Bird Families

How many bird species are there?

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Why is the number of bird species doubling?

The number of species has increased due to incorrect counting, as well as the discovery of more new species. Scientists believed that birds were among the most studied organisms, with 95% of the species described. However, according to the American Museum of Natural History, scientists used an incorrect checklist known as the "species concept" that limits the number of bird species that can interbreed. George Barrowkle, Associate Curator of the Museum, argues that this approach is outdated as it is not even used in taxonomic classification outside of bird species. Barrowkle advocates a closer study of birds through the lens of morphology, where physical properties such as color, plumage pattern, and other traits that can reveal the evolutionary history of species play a major role. Using this method is likely to double the number of known bird species.

Some endangered bird species

Owls are among the most confusing and unimportant birds. There are over twenty species of owls and there is a good chance that more will be discovered in the future. Some examples of owl species include the great horned owl, the snowy owl, and the barn owl. Interestingly, in many Asian and African cultures, the mention of owls symbolizes a bad omen and is often associated with death.

During the day, owls skillfully blend in with their environment. Other species such as forest owl (Heteroglaux blewitti), which is at first glance shy and docile, can become aggressive when hungry and catch prey twice its size. Owls tend to be territorial birds and cannot abandon their homes even when faced with danger. This factor and the cultures of individual peoples are the main reasons for the decline in the owl population.

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