Class Aves

click to find the answer to today's question What is the main characteristic of birds known as raptors?
The scissor-tailed flycatcher, link to an Internet WebsiteTyrannus forficatus, is the Oklahoma State Bird.

scissor-tailed flycatcher Class characteristics: link to an Internet Website

The wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, is the state game bird. link to a local picture

Birds link to an Internet Website are special they are the only vertebrates with the ability to fly. link to an Internet Website In addition to aerodynamics, birds must have a high surface-area-to-weight ratio and lots of power to fly. There are many body adaptations that allow them to do this.

Flight adaptations:


Birds that have hooked beaks for tearing flesh are called raptors. link to a local picture Two raptors are well known in Oklahoma; the red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis, and the turkey vulture, Cathartes aura.

Owls are important nocturnal predators in Oklahoma, feeding mostly on small mammals. owl face Three owls are common; the great horned owl, Cathartes aura, the barred owl, Strix varia, and the screech owl, Otus asio. The screech owl feeds most often on insects. Although an owl's keen eyesight is important for hunting at night, their hearing is even more important. Notice where the ear openings are located on the drawing. They are not on the sides where the ear tufts are, but more to the front of the head. They are also positioned at different levels. This allows owls to hear best directly in front of them and gives depth perception to their hearing.

Day 2

click to find the answer to today's question What part of the bird's skeleton controls the primary feathers?

Bird classification:

Classification is complicated by the large number of similar bird types. There are close to 9,000 species of birds alive today. Twenty of the approximately 27 orders of birds have representatives in the United States. Most identification characteristics are based on differences in shape and structure of the bill, link to a local picture feet, link to a local picture wings, and tail. However, variations in size, color, and markings are used more for bird identification than any other vertebrate group. That is because most birds attain their full growth within a few months of hatching, and individual variation in adult size is less than 3% of the average species measurement among members of the same sex.

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Raptors have hooked beaks for tearing flesh.










The primary feathers are attached to the bird's "fingers".