What is a Bird?

Welcome to OrniLOLogy, the blog where I talk about birds. Before we get started, it would be helpful to have a little background information, such as:

What makes a bird a bird?

Birds are animals, which in general means that they move around and eat other living things to obtain fuel, and they are vertebrates, meaning that they have a backbone. There are four groups of vertebrates: fish, reptiles, mammals, and birds. So what sets birds apart from the rest? How could you look at an animal and say “that’s a bird,” without any doubt in your mind?

Is it the ability to fly? No. There are many animals capable of flight that are not birds. Bats can fly and they are mammals, and lots of insects can fly, too. Furthermore, there are several species of birds that cannot fly. Ostriches and penguins, for example, are both completely flightless.

What about laying eggs? No. Reptiles and fish lay eggs, too, along with many invertebrates.

Beaks? Close, but no. Other  animals have beaks, including turtles and squid.

There is one feature that is unique to birds. Something that birds and only birds possess. Have you guessed it?



Feathers are the exclusive property of birds. All birds, and only birds, have feathers.* Feathers are used for…


Image Source


16990440429_08ccf82840_oImage Source

and Communication:

3496278426_179c80000b_oImage Source

So there you have it. If something has feathers, it’s a bird.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more facts about birds!


*Birds are the only living animals with feathers. There is a great deal of evidence that most dinosaurs had feathers. This makes sense, considering that all birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs. More on that later.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s