History Main / SomewhereAnOrnithologistIsCrying

13th Jun '14 6:56:25 AM SeptimusHeap
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13th Jun '14 6:52:51 AM Madrugada
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13th Jun '14 6:44:58 AM Madrugada
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->''Only after ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone Philosopher's Stone]]'' had been accepted for publication did I realize that Snowy Owls are diurnal. I think it was during the writing of ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets Chamber of Secrets]]'' that I discovered that Snowy Owls are also virtually silent, the females being even quieter than the males. So all of Hedwig's night-time jaunts and her many reproving hoots may be taken as signs of [[AWizardDidIt her great magical ability]] or [[CriticalResearchFailure my pitiful lack of research]], [[ShrugOfGod whichever]] [[WatsonianVersusDoylist you prefer.]]''
-->--'''Creator/JKRowling'''

The grandchild of ArtisticLicensePaleontology. [[MostWritersAreHuman Most animators are mammals]], and they tend not to be careful with the research when it comes to non-mammals. So, for whatever reason, cartoon birds tend to be quite unlike anything seen in RealLife.

Cartoon birds in starring roles tend to be one of only five or six semi-recognizable species. Ducks, chickens, owls, and [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins penguins]] are particularly popular and will all look pretty generic. In some cases, you will have to [[CartoonCreature take the writer's word for it what species they are meant to be]]. Parrots are also popular and they'll sport generic chicken-like bird feet and will either be pure green with huge yellow beaks, or have cockatoo crests and a bizarre mix of rainbow colors. Birds of prey other than owls tend to look like an odd combination of any carnivorous bird; in particular cartoonists seem to get hawks and vultures confused with each other (and sometimes {{Corvid|sTropes}} are tossed into the mix too). This may be because of the [[CallASmeerpARabbit "buzzard" confusion]] (in Europe a buzzard is a type of hawk like an American Red-Tail, while in parts of America, a buzzard is a small condor also known as a Turkey Vulture.) Many works, both live-action and animated, will also use the call of a Red-Tailed hawk instead of the actual call of whatever eagle or hawk they actually use. This is likely because many raptors, such as the otherwise majestic and supremely American bald eagles [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlq2kcYQcLc]], have calls that are rather unimpressive in comparison to the powerful scream of a Red-Tailed Hawk.

Almost all generic small cartoon birds will behave like robins, hopping around on the lawn and eating worms. And they will appear as a {{Palette Swap}}ped sparrow, often bright yellow or blue, with a yellow beak and legs.

A major subtrope is the idea that all birds are chickens. Even today, when your average person is unlikely to see live chickens on a regular basis, all birds seem to act [[SmallReferencePools like domestic fowl]]. They make neat nests out of straw. They spend most of the day there and all of their time sleeping there. They lay loads and loads of oval, white eggs, and these contain babies who will emerge fluffy, yellow, adorable, and constantly chirping to their mom. Mom will then immediately lead them out of the nest to hunt for worms, of course. If the show takes things far enough, the birds will hang out in a large, somewhat organized group made up mostly of females and chicks who are led by one dominant male.

Whatever the birds look or behave like, they will ''all'' spend [[AcrophobicBird most of their time on the ground]]. Unless, of course, they are up in the trees or sky, caroling their little hearts out for the sheer joy of it.

Barring the possibility that it really is the hardest thing in the world to crack open a Peterson Field Guide, there may be a reason for the chicken thing. This is largely a problem of WesternAnimation, and Disney's shadow is extremely long. Most of his characters were farmyard animals; hence the popularity of chickens as a model for all of our flight-capable theropod friends. Furthermore, many books on animal drawing will focus almost entirely on mammal anatomy -- and you might get a tiny section on the chicken to cover birds.

This may or may not have to do with the fact that birds are taxonomically a Class like mammals, but show way more similarities to each other a group than mammals. Thus the phrase "birds (them) and beasts (everyone else)".

