Anishinaabe Word of The Day

Bird (Bineshi)

Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Aves (/ˈvz/), characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5.5 cm (2.2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.8 m (9 ft 2 in) common ostrich. There are over 11,000 living species, more than half of which are passerine, or “perching” birds. Birds have wings whose development varies according to species; the only known groups without wings are the extinct moa and elephant birds. Wings, which are modified forelimbs, gave birds the ability to fly, although further evolution has led to the loss of flight in some birds, including ratitespenguins, and diverse endemic island species. The digestive and respiratory systems of birds are also uniquely adapted for flight. Some bird species of aquatic environments, particularly seabirds and some waterbirds, have further evolved for swimming. The study of birds is called ornithology.


Audio Piece

Anishinaabe Story


Long ago the world was filled with evil. Men and women lost respect for each other. The Creator was unhappy about this and decided to cause a great flood to purify the earth.

A man named Waynaboozhoo survived. He turned some floating sticks and a log into a raft for the animals and himself. They floated around for a full moon waiting for the water to go down. It didn’t, so Waynaboozhoo decided to do something about it.

“Maang!” he called to the loon. “You are an excellent swimmer. See if you can dive down to the Old World and bring back a lump of mud in your bill. With mud, I will create a New World.”

Maang dove into the water and was gone a long time. When he finally did return, he said, “I could not reach the Old World. It was too far down.”

“Amik!” called Waynaboozhoo to the beaver. “You are an excellent swimmer. Will you try next?”

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Related Words

  1. a bird of a large species; a raptor (a hawk or eagle)
  2. a thunderbird
baby bird