B I R D S
Birds have always been called our "fine feathered friends", but suddenly, they are receiving more attention from non-scientists than any other group of animals. Birds have a backbone and are therefore called (a reference to the bony structure of their backs). They are also because their bodies have the ability to maintain a stable, or nearly stable, body temperature even if the temperature of the environment varies over a considerable range. cover the birds' skin layer. One use of is as insulation to help maintain the birds' body temperature. Feathers (in trunk) are also used to help birds fly. Birds' legs and toes are covered with and their upper and lower jaws are covered by a protruding horn-like . Birds have unusual bones that make up their skeletal systems in that the bones are and contain . This lightweight bone type is an to aid in flying. All birds lay eggs in nests. Nests may be located on the ground, in above-ground locations such as in a tree, bush or tall grass, or even in man-made structures like platforms, barns, chimneys, or bridges.
Birds that feed along the shores of bodies of water (bays, lakes, or oceans) are commonly called . Examples of shorebirds are terns, gulls, herons, willets, and pelicans. Most shorebirds spend only a part of the year in Florida's Gulf of Mexico area then they move on to other locations. These journeys, called , take the birds to or to areas where they spend the winter or summer. Some shorebirds, such as the gulls, do NOT migrate. They stay in the same area year round and are called .
The ways birds feed can be used to classify them as , , , and . The birds' , and are uniquely adapted to match their method of feeding.