Can certainly extend to other flying creatures; many are the {{Ptero|Soarer}}saurs and other {{Giant Flyer}}s who construct chicken-like nests. See also FeatherFingers, NoisyNature, ToothyBird, and AcrophobicBird. See also NoCartoonFish and AllAnimalsAreDogs.

The grandchild trope of ArtisticLicensePaleontology and sister trope of RaptorAttack.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:In General]]
* Whoever coined the term "eat like a bird" knew very little about ornithology, and depicting them as eating sparingly (or being fussy) is ''very'' inaccurate. Birds are actually [[BigEater Big Eaters]], some of them eating twice their weight a day because they use up so much energy flying and preserving themselves. These are prey animals (even ones who are themselves predators) so not only do birds have to keep moving to find food, they also have to keep moving to keep themselves safe from predators. To be fast, agile and quick, you need to have energy and that energy comes from food. Birds will constantly eat to maintain that energy so that they have fuel for energy to survive.
* The belief that ostriches stick their heads in the ground to hide from predators. First off, ostriches don't need to hide and are actually more than capable of fighting off their enemies (they can disembowel a lion with one kick from their hindlegs) let alone being able to simply outrun them. Second, if they did this they would suffocate.
** It's been suggested that this old wives' tale started by people seeing ostriches investigating the burrows of small animals for food (i.e., that the birds were hunting the current occupants).
* Anytime owls are depicted rotating their heads an entire 360 degrees. At most, an average owl can only turn its head about 270 degrees. As for the particulars, owls turn their heads as far as possible one way then turn them all the way in the other direction, they don't simply make a full circle from facing forward like in virtually every depiction.
* Birds being regarded as different animals than dinosaurs. Strictly speaking this is excusable—humans are not generally discussed as being great apes, even though they are—and in common usage "bird" means "solely the post-Cretaceous dinosaurs with adaptations for flight". But if a work discusses birds' or dinosaurs' ''evolution'', it really should come to grips with the fact "birds" are just the most derived theropods.
* Turkeys will always be depicted as [[AcrophobicBird hesitant to fly]] in media like domesticated turkeys, when wild turkeys are quite agile fliers in spite of their weight.
* The [[TheOwlKnowingOne common myth about owls being wise]] is just that, a myth, probably brought about because they appear to be thinking very hard when looking for prey. As it says on that Trope page, they are no smarter than any other bird, and many are smarter.
* The belief that a bird eating another bird or their eggs is cannibalism, and sometimes birds will be shown freaking out at the concept. A bird eating another bird is [[ArtisticLicenseBiology the same as mammals eating other mammals]], not to mention [[CriticalResearchFailure some like eagles and owls prey on other birds]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* Captain Morgan would like to remind us that "The Parrot is Calling". Said parrot has horribly deformed feet just to make the "T" shape in the slogan.
* State Farm's ad in which an American husband crows about having bought a falcon with the money he saved on their policy takes a major artistic liberty, as it's illegal to simply buy birds of prey in the United States: all species are protected under law, and captive-bred birds can't be bought without falconry training and a license, so the idea that it was bought on a whim falls pretty flat. Considering the other ludicrous things other people in the commercial were shown having bought with their saved money, this can be chalked up to RuleOfFunny.
* There's a cosmetics commercial which shows a speckled, tan-colored bird's egg being coated with a tan liquid to conceal its spots: a feat viewers are expected to regard as a wonderful improvement. But speckled eggs use their markings for camouflage, and coating a fertile egg with ''anything'' can suffocate the embryo inside, which rather spoils the positive imagery the advertisers surely intended.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': When Ichigo has to rescue the soul of a little boy who has been trapped inside a bird for a very long time, the bird is persistently referred to in English, including the official manga and anime English translations as a "parakeet". It's not. It's a cockatiel, a bird more closely related to cockatoos than grass parakeets (such as the budgie).
