Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

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TRAITS
 Ratites
 Tinamous
 Cracids/Galli
 Waterfowl
   Screamers
   Ducks

 Penguins
 Loons
 Grebes
 Procellarids
   Albatrosses
   Petrels
   Storm-Petrels

Totipalmate Swm

   Tropicbirds
   Gannets/Boobies
   Pelicans
   Cormorants
   Anhingas
   Frigatebirds

 
Waders
   Herons
   Ibises
   Storks  

 NW Vultures
 Flamingos
 Raptors
 Gruiformes
   Buttonquail
   Bustards
   Cranes
   Rails

 Shorebirds
   Sandgrouse
   Plovers
   Oystercatchers
   Stilts
   Sandpipers
   Gulls/Terns
   Auks

 Pigeons
 Parrots
 Turacos
 Cuckoos
 Owls
 Frogmouths
 Nightjars
 Swifts/Humbd
 Colies
 Coraciae

   Hornbills
   Hoopoes
   Trogons
   Rollers
   Kingfishers
   Bee-eaters
   Jacamars/Puffbd

 
Pici
   Honeyguides
   Woodpeckers
   Barbets/Toucans

PASSERINES
   NZ WRENS
   OW SUBOSC

      Broadbills
      Pittas

 NW SUBOSC
   NW Flycatchers

   Becards
   Cotingas
   Manakins
   Antbirds
   Ovenbirds
   Woodcreepers
   Antthrushes
   Tapaculos 

 OSCINES
 Lyre-/Scrub-birds
 Bowerbirds
 Aust. Wrens
 Honeyeaters
 Scrubwrens
 Aust. Robins
 Kinglets
 Shrikes
 Vireos
 Whistlers
 Corvids
 Birds-of-Paradse
 OW Orioles
 Cuckoo-shrikes
 Fantails
 Drongos
 Monarchs
 Bush-shrikes
 Wattle-eyes
 Vangas
 Waxwings
 Dippers
 Thrushes
 OW Flycatchers
 Starlings
 Mimids
 Nuthatches
 N Creepers
 Wrens
 Gnatcatchers
 Tits/Parids
 Larks
 Swallows
 Leaf-Warblers
 Bulbuls
 Cisticolas
 White-eyes
 Babblers
 OW Warblers
 Flowerpeckers
 Sunbirds
 OW Sparrows
 Accentors
 Pipits
 Estridids
 Weavers
 Whydahs
 9-prim. Oscines

   Fringillines
   Carduelines
   Hawaiian Honycrp
   NW Sparrows
   NW Warblers
   Tanagers
   Cardinals
   NW Blackbirds

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TRAITS
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Skeletal Features
  Palatal Structure
  External Nares
  Nasal Bones
  Columella
  Cervical Vertebrae
  Sternum
Legs and Feet
  Tarsometarsus
  Toes
  Feet
Development
Internal Features
  Supraorbital Gland
  Syrinx
  Intestinal Convolutions
  Intestinal Caeca
  Carotid Arteries
  Thigh Artery
Feathers and Skin
  Pterylosis
  Aftershaft
  Natal Down
  Number of Flight Feathers
  Wing Formula
  Fifth Secondary
  Powder Down
  Oil (Uropygial) Gland
  Rhamphotheca
Muscular Features
  Pelvic Musculature
  Deep Plantar Tendons
  Jaw Muscles
  Other Muscles
Other Features
   
 

Internal Features

 
  Supraorbital ("Salt") Gland
  The avian kidney is not capable of producing hypertonic urine (urine more concentrated than that of the blood and interstitial fluids). Many birds that live in marine environments (where the water is hypertonic) supplement the osmoregulatory capabilities of the kidney with a supraorbital or "salt" gland. In most birds, the gland is located in a bony depression of the skull lining the upper surface of the bony orbit - between the bone and overlying skin. In species that migrate between fresh and salt water, the gland may be small and non-functional in fresh water areas but will hypertrophy and function during the time the individual is living on or near salt water.
   In the Pelecaniformes, the totipalmate swimmers, the salt gland in intraorbital - it lies above the eye, between it and the bony orbit.
 
