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Birds inhabit essentially every habitat on Earth. There are the emperor penguins able to endure a ferociously bitter Antarctic winter with a delicate egg straddled between their feet. Conversely, there are the uncelebrated desert-inhabiting sparrows and larks of the great Sahara surviving in some of the hottest and driest conditions known.
There are the stately albatrosses almost effortlessly, soaring amidst the unceasing gales of the Southern Ocean and living sometimes more than 60 years. Worldwide, there are more than 10,000 species of birds.
Macaws are the larger ‘New World’ members of the parrot order, Psittaciformes. There are about 376 species of parrots throughout the world and about 20 species of macaws, of which all are listed on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.
The overwhelming culprits for this are the pet trade and habitat degradation or destruction. Of the listed species, 5 are extinct in the wild, with others listed as endangered, critically endangered, and vulnerable.
Macaws inhabit the American tropics from Southern Mexico to Northern Argentina, occupying the upper levels of trees and subsisting on a diet of primarily seeds and fruits. To learn more about macaws click here.
Seabirds comprise roughly 325 species distributed throughout 6 taxonomic orders. They inhabit virtually every corner of the earth and exhibit a wide variety of adaptations for coping with their environment.
The albatross with their astounding wingspans undergo some of the longest migrations known in the animal kingdom. Penguins have adopted a torpedo-shaped body and some of the densest feathers of any bird for spending time underwater withstanding the coldest extremes on the planet.
Like other groups, seabirds are threatened with things like climate change, pollution, bycatch, and habitat degradation to name a few. To learn more about seabirds click here.
There are roughly 20 species of penguins, all of which are found in the Southern hemisphere. All other penguin species are found in Antarctica, sub-Antarctic islands, and the southern portions of South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa.
Penguins are perfectly adapted to a life of foraging underwater with their compact, torpedo-shaped bodies. Antarctic species like the Emperor and Adelie penguins have the densest feathers of all the penguins, enabling them to withstand the most dramatic weather extremes on the globe in order to reproduce.
Of all the penguin species, at least half are listed as either threatened or endangered. Penguins like other birds face a number of threats. To learn more about penguins click here.