* Coco the parrot in the 80s version of ''KimbaTheWhiteLion'' averts this. He has two toes in the front and two pointing back like a real parrot does.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Ollie, a seagull from Piers Baker's ''Ollie and Quentin'': whenever the character is drawn with his mouth open (he and Quentin, the lugworm, are usually [[NoMouth mouthless]]) we can see that his mouth is not in his beak but below it. As if his beak was some kind of nose.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* That falcon from ''Disney/{{Mulan}}''. Normally he acts like a falcon (albeit [[NoisyNature with a red-tailed hawk's call]]) until the very end after getting all his feathers burnt off. He promptly starts to cluck like a chicken. He can also run around on the ground as swiftly as a chicken, which, while [[RuleOfFunny funny]], is very hard for a falcon to do due to their anatomy. [[note]]Flightless falcons in rehab actually can and do run as their primary way of getting around, and they are surprisingly good at it. That said, chocobos, they ain't.[[/note]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'' features beautifully-rendered and researched Great Barrier Reef fish, but used American species of gulls and pelicans when there are perfectly good Australian examples they could have used.
** The pelicans really look more like a mixture between the Australian and brown pelicans, though their colouration mimics that of juvenile seabirds like albatrosses and gulls, which are brown until white feathers replace the brown ones. The storks in the short ''Partly Cloudy'' are also worth of noting for their somewhat flat beaks, which resemble more those of ducks than storks, but this is probably because they are easier to animate.
** The gulls are actually based on the Australian endemic species [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Gull Pacific Gull]], which has an absurdly oversized beak. However, they are quite uncommon in Sydney, but occur further south and west
* At the end of ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'' (also by Pixar), a passerine bird (apparently a finch) that constantly attacked the main characters actually hatches out several down-covered chicks with completely-opened eyes, that proceed to [[spoiler: eat Hopper alive]]. In real life, [[http://jaybirdseye.smugmug.com/Nature/Other-Birds/House-Finch-chicks-6-days-old/303311929_ebwW6-L.jpg baby passerine birds are born mostly naked]] (aside from a few hairy feathers in a few species) and blind, and would look nothing [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100928063221/pixar/images/4/43/Bl_059Chicks.jpg like they do in the film]], which look more like baby chickens.
** Also, finches are specialized seed-eaters, so are unlikely to persistently attack insects in the first place.
* The movie ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfTheGuardiansTheOwlsOfGaHoole'' is one of the least obnoxious examples, [[GeniusBonus and goes well out of]] [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything its way to avoid this trope.]] For the most part the birds looked, acted, and moved like owls, aside from their eyes. The fixed raptor glare wouldn't have cut it in a visual medium, but otherwise they are fairly realistic. The film even avoids the dreaded AcrophobicBird trope ("We're on the ground! The worst place for an Owl!")
** One odd bit: Nyra, a female Barn Owl (''Tyto alba'') is nearly solid white, with a few gray patches and spots. In real life, only male Barn Owls could have this coloration. Females are considerably darker. Then again, her plumage is more due to ColorCodedForYourConvenience. Soren's mother and father represent the normal colour dimorphism for barn owls. It's also stated in the books that one of the defining traits of Nyra is her very white facial mask and body. Several times it's stated there that her face looks like the full moon came out of the sky and down to earth. Which means the film-makers actually got that part right.
** Another sexual dimorphism aspect, and probably the most glaring error in a film that managed to get things mostly right, is the fact that for many owl species, the females are significantly larger than the males. In no scene is this more glaringly wrong than the scene with the king and queen snowy owl, where the queen is smaller and more slender than the king, because WomenAreDelicate. In reality, the sizes would be reversed, with the female a good head taller and heavier, as well as heavily spotted. This mistake is particularly unusual considering that the [[Literature/GuardiansOfGaHoole books]] this movie was based on ''does'' get this aspect right.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rio}}'' deals with this with mixed success. The parrots are referred to only as "blue macaw", but they are a real species, Spix's Macaws [[note]]called "blue macaws" in Brazilian Portuguese[[/note]], which really are nearly extinct in the wild, had lived in Brazil, and are currently the subject of a captive breeding program. The other birds in the movie are also real Brazilian species. But:
** The macaws' and toucans' feet are generic cartoon bird feet with two toes pointing forward and one pointing back, when they should have two pointing forward and ''two'' pointing back, like real parrot-types do. Blue and Jewel also sport Cockatoo-like crests.
