GROUPS OF BIRDS (PERCHING BIRDS) These are birds that perch on branches of trees.

Perching birds:

Have one toe pointing backwards and three toes pointing forward Note: Perching birds are grouped according to their habits and feeding.

These are seed eater, fruit eaters, insect eaters and nectar suckers.

Seed eaters: these have short conical beaks for easy splitting of seeds.

Examples include, pigeons, dove, weaver birds, finches, and parrot. A structure of  a head of a parrot


Insect eaters: These have short narrow beaks for easy picking up of the insects from barks of trees.

Examples include robins, sparrows, swift, swallows.

Note: Insect eaters have the ability to catch their prey on flight.

Structures showing a robin and sparrow birds.


Nectar suckers; these have long slender beaks for easy sucking of nectar from flowers. 

Examples are; the sun bird and humming bird.

An illustration showing a beak of a sun bird.


Fruits eaters: These have long stout beaks for collecting fruits from trees.

 They are also called foresters and help in seed or fruit dispersal  A horn bill is the best example of a fruit eater

Scratching birds

 These are birds which scratch earth to find their food.

 Such birds get worms, small insects and seeds from soil.

Characteristics of scratching birds.

 They have strong feet with thick toes and blunt talons.

 They have strong pointed beaks for picking up things from the ground.

An illustration showing a beak and foot of a scratching bird.


Climbing birds

 These are birds with two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backwards.

 The toe arrangement helps them to climb trees looking for seeds and insects.

 They commonly live in trees and run about on branches of trees.

An illustration showing the toes of a climbing bird.


Two toes forward and two toes backwards.

Examples include parrots and wood pecker. They are the best examples of climbing birds.

Learners’ Activity     

  1. In a sentence explain the meaning of the term perching birds 
  2. Identify any two characteristics of the perching birds 
  3. Give two ways in which perching birds are useful to a crop farmer 
  4. In one sentence describe the following groups of perching birds: i) Seed eaters  ii) Insect eaters  iii) Fruit eaters  iv) Nectar suckers 
  5. Give any one example of a nectar sucker 
  6. In one sentence describe how perching birds feed. 
  7. List the examples of scratching and climbing birds