Birds in the Classroom

Welcome to the Fernbank Science Center's ornithology web. This page is designed to provide students and teachers information about birds and bird life. Birds are a great way to connect students with science, nature and the outdoors. Please use these resources to inspire your students to learn more about birds! There are activities, vocabulary words, reading materials and much more.

General Information About Birds

Birds belong to the Class Aves in the Kingdom Animalia. Birds are the only animals on earth that have feathers. Other characteristics of birds include: forelimbs modified into wings, lack of teeth, a bill, a four chambered heart, eggs with hard shells and the furculum (wishbone) among others.

Scientists have divided the Class Aves into 30 orders. Each order is subdivided into families of related genera and species. Scientists group birds together by searching for common structural characteristics of their anatomy and similarities in their genetic material.

There are over 9,000 species of birds worldwide. Their ability to fly, has enabled birds to inhabit nearly every part of the Earth - from the oceans and frozen polar zones to steaming rain forests and barren deserts. 

Birds are incredibly diverse in size, color and lifestyles. They range in size from the 2.5 inch, 0.08 ounce Bee Hummingbird to the Andean Condor with a 10 ft wingspan. Arctic Terns fly 15-20,000 miles each year as they migrate from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back! Other birds such as ostriches, rheas, emus, kiwis and penguins are flightless and depend on running, camouflage or isolation for protection from predators