grey crowned crane - small - 1

Birds are the biggest group of land vertebrates characterised by warm blood, feathers, wings, breathing through lungs and egg laying.

Birds are bipedal - feet are usually adapted for perching and never have more than four toes. Hearing and eyesight are well developed but the sense of smell is usually poor.

No existing species of bird possesses teeth. Most birds fly but some groups such as ostriches are flightless and others include flightless members.

Many communicate by sounds nearly half of all known species are songbirds or by visual displays.

At Chester Zoo we hold a large bird collection with approximately 1000 birds of nearly 200 different species.

Our bird collection is very diverse with birds from 18 different orders being kept at the zoo. Around 45% of the birds at Chester Zoo are threatened or near threatened in the wild.

  • Flamingos

    Flamingos are wading birds most notable for their beautiful vibrant colours, which range from deep scarlet through to light shades of pink.

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  • Penguins

    Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds that live almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, mostly in large colonies.

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  • Parrots

    There are over 370 species of Parrots that are grouped into the ‘true’ parrots, cockatoos and the New Zealand parrots.

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  • Owls

    There are about 200 species of owls in the world, which are found in a huge range of habitats from rainforests to the arctic tundra.

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  • Passerines

    There are about 10,000 species of birds in the world and of these half are passerines, often known as songbirds.

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  • Hornbills

    Hornbills are magnificent birds found throughout the Old World tropics.

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  • Cranes

    There are only fifteen species of Cranes, most of which are threatened in the wild.

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  • Pigeons and Doves

    There are roughly 300 species of Pigeons and Doves and they are characterised by large rounded bodies, stocky necks and small heads.

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  • Southern Cassowary

    Cassowaries are very large flightless birds that have a fearsome reputation.

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