Birds are one of the six basic groups of animals – alongside reptiles, mammals, amphibians, fish, and protozoans – and are characterized by their feather coats and (in most species) their ability to fly.
A feather is a growth from the bird’s skin, much like a hair, and forms it’s plumage. Feathers have evolved over millions of years to help with tasks such as flying and keeping warm.
The majority of bird species have the ability to fly, a skill which was made possible through the evolution of wings, feathers and a other adaptations. Birds such as penguins and ostriches, have lost the ability to fly due to evolving in an environment where flying wasn’t necessary.
Birds are found all around the world, in almost any habitat, from the emperor penguins in the Antarctic to species found in some of the world’s hottest deserts. Some bird species spend their entire life in one small area while others migrate thousands of miles every year, such as the migrating kestrels that spend the summer months in South Africa.