** Rafael the Toco toucan has a mate who more closely resembles a Keel-billed toucan. InterspeciesRomance, maybe, but they have kids.
* Zazu in ''Disney/TheLionKing'' is supposed to be a hornbill but looks an awful lot more like a toucan; almost all hornbills are black, white or brown.
* ''Disney/TheThreeCaballeros'' - While the birds are either {{Funny Animal}}s or slightly cartoony, the Disney animators did [[ShownTheirWork show their work]], showcasing many obscure species. The one major misstep is the Aracuan Bird. Aracuans ''are'' real, but look and act nothing like their Disney equivalent, making the Clown of the Jungle a "take our word for it" case on par with Chuck Jone's Roadrunner.
* The ostriches in the "Dance of the Hours" sequence of ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' are ''supposed'' to be female... but the plumage is that of a ''male'' ostrich. Females are brown.
* Gloriously averted in ''{{Film/Up}}'': Kevin acts pretty much like a bird would in real life-even her eating Carl's cane before spitting it out is a typical avian reaction to testing something for edibility and finding a negative result.
* The (in)famous peeing baby penguin in WesternAnimation/HappyFeet 2. Penguins are birds, they not only don't have a urethra (just a cloaca), they don't even have ''urine''—their bodies use uric acid instead of urea, and uric acid (the white paste in pigeon poop) doesn't have to be diluted in water.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Movies set in jungles often display this trope. The Congo will be populated by South American parrots, African birds show up in the Amazon, and Australian birds show up everywhere...
** Kookaburras really get around, don't they? Damn things live in every jungle. They even have the gall to sound exactly like monkeys! [[StockSoundEffects Oh, wait...]]
* In the SoBadItsGood film ''Film/TheGiantClaw'', the eponymous bird... thing has a mouthful of some other animals' teeth, human hair, and can ''flare its nostrils''. This would be excused because it's an alien, but [[http://www.monstershack.net/sp/index.php/the-giant-claw-1957/ it's already so fake-looking]] that the nostrils just compound the silliness.
* Small potatoes compared to some of the other weirdness in the movie, but on Film/HowardTheDuck's homeworld, duck hens have [[NonMammalMammaries breasts]]. Later on, a [[ParodyOfEvolution parody of the (in)famous "rise of man"]] [[EvolutionaryLevels evolution sequence]] is shown and Howard's earliest ancestor is... [[YouFailBiologyForever an egg]]. Well, at least we now know which came first.
* In the remake of ''Film/ClashOfTheTitans'', Zeus' totem is a bald eagle. Bald eagles live in North America -- not Greece. Contact between the two continents was not formally established until many centuries after the movie is supposed to take place. The nearest plausible analog would have been the similar-looking, but lesser celebrated, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-tailed_Eagle White-Tailed Eagle]], or the similar-sized and equally impressive [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Eagle Golden Eagle]].
* ''Film/MaryPoppins'' features the title character singing with a robin during "Spoonful of Sugar"; however, it's an American robin, while the story takes place in London. It's also a pair of ''male'' robins building that nest.
* In the 1990 Haruki Kadokawa samurai film ''Heaven and Earth'', one scene features a singing White-crowned Sparrow, which is a common enough bird in Alberta, where the film was shot ... but essentially impossible to come by in medieval Japan, where the film is set.
* Classic horror film ''Film/TheBirds'' suffers from this once or twice. Not so much from the birds' behavior, since it's kind of the entire point that the birds are behaving very oddly, but from two specific scenes:
** The first is when the seagull smashes into a door and kills itself. One character states that it must have lost its way in the dark, while the other points out that there's a full moon. Really, most birds have ''atrocious'' night vision, and will only take flight at night if they have no other choice. Even with a full moon, the gull likely couldn't have seen much.
