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Claw, Leg and Foot Features

What are some of the CLAW, LEG, and FOOT FEATURES you might associate with the following habitats. Explain why these features would be realistic in consideration of the environment, food sources, environmental challenges the birds might face.

1) Wetlands, shore birds

2) Lakes, open waters

3) Grasslands full of rodents (Raptors)

4) Oak wood land / Coniferous Forest (Seed eaters)

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Bird Adaptations
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What are some of the CLAW, LEG, and FOOT FEATURES you might associate with the following habitats. EXPLAIN WHY THESE FEATURES WOULD BE REALISTIC IN CONSIDERATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT, FOOD SOURCES, ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES THE BIRDS MIGHT FACE.

1) Wetlands, shore birds

2) Lakes, open waters

3) Grasslands full of rodents (Raptors)

4) Oak wood land / Coniferous Forest (Seed eaters)

1. Wetlands, Shore birds

Herons and Egret:

Their long legs give them added height advantage and a long stride. In addition, these wily hunters have a wide repertoire of hunting techniques.

Some lie in wait for unsuspecting prey to come within reach. They wait on vegetation over water and others stand on their long legs in shallow water. Others are more proactive and may stir up the muddy bottom to scare up some prey which they then pick off.

The Black Heron of Africa and Madagascar has a unique method of hunting called canopy feeding. They stand in shallow waters and spread their wings to form an umbrella over their heads. Small fish and other prey are often lured to take shelter in the shadow and come within reach of the birds.

In Japan, Little Herons (Butorides striatus) living in a public park flick bits of bread left by humans onto the water to lure fish to the surface. They do the same trick with a bit of feather.

Herons and Egrets hunt in shallow waters which gives them the advantage over their prey.

Another heron feature is their 4 long toes, 3 pointing toes forwards, and one backwards. The claw on the middle of the forward toes has a rough, comb-like inner margin that the heron uses to preen its soft feathers.

Many herons have spectacular courtship displays. Some develop delicate lacy breeding feathers on the head, back or breast, which are used during the courtship displays. During breeding season, they also develop brighter colours on their legs, bill, eyes and lores (the patch of bare skin between the bill and their eyes). The brighter colours remain for a while after the pair-bond is established and eggs are laid.

The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), has black legs but bright yellow feet which it uses to good advantage. It stands on one leg and shakes its bright yellow foot above the water surface to attract prey.

Egret on land: walking around and looking for food, it's a Cattle Egret which eats mice and frogs rather than fish.

Wood Ibis:

Its long legs are not stretched out behind until it has proceeded many yards. But as soon as it has attained a height of eight or ten feet, it ascends with great celerity, generally in a spiral direction, in silence if not alarmed, or, if frightened, with a rough croaking guttural note.

Shore birds:

Shorebirds are ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the different adaptations in the claw, leg, and foot features of specific birds found in wetlands, shores, lakes, open waters, grasslands, oak wood land and coniferous forest. Certain species are focused and their habitats are identified and described.

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