  Syrinx
 

The syrinx is the structure producing vocalization in birds                                                                                                                             
There are three types:
Tracheophone (tracheal)
- located in the trachea (some New World passerines - ovenbirds, woodcreepers, antbirds, antpipits, tapaculos)
Haploophone (bronchial)
- located in the bronchi (most cuckoos, nightjars, and some owls)
Tracheobronchial
- at the junction of the trachea and bronchi (most birds).
  All birds except the ostrich and the storks and New World Vultures have a syrinx.

In passerines, suborders are characterized by syringeal structure
Mesomyodous
- syringeal muscles attach to the middle of the bronchial half rings.
Anisomyodouis -
syringeal muscles unequally inserted - either in the middle or on one end of the half-rings:
Catacromyodous
- muscles inserted on ventral end of the half-rings.
Anacromyodous
- muscles insetted on dorsal end of half-rings.
   These types are found in the Eurylaimi and Tyranni. In the Suborders Menurae (Menuroidea) and Passeres (Passerida), the syrinx is
Diacromyodous
- intrinsic muscles attach to both ends of the bronchial half-rings.

Syrinx
















Redrawn from Wikipedia
 
  Intestinal Convolutions
  Patterns of coiling of the intestine have been described and variously used to attempt to aid in classification. These traits, however, seem to be virtually worthless in making taxonomic inferences. Terms you may see include:
   Cyclocoelous - some intestinal loops form a spiral
   Orthocoelous - the intestine forms a number of loops that parallel one another in the long axis of the body. Variants of this class include isocoelous, anticoelous, plagicoelous, and pericoelous.
 
  Intestinal Caeca
  Most birds have a pair of caeca (singular, caecum) located at the junction of the ileum and colon (small and large intestine). They vary in size, usually in relation with diet - herbivorous birds often have large caeca while insectivorous and nectivorous birds have small intestines. These blind pouches provide a space where intestinal bacteria further digest cellulose into usable products. In some birds with large caeca, caecal pellets are voided and are reingested to augment nutrition.
   The caeca may be:
     Absent - New World Vultures, most Piciformes
     Very small (papillae only) - Passeriformes
     Very small - Falconiformes, Ciconiidae
     Single and small - Ardeidae
     Large - Charadriiformes, Anseriformes
     Large, with enlarged terminal portions - owls
     Very large (3' or longer in some grouse) -  Galli
     Large with a spiral fold of about 20 turns - Ostriches
 
  Carotid Arteries
  The carotid arteries in birds are variable.
   Class A. Two carotids
      A-1. Bicarotidine normales
- two carotids pass anteriorly to the head without fusing. It is found in some species in most orders but exclusively in the ratites, penguins, loons, waterfowl, Falconiformes, doves and owls. Most Galliformes, Gruiformes, Charadriiformes, and Caprimulgiformes also have two intact carotids.
      A-2s. Bicarotidinae abormales
- left vessel superficial. Found in many parrots. The corresponding case where the right vessel is superficial has no known examples.
      A-3. Bicarotidinae infranormales
- both vessels are superficial. Known only in a few cuckoos.
      A-4. Ligamenti carotidinal normales -both carotids atrophied; function taken over by other vessels. Known only un Bucorvus and Rhopodytes.
   Class B. One carotid
      B-1. Conjuncto-carotidinae normales - single carotid, formed from two vessels of equal size. Herons only (carotids are variable in the Ardeidae).
      B-2d. Conjuncto-carotidinae abnormales. Right side reduced. Cacatua and Megapodius.
      B-3a-d. Ligamentum carotidinae-conjuncti. Partial lumen, ligament on the right side - one procellariid and a hornbill.
      B-3b-d. Ligamentum carotidinae-conjuncti. Entire on right side. Pelicans and a few other species.
      B-4d. Dextro-carotidinae normales. Right carotid alone enters hypapophysial canal. A bustard and a barbet.
      B-4s. Laevo-carotidinae normales. Left carotid alone enters hypapophysial canal. Many groups, including most passerines.
      B-5s. Laevo-carotidinal infranormales. Left carotid is superficial, right is missing. Orthonyx.
   These traits have not proven to be of great value in making phylogenetic inferences...
 
  Thigh Artery
  The major artery supplying blood to the thigh may be either the  femoral or sciatic artery.