** The second is much worse in that it's an ''ornithologist'' speaking. She states that birds are quite stupid due to their small brain pans. Not only are many birds reasonably clever, but brain size and mental ability are two factors that actually don't correlate nearly as well as most folks expect. Ravens, which are exceptional problem-solvers and widely considered the smartest birds in the world, have very small brains.
* In ''Film/Jungle2Jungle'', Mimi-Siku points out a bird and says "hoko." His father interprets this as meaning "bird," but Mimi-Siku corrects him by saying "hoko" means "toucan" and that "bird" is a different word. The problem is that the bird pointed out was a scarlet macaw, not a toucan.
* In the first ''Film/CharliesAngels'' movie, Natalie (Cameron Diaz) pinpoints the BigBad's fortress by listening to a bird call over her connection to Bosley, being held captive there. She pinpoints the bird as a pygmy nuthatch, which she says is only found in Carmel, California. Two problems: 1) The bird depicted was not a pygmy nuthatch, and 2) even if it were, the nuthatch's range goes from Mexico all the way into British Columbia.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The [[http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1560100842/ref=sib_dp_pop_fc?ie=UTF8&p=S001#reader-link cover art]] for one edition of Preston Blair's seminal animation instruction book has a veritable flock of Palette Swapped Sparrows, some of which are downright psychedelic.
* ''TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' is normally correct on this and parodies this trope when Bartimaeus transforms into a raven for the first time and it was in the dark. He winds up almost normal but with a bright blue beak.
* Italian 18th century poet [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugo_Foscolo-link Ugo Foscolo]] invented from nowhere a false association between the colourful bird [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoopoe Hoopoe]] and graveyards in his famous work "Dei Sepolcri" (roughly translated as "About the Tombs") because he felt that it was poetically fit.
** True only if you consider the eastern Baltic to be "nowhere" (which to some it may be). In Estonia , and to a lesser degree in neighboring areas, the hoopoe has traditionally been considered to be a harbinger of death. Across the sea in Scandinavia it is a harbinger of war.
** He's probably going off the tradition that the hoopoe is the wisest of birds and finds out things that (e.g. in the Literature/{{Quran}}) even Solomon couldn't discover. It's also the king of the birds in Aristophanes' ''Theatre/TheBirds'' and in the Persian poem "Conference of the Birds".
* Both averted and lampshaded in Creator/MercedesLackey's [[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Valdemar]] novels (the author is a falconer). While certain tribes have raptors with near-human intelligence, this is explicitly the result of a generations-long breeding program and a psychic link between handler and bird -- wild raptors are nothing like the Hawkbrothers' Bondbirds.
* In addition to what appears on the page quote, the [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5c/Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets.jpg cover of]] ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'' clearly depicts a Barn Owl (''Tyto alba'') in the owl cage during the Ford Anglia drive. It is well known the owl, Hedwig's species is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowy_Owl Snowy Owl]] (''Bubo scandiacus'' formerly ''Nyctea scandiaca'').
** Draco Malfoy's eagle owl is far bigger than one would expect, as [[http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs19/f/2007/239/9/0/Harry_Potter_and_the_PSA_by_lyosha.jpg demonstrated here]].
** Although [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_owl Eagle owl's]] have a range or different sizes, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Eagle-owl_in_Great_Britain Eurasian Eagle-owl]] is currently the largest owl living in Britain. (It's the largest species of owl in the world, actually.)
* In ''BabylonRising'' by Tim LaHaye and Greg Dinallo, villain [[MeaningfulName Talon]] trains ''hawks'' to serve as [[InstantMessengerPigeon instant messenger pigeons]]. Furthermore, his trained hawks can unroll scrolls, kill a man by dive-bombing his back, and fly around carrying [[BuffySpeak big snake statue bits.]]
