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Wild About Birds - Illinois Nightjars, Swifts and Hummingbirds!

Family and Species Gallery

Kingdom: Animalia - Animals are multicellular organisms that rely on other organisms for nourishment. There cells do not have cell walls. Most animals are capable of movement at least in some portion of their life cycle. Reproduction is generally sexual, but in some animals asexual reproduction may be utilized at certain times.
Phylum: Chordata - The Phylum Chordata contains the vertebrate animals. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes are included in this phylum. These animals have a notochord at some point in their development. They have a tubular nerve cord along the back. Gill slits and a tail are present at some point in their life cycle. They have an internal skeleton.
Class: Aves - Birds are the only organisms with feathers. They are endotherms, maintaining a nearly constant body temperature. They have a hard bill but no teeth. A gizzard, which functions to grind food, is present in the digestive tract. Fertilization is internal. A nest is built in which the hard-shelled eggs are deposited and incubated.
Order: Caprimulgiformes - These birds have a wide mouth surrounded by bristles. The bill, feet nad legs are small. Eggs are usually laid on the ground. The order includes the oilbird, frogmouths, potoos, owlet frogmouths, goatsuckers and nightjars.
Family: Caprimulgidae (Nightjars) - The goatsuckers or nightjars include the nighthawk, whip-poor-will and Chuck-will's widow. Generally active at night, they spend the day resting on a limb or on the ground. The bill is tiny, but the mouth is large.
     common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)
     Chuck-will’s-widow (Antrostomus carolinensis) [state threatened]
     eastern whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus)

Order: Apodiformes - The swifts, crested swifts and hummingbirds have tiny feet on short legs. The bill is either long and thin or small and weak.
Family: Apodidae (Swifts) - The swifts may appear to be swallows, but they are structurally different. Swifts have all four toes pointing forward (with one reversible) and a flat skull. The flight of these birds is rapid flapping followed by gliding. The chimney swift is a member of this group.
     chimney swift (Chaetura pelagica)

Family: Trochilidae (Hummingbirds) - Hummingbirds are the smallest birds. They have a long, thin bill and pointed wings.
     ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
     rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)