curlew chick

How do birds survive?

No two places are the same, and every place changes with the seasons.

Deserts are baking hot, with no water. The Antarctic is freezing cold, with no plants. So even if an animal can survive in one place, there’s always another problem around the corner.

Adaptation - the problem of survival

All plants and animals have different features known as adaptations which help them to survive under the conditions in which they live

Adaptation is not just how animals are built; it is also what they do.

Polar bears hibernate in a den under the snow during the hardest part of winter. They also drift long distances on floating ice in order to reach their feeding quarters. 

Birds have adapted amazingly to almost every environment. In the air, young swifts can fly for four years without landing once, and emperor penguins can dive 500 metres down underwater to catch fish. On land, in south-east Asia, bowerbirds build a garden of flowers just to attract a mate.

Take a closer look at the birds around you. You may wonder why a robin has a thin beak, while a sparrow’s is thick. Or why the robin is alone, while the sparrows are in a flock. Adaptation gives a good reason for what every bird looks like, and why it behaves the way it does.

Emperor Penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri, adult with creche of juveniles, Snow Hill, Antarctica