* Victoria Hanley's ''The Light Of The Oracle'' crosses this trope with AnimalMotifs. In the ''Oracle'' world, [[TheChosenMany certain people]] are granted magical powers by birds, and the type of bird that chooses you [[SuperpowerLottery determines what power you get.]] Clea- the resident AlphaBitch- was chosen by a vulture, and spends the book bullying and plotting against the protagonist. Much is made in-universe of how fitting it is that such a cruel girl should be chosen by such an [[UnfortunateImplications ugly]] bird. Except...vultures ''aren't'' cruel. Most of the time, they only eat what's already dead, scavenging off the kills of other predators. This- while [[{{Squick}} disgusting]]- does not make them the emblems of vice and malice other characters hold them to be. If anything, they clean up the world.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Mention must be made of a Disney adaptation of ''Series/SwissFamilyRobinson'' (a [[RecycledTheSeries series spun off from their film adaptation]]) where the family meets a falconer and his... bird. A bird that is played by at least ''three different species'' over the course of the episode. By the time she is shown flying (via stock footage of a falcon), landing on the ground (suddenly, she's a Red-Tailed Hawk), and then landing on the man's wrist (now she's a Golden Eagle), you wonder how the producers thought we wouldn't notice.
* ''Hysteria'', the woeful TV movie about the rock band DefLeppard, features shots of American bird species in its very first scene, despite being set in Sheffield, Yorkshire.
* ''WheelOfFortune'' has trouble with bird-related puzzles, most often by putting two completely unrelated birds in the same puzzle. Twice they've had SPARROWS & PARAKEETS as a puzzle, and another time, they had CARDINALS & CANARIES — which is doubly wrong, as cardinals are a family of birds, and canaries a distinct species.
* In-universe EpicFail example: On "The Bloodhound Gang", a series of kids' detective shorts, a slimy lawyer re-wrote his bird-loving client's will to leave his fortune to a charitable organization the lawyer would run. Said organization's declared purpose was to finance the care and protection of the American passenger pigeon, a species that's been extinct since 1914.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Rome}}'' has an Australian sulfur-crested cockatoo kept as a household pet. In ancient Rome, more than fifteen hundred years before European contact with Australia. The DVD commentary explains that they asked the animal suppliers for an exotic-looking bird and that was what they got.
* Some fun with falconry - Henry VIII in ''TheTudors'' is shown handling a Harris's Hawk, a North American species that would be utterly alien to 16th century falconers and in fact, only popularized in Europe from the late 20th century onwards.
* On ''Series/{{Bones}}'', a park ranger in an East Coast nature reserve once urged Brennen and Booth to finish up their investigation quickly, as their presence might disturb the migration of boobies through the area. This line, aside from existing solely so Booth could make a cheap boob joke, must've caused facepalms among birdwatchers everywhere, as boobies are found only in the Pacific.
** Not ''quite'' true; Masked Boobies are a breeding species in Florida, while Brown and Red-footed Boobies are also found there. Away from the Dry Tortugas, though, they are ''extremely'' rare, and they certainly don't migrate anywhere along the East Coast. There may be some FridgeLogic here though, as the Northern Gannet ''does'' migrate up and down the east coast, and is from the same family of birds as the boobies (and very similar in appearance to them to the point where immature gannets can be confused for adult Brown Boobies).
* One episode of ''TheBigBangTheory'' has Sheldon being terrorized by what the cast calls a "blue jay." It's really a black-throated magpie-jay, which on top of that is not native to Pasadena.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* Karl Pilkington from ''Radio/TheRickyGervaisShow'' told the story of how Plato died, incredibly incorrect. He stated that there's a species of bird (or that there used to be) that dropped its eggs onto rocks so they would hatch, and as Plato was bald and from above his head would look like a rock, the bird dropped it and the egg killed him. Ricky and Stephen just laughed and didn't bother trying to correct him, though they said he was wrong on so many levels.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Most people think hollow bones like those of birds are fragile. In reality, thanks to a complex honeycomb structure, bird bones are no more fragile than those of mammals. In the case of the now extinct dinosaurs and pterosaurs, both having pneumatic skeletons, fragility would mean death, and they obviously had quite strong yet light bones.
