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Birds live and breed almost everywhere, including parts of Antarctica. The largest populations of birds occur in warmer, tropical climates. Most birds are active during daylight hours but some bird species, such as owls, are active at night or during twilight.
Bird bones are very lightweight which enables them to fly with feathers that facilitate flight. Feathers, or plumage, provide camoflage to hide from predators, but also colorful displays for birds to be able to recognize each other. The formation of feathers on the birds vary within species depending upon the age, social status, and sex. Male birds are generally more colorful than females. Feathers also provide insulation to help keep the bird warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Birds have very good color vision but not so good with the sense of smell.
Most birds can fly, but some are flightless. Penguin, Ostrich, Emu's, chickens and Turkeys are some of the flightless species. Which reminds me, on our morning walks recently in my neighborhood, we discovered a large family of wild turkeys has taken up residence. Every morning now for the past few weeks we've been treated with observing this mother and father carefully herd their 18 chicks through front yards and forested areas alike while they teach their young to forage. It is such a privilege to watch every day as the chicks grow larger. They are about as tame as the geese that gather at lakeside parks. They never run away but get closer than 25 feet and they will run and scatter. It is amazing how fast this huge flock can simply disappear into the bush. This is one instance where feathers that provide camouflage are pretty handy, dandy traits.
Treat your budding birder with masks that can transform a child into a soaring eagle or waddling penguin and make up stories and songs. Make crafts or wall hanging decorations for parties and thematic events.
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