Wednesday 25th March Sorting out birds and a little bit of Latin
Click to play Read by Matthew
Once you start identifying birds and working out which birds live where you will start to see some patterns. Have a think about how you could sort out birds into different groups? A simple way to sort out birds might be "Birds that can fly and birds that cannot fly". Scientists that have studied birds use classification (sorting out) to help them identify birds.
Another group of birds is the "Birds of prey" that includes Peregrines, Kestrels, Sparrow hawks, Buzzards and Golden eagles. Have a look at pictures of these birds and find out what they eat. They all have sharp claws, sharp beaks and big eyes for searching for dinner - they are carnivores! Have a look at owls, what is it about owls that puts them into the same group of birds? There is another group of birds called waders. These birds include Lapwing, Avocet, Redshank, Golden Plover, Turnstone and Dunlin. Can you find other birds in this group? These are birds that have long legs because they live in or near water. They go wading in water to find their food. When I go to the coast my favourite bird to find is the Grey plover - it is such a handsome bird that I think should be called the "Silver plover" instead. They are also waders.
If you're a budding ornithologist (bird scientist) you may want to know that scientists use the words "Genus" and "species" to give birds their scientific names. This is how scientists sort out bird's names. This can be very very confusing! So my tip is to think about the names of cars. My car is a Skoda Fabia, and my neighbours car is a Skoda Octavia. They are both made by Skoda but different types of car . So the Genus is Skoda and the species is either Fabia or Octavia.
Have a look at the Crow family, start with the Jackdaw The RSPB: Jackdaw now look at the latin name for Carrion Crow. Can you see how scientists have put them in the same "family and genus" , but they are different species?