There are two subclasses of birds:
Archaeornithes are, or were, primitive birds from
the Jurassic or early Cretaceous periods.
The Neornithes subclass includes all of the birds
Waterproof skin covered in feathers
Endothermic, warm blooded
Hard shelled eggs that are waterproof (cleidoic - closed egg)
Beak or bill rather than teeth
Bipedal (walk on two legs only)
Forelimbs developed into wings
Most members are highly adapted for flight with forelimbs
modified as wings and many weight saving features such as
They can be found worldwide except for Antarctica.
They have special characteristics for life in the water, like
broad bodies easier floating, medium to long necks for
catching food underwater, and shorter legs with webbed
feet for more efficient swimming.
Anatidae (geese, swans and ducks)
Anseranatidae (magpie goose),
There are 400 species of birds in the Apodiformes order.
The birds in this order are very small and have short legs and
tiny feet, in fact the word apodiformes means "footless" in
Unlike other birds that have scales or scutes on their feet, the
feet of the birds in this order are bare skin with no scales
Their young are blind, naked, and helpless at birth.
Hemiprocnidae (crested swifts).
The smallest bird in the world with a mass of
approximately 1.6–2 g (0.056–0.071 oz.) and a
length of 5–6 cm (2.0–2.4 in), the bee
hummingbird of Cuba, is a member of this order.
Alcidae (auks, murres)
Dromadidae (crab plover)
Glareolidae (pratincoles, coursers)
Laridae (gulls, terns)
Pedionomidae (plains wanderer)
Pluvianellidae (Magellanic plover)
Recurvirostridae (avocet, stilts)
Rostratulidae (painted snipe)
There are about 350 species of birds in this order.
They are found in all parts of the world.
The birds in this order live near or on the water and they
range in size from small to large.
There are 18 families in the order:
The only birds capable of drinking by sucking without
having to tilt the head back, able to produce "crop milk"
to feed the young.
Raphidae (dodo and solitaires)
Columbidae (doves and pigeons)
They are medium to large-sized and have strong talons; strong,
curved beaks; and excellent eyesight.
They are very good flyers and often glide overhead riding on warm
air or thermals.
They can be found in all parts of the world except Antarctica, and
live in all habitat types including the desert, tundra, taiga, wetlands,
These are the birds of prey.
Accipitridae (eagles, hawks, and kites)
Cathartidae (new world vultures, condors)
Sagittariidae (secretary bird)
These birds are chicken-like in shape.
They range in size from small to large; have plump, pear-shaped bodies;
rounded wings; small bills; and small, round heads.
Some species, like the turkey, have wattles on their necks.
They eat a variety of foods including: plants, seeds, leaves, insects, lizards,
worms, and rodents.
Many of the species in this order have been domesticated, others are hunted
as game birds.
Cracidae (curassows, guans)
Odontophoridae (quails, bobwhites)
Phasianidae (pheasants, turkeys)
The young possess two large claws on each wing which
are shed during growth.
It is a primitive chicken-sized bird of South American
It is the only bird with a digestive system that ferments
vegetation as a cow does.
They feed on swamp plants, grinding foliage in a greatly
enlarged crop (not the gizzard, as in other birds).
songbirds or perching birds, usually smallish birds, more
than half of all bird species are in this order
the largest and most unique family of birds
containing more than half of all species
have three toes that point forward and one toe that
Tyranni (suboscines), Passeri (oscines), and the basal Acanthisitti
water birds that feed on marine life, webbed feet, some have a large throat pouch
they are some of the most easily recognized birds in the world
The feathers of the birds in this order are not very colorful
The birds in this group also have air sacs under the skin that help cushion them when they plunge
into the water.
Sulidae (gannets and boobies)
Phalacrocoracidae (cormorants and shags)
long-legged, long-necked filter-feeding waders
have oval-shaped bodies with pink or crimson-red
feathers covering their bodies
have exceptionally long legs and necks, and their large
bills curve downward in the middle
Has special feature called zygodactylous feet, which have two toes in front and two toes behind
They almost always contain combinations of black and white with accents of red and yellow
They are small- to medium-sized birds
Family Galbulidae – jacamars (18 species)
Family Bucconidae – puffbirds, nunbirds and nunlets (some 30 species)
Unresolved and basal taxa (all fossil)
Genus Rupelramphastoides (Early Oligocene of Frauenweiler, Germany)
Genus Capitonides (Early – Middle Miocene of Europe)
Pici gen. et sp. indet. (Middle Miocene of Grive-Saint-Alban, France)
Family Miopiconidae (fossil)
Family Picavidae (fossil)
tubenoses, most feed in the open sea, nostrils in tubes, nasal gland to
secrete excess salt, long narrow wings, webbed feet
They are colonial, mostly nesting on remote, predator-free islands
Procellariiformes have had a long relationship with humans
They have been important food sources for many people, and continue to
be hunted as such in some parts of the world
petrels and shearwaters
mostly tropical and subtropical, strong curved bill, upright stance,
strong clawed feet, often bright or vivid colours
Have a strong, hooked beak (maxilla) which has a hinge-like flexible
attachment to the skull
Occur mainly in tropical and subtropical regions although a few
species inhabit temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere
Psittacoidea ("true" parrots)
Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots)
aquatic flightless birds found in the southern hemisphere
only as far the equator
have stiff wings and distinct coloration (black or gray
feathers on their backs and white feathers on their
Their wing bones are fused to form flipper-like limbs and
enable the birds to dive and swim with great skill
sharp hooked beak, strong legs and feet with strong claws, large forward-
facing eyes in a characteristic and obvious circle of feathers, binocular
vision, the eyes can't move in the socket so the whole head moves
medium to large birds with strong talons, a downward-curved bill, acute
hearing and keen eyesight
Their eyes are large, enabling them to gather ample light under dim
true owls, Strigidae
ratites, large flightless birds, no "keel" on the breastbone
(sternum) which is used in other birds attach their flight
weak-flying, partridge-like birds and giant
They are all primarily herbivorous to omnivorous