Birds – BirdLife International

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Birds are some of the most incredible creatures on Earth. There are more than 11,000 species, each with their own unique appearance and habits.
“Birds are among the most crucial species to the global ecosystem. They must be protected at all costs.”
For mellennia, birds have been winging their way across the globe and through our imaginations. They have value culturally, artistically, philosophically and economically. But beyond that, they play a huge role in preserving our
precious ecosystem and as such, all life on this planet. Birds control pests, clean up waste and spread seeds. Around 5% of the plants humans use for food or medicine are pollinated by birds.
Despite their importance, birds are declining at a shocking rate. One in eight birds species is now threatened with extinction. But by learning about birds, we can begin to tackle the environmental crisis.
Birds are found all over the world and are one of the most well-studied groups of animals. As such, they act as an early warning system for the state of the planet as a whole. Changes in bird populations show us where habitats are being degraded, where climate change is taking its toll, and where action is needed most.
Birds have the power to unite people. Many species migrate vast distances, motivating nations to work together to protect them every step of the way. In this way, birds show us the levels of global cooperation needed to tackle the climate and extinction crises in coming years. More simply than that, a love of birds is something we can all share, regardless of our differences.
223 Bird species are currently Critically Endangered
Albatrosses are very large seabirds found in the Southern Ocean and parts of the North Pacific.
Eagles are strong, powerful birds and one of the most ferocious avian predators.
Flamingos are among the most recognisable birds thanks to their long legs and striking colour.
The world’s smallest birds, famed for their unique and impressive flying abilities.
These elusive creatures of the night are split into two families, Barn Owls and Typical Owls.
Penguins are particularly beloved, and a sighting would melt the most frozen of hearts.
Shoebills are large, pre-historic looking birds which haunt marshes and swamps in East Africa.
Charismatic and colourful, these birds are easily identifiable by their unusual, oversized beaks.
Let’s face it: vultures are special. Disgusting to some, yet loved by others (including us and you).
Digging metre-long tunnels, luring away predators, stealing other bird’s nests… the breeding season is never dull for these seven bird species, which are now leaving Europe for the warmer climate of Africa.
The Black-browed Babbler, widely considered by experts the ‘greatest enigma in Indonesian ornithology’, has been unexpectedly rediscovered in the rainforests of Borneo more than 172 years after it was first seen.
Every spring, birds devote a huge amount of time and energy to looking after their eggs and chicks. If you want to give them a helping hand, here are some simple tips that you can follow in your garden and local area to keep nesting birds safe.
2020 was an unusual year with many unexpected events taking place beyond our control, but something that did not change was the spectacular phenomena of millions of birds taking to the skies to migrate between their summer and wintering grounds.
Eight bird species, including two species of macaw, look set to have their extinctions confirmed following a robust new assessment of Critically Endangered species. The findings reveal a worrying new trend: for the first time, mainland extinctions are outpacing island extinctions.
Around one in five of all the world’s bird species migrate. And while every migration is an epic and often perilous feat of endurance, here’s a selection of species that we feel go the extra mile.
The Data Zone is a window into the scientific work of BirdLife International. Browse factsheets detailing our Red List assessments for all the world’s birds and important sites for their conservation, explore interactive dashboards and read 300+ case studies.
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Calling all birdwatchers both professional and amateur, researchers and conservationists. We need you to contribute information on globally threatened birds relevant to the assessment of their threat status and their conservation. Help assess populations or range sizes and trends of a species, the threats impacting it, or taxonomic changes.
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