted to their specific environmental conditions which makes them sensitive to environmental change. Birds that use mountain habitats have adapted to these conditions and are thus also sensitive to environmental change; in many mountain areas habitat change has resulted in the reduction of liveable habitats for...

Birds have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, they are found on all continents and use many types of habitats, however as humans change many of these habitats birds have had to either adapt, or suffer. Many species have been able to adapt to human habitation and changing habitats, but many species have...

Parrots are a colourful group of birds found in most tropical and subtropical regions where they use cool temperate habitats. Their diet varies depending on the species, but many feed on vegetable matter, fruits, seeds, and nectar and pollen, with some species using their feet to hold onto their food while they feed. Parrots are...

Rivers and lakes are important habitats for many bird species because they provide food in the form of fish and aquatic invertebrates, shelter made from aquatic vegetation, and nesting sites within the aquatic vegetation that are sheltered from view. In some areas the water levels of rivers and lakes may vary with rainfall causing their...

Birds make use of plumage colouration and behaviour to conceal themselves from potential predators or prey, this is known as camouflage. In some species plumage colouration will match the surrounding environment, while patterns such as countershading reduce the shadow on the bird’s underside making it less visible. Certain behaviours such as crouching low to the...

Herons, egrets and bitterns as a group are varied and have a worldwide distribution, but are common in the tropics. These wading birds are often associated with both fresh and coastal water where they feed at the edge of lakes, rivers, and the sea on aquatic prey including fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Some species may specialise...

Owls are characterised by an upright stance, binocular vision, and flight feathers that are adapted for silent flight. In many species the flight feathers are serrated at the edges; this reduces the noise made by the wingbeats and allows the owls to silently hunt their prey. Many species are nocturnal and hunt their prey at...

2018 is year of the bird, a project launched by National Geographic with the aim of increasing awareness about birds and the threats they face. This year is 100 years since the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was passed, which brought with it increased protection for many bird species. It has also been 100 years since...

Birds will often form aggregations known as flocks when they feed, or fly. The benefit of doing activities as part of a flock is that multiple birds can look out for danger while others forage or fly. Many species will also congregate to form mixed flocks that forage together, this may benefit solitary species that...

Seeds come in all shapes and sizes, and are an important part of the diet for many bird species. This variety in seeds has thus led to a wide variety of bird beaks used to feed on them. Seed eating birds can be divided into two groups; those that husk the seed before eating it,...

Many birds make use of black plumage, whole or only partially. In feathers it is melanin pigments that produce the black to reddish-brown colour, these pigments are enclosed in granular structures called melanosomes. The melanosomes make black feathers stronger and more resistant to wear than non-melanised feathers, and often birds that have mostly white plumage...