Weedon Island: Air
Lesson II: Weedon Island: Air
keywords: plumage, ratite, bills, talons, molt
Background Bird Information:
In the air, or masqueraded in the
canopy of mangrove trees, someone
walking quietly might encounter a
red-tail hawk, a pileated
woodpecker, a red cardinal, and
even a wren or warbler.
they a bald eagle soaring overhead.
Beautiful butterflies color the sky with
their wings, and down near the
water’s edge, a roseate spoonbill or
blue heron might be found hunting.
Decorating the water’s edge and the
surrounding trees might be many
white ibis, wood storks and
The birds might be
hunting small fish, bugs and worms.
Birds’ feathers, or
play many important roles; they are
influential in attracting a mate,
intimidating competitors, vital for
warmth and camouflage.
species, adult males are very brightly
colored, whereas the females blend
into the background.
protects birds against the cold and
Feathers trap air near the body
of the bird, and this acts like
insulation around the bird’s body.
Swimming birds have water-repellent
Under these there
lies a dense coat of short, fluffy
feathers called down.
Down is an
Birds lose and
feathers at least
once a year.
In most migratory
species, the new
plumage is grown
after breeding and
reason that birds
feathers become faded and brittle
with long exposure to sunlight. Some
are lost during flight or pruning, or
they just grow old with time and use.
touch are the most commonly used
in all birds.
Their sense of sight is
very good and they can perceive
objects in very dim light.
have better developed senses
according to their needs, lifestyles
In addition to these