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1. Importance to people
2. Types of migrating birds
3. A way of spending free time
4. Where birds migrate
5. Behaviour and feeding habits
6. Causes of bird extinction
7. Causes of bird migration
8. Where birds live
A. Birds are distinguished from all other animals by their feathers. Some types of
birds live alone most of the time. Other types are more social. They may sleep,
fly, and nest in groups called flocks. Birds use different sounds to communicate
with one another. For example, some baby chicks stop moving when their
mother produces a danger call. They may also sing to announce that a certain
patch of land belongs to them. Many types eat insects. Some water birds catch
fish. Many other types eat plant material.
B. Birds are found almost everywhere on Earth. There are more than 10,000 types
of birds. All birds have similar features. The loss of a complete bird species
may be inevitable because they are too sensitive to rapid changes. Birds living
on small islands, or in desert or mountainous regions, can be vulnerable to
slight changes in climate, while even minor disruptions of forest habitats can
affect the breeding habits and survival of others. In some regions, it is the
hunting of birds, for sport or to trade their pelts, that is the greatest threat.
C. Birds have spread throughout all parts of Earth because of their ability to fly.
They live in a great variety of habitats, including fields, forests, grasslands,
deserts, marshes, islands, and the open ocean. The size of an area and the
diversity of the habitats help determine the number of species found in a given
area. Many birds migrate, or fly long distances between their winter and
summer homes. For example, many European birds travel to Africa for the
winter. This helps them find enough food year-round.
D. Every bird when it is seen for the first time brings a thrill of discovery. The
spring migration is a fresh wonder every year. The surprise and delight of
coming across a rarity and the difficulty of keeping it in view long enough to
be sure of what it is help to make bird-watching an endless fascination. Birdwatching
is a hobby that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. In bird clubs the
membership ranges in age from young children to grandparents. Bird-watching
can combine healthy outdoor activity with the pursuit of beauty and
E. Some birds never move far from where they were born whereas others migrate
and can travel huge distances in the process. Birds migrate from one summer
season to the other. Although they take a lot of risk when they migrate, for
many of them it significantly improves their chances of survival and allows
them to raise more offspring in another region. Birds migrate to move from
areas of low or decreasing resources to areas of high or increasing resources.
F. Birds and their eggs have been sources of food for humans since their origin
and still are in most societies. With the rise of agriculture, birds became
important to farmers. In their constant search for food, wild birds eat huge
numbers of insects, weed seeds, and rodents. Insects, weeds, and rodents cut
down the amount of food the farmer can harvest from field, garden, and
orchard. Many people keep birds as pets. Small finches and parrots are
especially popular. Zoological parks are a source of recreation for millions of
people each year.
G. Migration is often annual. It is closely linked with the cyclic pattern of the
seasons. It is most evident among birds, which have a highly efficient means of
traveling swiftly over long distances. The migration of most birds is a yearly
cycle. Not all birds migrate. Permanent residents do not migrate. They are able
to find adequate supplies of food year-round. Short-distance migrants move
only a short distance. Medium-distance migrants cover distances that span from
one to several states. There are also long-distance migrants.