* Apparently, It is commonly believed in India that Peacocks are asexual and the female conceives by drinking the males tear. [[CaptainObvious This belief is not only incorrect,]] but ironic, because the birds are actually quite promiscuous. The entire reason the male bird fans his feathers is because he's trying to attract mates.
* It is a very, very common belief that mother birds will reject fallen babies that have been returned to the nest by humans, due to the human scent. A few problems with this:
** Very few birds have a sense of smell even worth mentioning (kiwis, albatrosses, and some vultures have a good sense of smell).
** Most mother animals ''don't care'' if the baby has had contact with humans, unless that contact has been prolonged. MamaBear wouldn't be much of a trope if mother animals abandoned any and all young touched by strangers.
** If humans or other animals are hanging around watching the nest, the parents will be reluctant to return until the "threat" has left.
** Disturbed ''eggs'' will likely cause parent birds to leave a site for good. The reason being that eggs don't move on their own, and if they've been moved around it's a sign that a predator has been nosing around.
** In some cases, the parents (or the other chicks) might have ''pushed'' it out of the nest. It could be sick or food could be too scarce for all the chicks. If a chick looks healthy (breathing normally and with no discharge from the eyes or nose) you can attempt to put it back, but there's no guarantee it will stay there. If it's been pushed out again when you get back, either leave it be or take it to a wildlife shelter.
** If a young bird seems to be fully-feathered, leave it be. It's nearly full-grown, and it's very normal for a young adult bird to spend a few days on the ground until it figures out how to fly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Sound FX]]
* And there's always that wonderful moment, known to all birdwatchers, when you're watching a movie and it shows a shot of a bald eagle... while a [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-tailed_Hawk/sounds Red-Tailed Hawk]] screams in the background. Presumably they thought [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bald_Eagle/sounds sparrow-like chirping]] wasn't manly enough for the mascot of {{Eagleland}}.
** A sin committed OnceAnEpisode on ''Series/TheColbertReport'', where the eagle in the opening credits (whose name is Liberty, if you were wondering) makes precisely this noise. This makes sense in the context of the show, as [[GutFeeling bald eagles]] ''[[GutFeeling should]]'' [[GutFeeling sound like that]].
*** Red-Tailed Hawks: The Marni Nixon of the bird world.
* The number of jungles across the world in which the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughing_Kookaburra Kookaburra]] -- an Australian species of kingfisher -- can be found is ''astounding''. Many outdoor scenes use the call of a [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Belted_Kingfisher/sounds Belted Kingfisher]] -- a North American species almost exclusively found near water.
* The [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Limpkin/sounds Limpkin]], a mostly unremarkable bird found in Central and South America, plus Florida, has a very distinctive and indeed downright bizarre cry that's impossible to mistake for anything else. According to the movies, vocal limpkins are apparently a staple of African jungles (especially the Tarzan movies). Oh, and the hippogriff in the movie version of ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban'' is voice-acted for by one of these little brown birds.
* The distinctive call of the [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Loon/id Common Loon]], a bird found almost exclusively on large northern lakes, can be heard in deserts, tropical jungles, swamps in the DeepSouth, caves, and anywhere else filmmakers want an eerie wildlife sound.
* Period British TV series often use generic birdsong sound effects that include the [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eurasian_Collared-Dove/id Collared Dove]], a species that didn't colonise Britain until the 1950s.
* Comedian Brian Regan told a story about a golf tournament that was caught inserting non-indigenous bird sounds by a savvy bird enthusiast. "I guess I'm supposed to believe the blue-breasted whipper willow has decided to alter its annual migratory route to enjoy a little golf!"
