The ecological groups of birds were formed in connection with adaptation to life in similar conditions (birds of different orders developed similar features of structure and behavior).
Birds of the forest
The life of the birds of the forest is connected with the space limited by trees and shrubs, obtaining food in the crowns, cracks in the bark and under the bark of trees, in the forest floor, using berries, buds and young shoots. In such conditions, those birds survived, in which adaptations to takeoff and precise landing on branches, maneuvering between trees (shortened wide wings, rather long tail), various features in the structure of the beak and legs survived.
In the forests live black grouse and wood grouses – from the order of chickens, wood pigeons and klintukh – from the order of dove-like, great and small spotted woodpeckers from the order of woodpeckers, the common cuckoo – from the order of cuckoo-like.
Birds of open air spaces
Swallows (village, or killer whale, urban, or funnel, coastal), swifts (white-lumbar) and others – spend most of their active life in the air. The rapid and light flight of these birds is facilitated by long, narrow wings, strongly developed pectoral muscles, a notched tail – the rudder during flight. On the fly, they catch insects with a wide-opening mouth, along the edges of which there are bristles that increase it. The legs of swallows and swifts are short and during flight they are tightly pressed to the body.
Birds of the steppes and deserts
Birds of the steppes and deserts living in open spaces usually have well-developed legs and a long neck. Such structural features allow them to notice danger in time and hide from enemies.
The large birds that live in the steppes of our country include the bustard and the little bustard (the Crane-like order). The bustard’s legs are powerful, three-toed, conducive to fast running.
The life of birds of various appearance and size is associated with water bodies and coastal zones.
Birds of swamps, coasts
These birds have long legs and necks, thanks to which they keep their bodies from getting wet when getting food. Long beak enables them to deftly grab prey – frogs, fish. They also have a special brittle down. Turning into crumbs, it covers the feathers and prevents them from getting wet.
Birds of open areas of water
Waterfowl of fresh water bodies, usually feeding in open areas of water bodies (ducks, teals, geese), have short legs with swimming membranes, a wide beak with transverse plates along its edges, forming a filtering apparatus. All these birds swim and dive well. They walk slowly on the ground, waddling from side to side, which is associated with the displacement of the legs to the back of the body. Dense plumage, smeared with secretions of a well-developed coccygeal gland, is not wetted with water. The highly developed fluff and subcutaneous fat layer protects the body from cooling.
Albatrosses and petrels are typical inhabitants of the vast oceanic expanses. Most of these birds, which outwardly resemble gulls, have narrow, sharp and long wings designed for soaring flight. Spending almost their entire life at sea, they feed on marine animals, sleep sitting on the waves and fly to the shore only to nest.
Birds of prey are excellent hunters. They have curved beaks, sharp claws, and good eyesight.
Daytime predators (eagles, falcons, hawks, kites) live in various places – in forests, mountains, on plains. They feed mainly on various birds and mammals.
Owls form a special group of nocturnal birds of prey. They hunt at dusk and at night. Owls have thick, loose and soft plumage. On the front of their head, feathers form a characteristic “facial disc”. The large eyes of the owls are turned forward. The head is very mobile. Owls have keen eyesight and keen hearing. Their flight is silent.