Selected Birds


Table of Contents




Penguins spend most of their time near the sea. They can stand upright and walk. Millions of years ago, penguins could fly, but because they spent more and more time in the water their wings turned into flippers.

They have short thick feathers that are waterproof. They also have blubber to keep them warm.

All penguins live south of the equator and prefer cold water. Most of them live in the icy oceans of Antarctica.



An albatross is a large bird that is found over oceans. It has a white body and a dark tail and wings .

Albatrosses often follow ships for days and eat the things that sailors throw away. They can travel as far as 15,000 km and only come to land to breed. The female albatross lays its egg on the ground. After about 80 days the baby comes out.

Most albatrosses are found over the Pacific and Indian Ocean—not many of them can be seen in the North Atlantic.




The ostrich is the largest living bird. It can reach about 2.5 metres in height and weigh up to 150 kg. Most ostriches live in dry areas in Africa. Ostriches are very fast and have powerful legs to help them escape from their enemies.

Ostriches usually eat plants, but they also eat other animals like reptiles . They don’t need a lot of water and can live for days without it. Ostrich eggs are 15 cm in diameter and weigh about 1.5 kg. The eggs hatch about 6 weeks after they are laid. Ostriches can get very old—some of them up to 70 years.

Today ostriches are raised for their skin, from which you can make fine leather bags or shoes.




Eagles belong to the most powerful birds in the world. They are birds of prey. Their heads are large and covered with feathers. They have an excellent sense of vision and can see animals they want to eat from very far away. Eagles have strong, curved beaks that they use to eat meat.

They hunt during the daytime and spend the night in safe places. Sometimes they wait until animals are dead and then they eat their dead flesh .

Eagles have often been hunted. Today certain types of eagle are protected by law. In America, for example, there are only about 3,000 bald eagles (eagles with white feathers on the head) left.






Swans are water birds, like ducks and geese. They have a flat beak, a long neck and water-repellent feathers. They also have long, pointed wings and feet with skin around them. Swans like to live in mild or cold climates. Their webbed feet make them good swimmers. Most swans have white feathers all over their bodies.

They live along the shores of lakes and bays and eat underwater plants and grass.



Sparrows are small birds that are very common throughout the world. They can live in forests, swamps or even deserts. They are brownish birds , about 15 cm long and are famous for their singing. Sparrows use the claws of their feet to scratch seeds, their main source of food. Their babies hatch about 14 days after the eggs are laid and they often get insects from their parents .

Sparrows build their nests on the ground— or in the grass or bushes. They are made of grass or small twigs.



Online Exercises




  • beak = the hard and pointed mouth of a bird
  • birds of prey = birds that kill other birds or animals for food
  • blubber = the fat of sea animals
  • breed = to lay eggs or have babies
  • claw = the sharp, curved nail on an animal
  • common = very popular
  • diameter =a straight line from one side of a circle to the other
  • flesh = the soft part of the body of a person or animal
  • flippers = the flat wings of sea animals that are used for swimming
  • hatch = the egg breaks and a baby comes out
  • protect =defend, guard
  • raise = to grow animals so that their meat or skin can be sold
  • reptile = an animal, whose body temperature always changes . Snakes and lizards are reptiles
  • scratch =here: get together
  • seeds = hard objects that are in plants or fruit
  • sense of vision =how well it can see
  • source =where something comes from
  • swamp = land that is always wet or covered with water
  • twigs = a very thin branch of a tree
  • upright =standing straight
  • waterproof = it doesn’t let water in
  • water-repellent = material that does not become wet
  • webbed = with skin between the toes