Birds

Overview

Birds are vertebrates and are characterized by having a body covering of feathers. As with all species of chordata such as mammals and reptiles they have internal skeletons made up of bone or cartilage with two pairs of limbs. One pair has developed into wings enabling most species of birds to fly.

Ranges
Birds occur in a wide range of habitats from deserts to the open oceans and have adapted their behaviours accordingly.

Most birds build nests and all lay eggs and bring the young up to adulthood.

Feeding
Birds feed on a wide range of foods from krill through seeds to small antelope. Martial eagles have been observed killing adult impala but have also been seen feeding on termites.

Birds of Prey

Vultures

One of the signature birds of the African plains, they are associated with kills and carcasses as they are usually seen soaring to the ground or sitting in trees waiting for predators to finish feeding. There are eight species of vultures in Africa.

Terrestrial birds

This group includes the larger birds that are not associated with the aquatic or coastal birds although some will need water to survive.

Ostrich (Struthio camelus)

The ostrich is the only species in its family, although the east African or Masai ostrich is sub-classified. The ostrich is found throughout Africa and parts of the middle east.