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Bird Species

Species of Bird:

There are about 10,000 species of birds in the world, out of which almost ten percent are seen in North America alone.

Another ten percent find their home in Europe. However it is South America where the largest concentration of birds is found. The continent supports about thirty five percent of the entire bird species. Countries like Bolivia, Peru and Columbia alone house most numbers of endangered bird species.

Bird species identification and classification is today an art which needs a lot of attention and study to practice. Known as ornithologists, bird specialists have years of experience and training in identifying and classifying birds. Carolus Linnaeus, a bird enthusiast, first divided birds into seven levels and this classification system is used till date. All birds have a scientific name which is in Latin and though the common names vary from region to region, the scientific names remain pretty much the same.

A lot of birds, though of the same species, may differ from each other in different regions. These make the different races of the same specie.

An amateur bird watcher usually refers to a bird species list in order to identify a bird. However, since a lot of birds may look alike from a distance, these amateur observations may often be incorrect. Though all birds have wings, not all of them can fly. Biologically it has been seen that most of the birds that are not able to fly, are so because of the design of the body. Take for instance the ostrich. The ostrich is heavy and large and its muscle-bone ratio doesn’t allow it to take flight. The penguins too have adapted themselves to their climate and use their wings to swim instead of fly.

There is also a raging debate about the induction of certain birds as bird species. There is also a new process of mating two species to get a third one. This particular process is known as lumping. Bird splitting or mating them to get different sub species of the same birds is gaining popularity. Everyday new sub species of birds are being created because of which different bird species lists are quickly becoming obsolete.

Even the conventional classification systems are undergoing continuous change in an attempt to obtain a more correct and comprehensive systems of classification that can accommodate these new sub species. Today a new system of bird classification has come up named SAM (Sibley/Ahlquist/Monroe classification).

  Submitted on July 13, 2010