According to most bird watchers and experts, there are between 9,000 and 10,000 species of birds. Physical appearance is one of the most important methods to recognize them, and when you look closer, you’ll see that birds come in a variety of forms and colors. And some of them are just stunning. Continue scrolling to see some of the world’s most gorgeous birds, from those with stunning eyelashes to others that resemble little cotton balls.
#1 The Secretary
Understanding the distinctions between bird plumages is essential for anybody attempting to identify them. The phrase refers to a bird’s feathers, including the color and pattern produced by those feathers.
Birds have created elaborate plumages for a variety of reasons, including predator protection, camouflage, and conveying sexual signals to possible mates. During molt and regrowth, birds shed and replace their feathers at least once a year.
“Each feather on a bird’s body is a highly tuned structure that performs a crucial purpose in the bird’s behaviors,” noted Mya Thompson, the Cornell Lab’s co-director for Engagement in Science and Nature. “Feathers enable birds to fly, but they also allow them to show off, blend in, remain warm, and stay dry.”
#2 Pigeon with a blue crown.
“Some feathers developed as specialized airfoils to aid in flying efficiency. Others have been sculpted into exaggerated decorative shapes that make for attractive presentations but may impair movement. Often, we can determine how a feather works, but occasionally the function of a feather is obscure, and we need a scientific investigation to fill in the blanks “Thompson elaborated.
One of these puzzles is the feather tufts on the skulls of Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus), which are sometimes mistaken for ears. These modified contour feathers are totally independent from the ear and do not aid owl hearing, yet experts are unable to explain their purpose. Some believe the horns are for show, while others believe they are used for concealment when roosting in daylight, but no one knows for sure.