I believe to truly understand and appreciate how unique birds are you must know what makes a bird a bird. What makes up each and every species no matter what they are. To know what makes them so different you must see what makes them similar. And from there you can really appreciate what makes up each species, all their unique characteristics, their colors, shapes and adaptations. How even species that may appear exactly the same can have minute differences that make them their own unique species.
No matter what bird you look at, all can be broken up into these basic anatomical features. From there are are subsets of smaller feather groups and features. For today though only the most basic anatomy is covered.
To start we will look at what makes up the bird’s head and neck.
At the very tip of a bird you have their beak/bill. This part in itself comes in a dizzying array of shapes and colors. From there you will reach the forehead and further back is the crown, the section directly on top of the head over the eyes. The very back of the head and neck area is called the nape. Then upwards in the area from the base of the bill and under eye is the ear coverts, downwards again you have the area directly under the bill, the chin. Lastly even past that you have the throat.
Further down you get to the main section of the bird, the body. Going along the back it’s broken up into a few different groups. First you reach the mantle ( upper back) then down to the rump ( lower back). Rolling down you will reach the flanks, which consists of the whole side of the bird, mostly covered by the wings when they are at rest. And then going down the bird from the neck area you first see the breast then going down to the belly and lastly the vent.
The wings, tails and feet are such important parts and so many components they will actually be each getting their own post. That will allow them to get the full coverage that they need.
Now go out and the next bird you see take a close look at them, many of their colors will follow and separate these sections on their own. Maybe their crown is a different color than their forehead and nape, or maybe their throat is different from their breasts. Looking at a easteen towhee you will notice its beautiful orange flanks are a different color than the rest of their body.