* Sadly the ''DavidAttenborough'' documentary Life Of Birds got some things wrong. While showing species endemic to the south-west of Australia, a Pied Currawong can be clearly heard in the background - this is a species confined to the eastern seaboard of the country.
* If you believe sound effects technicians, every beach on the planet is home to herring gulls, no matter the location or season.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* [=FurReal=] Friends has a new line of baby animal animatrons that you feed fake milk. Unfortunately, that line contains a duck and a parrot. When did baby birds start drinking milk?
** Pigeons and flamingos do feed their chicks with something similar to, but very different from, milk, called crop milk. The milk is made from a secretion from the birds' crop. Ducks and parrots, on the other hand...
** Even if they ''were'' pigeons or flamingos, they'd have no business drinking milk ''from a baby bottle''.
** Speaking of [=FurReal=] Friends... Are ponies usually covered in such thick and luscious fur?
** The UK Shetland pony does have thick shaggy coat.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[Franchise/FinalFantasy Chocobos]] are functionally ostrich-like horse analogues. In some games like ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', they have a vaguely plausible, though friendly [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phorusrhacid appearance]], but traditionally are cute'd up and somewhat resemble chicken-like moas. Some can also fly, despite being as big as a ''donkey''. Baby chocobos are pure "baby chick" though.
** Justified in the cartoonier games, especially the Chocobo's Dungeon spinoff, since the humans are equally strangely proportioned.
** The most egregious case is probably ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', where adult chocobos are ridiculously large and the chicks are not only the same size as baby chickens, but ''can fly despite the adults not being able to.'' Possibly justified in that the chocobo chick was the closest thing to a comic relief in that game.
* The Spiteful Crow enemy in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' has the same problem as cartoon crows (mentioned in the WesternAnimation section below), in that it has a yellow beak instead of a black one. It's doubtful this was intended to be realistic as said enemies wear sunglasses and a bow tie.
* In a weird version, the Moas of ''GuildWars'' look nothing like the real moa, but are fairly accurate phorusrhacids...
** So would that be a Somewhere An Onithologist And A Paleontologist Are Crying On Each Others' Shoulders trope?
* In TheSims2 Pets, there's a birdcage with fairly accurate-looking models of several different species, including an African Gray Parrot, a Crested Cockatoo, and...an American Kestrel. They're all roughly the same size and can be interacted with the same way, including Play With and Teach to Talk. An American Kestrel is a small falcon. Not only is it smaller than an African Gray Parrot or a Scarlet Macaw, it is absolutely ''impossible'' to teach any falcon to talk, and if you play with one you should definitely be protecting your hand. (Somewhere, an ornithologist and a falconer are crying on each others' shoulders.)
* In a case of All Long-Legged Birds Are Herons, the flash game ''Treasure Madness'' recently offered a map that depicts black-crowned cranes standing around in a lake, as if wading for fish. Cranes of this species are savannah birds that feed on land.
* ''AngryBirds''. That is all.
* The Babylon Rogues of the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series are neither shown to be able to fly (rather, they ride upon sky-surfing hoverboards). They also generally resemble one another, despite Jet, Wave, and Storm being a hawk, a swallow, and an albatross respectively; all very different species. Oh yeah, and the second game they're in implies they're the descendants of ''aliens''.
** ''TailsAdventure'' gives us the Battle Bird Armada, a paramilitary organization whose ranks include Doctor Fukurokov, an owl with a ''beard''. Interestingly enough, the [[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog the comics]] connected both them and the Rogues to one another, along with the more Daffy Duck-like [[VideoGame/SonicTheFighters Bean the Dynamite]] and the comic-original villain Predator Hawk.
* In ''BillyHatcherAndTheGiantEgg'', the villains are crows who want to bring about an eternal night. Crows are diurnal (active during the day) and like most birds have ''awful'' night vision, so why they'd want an endless night is perplexing. One wonders why the game-makers didn't just go with owls.
* Surprisingly averted in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns''. Squawks (an otherwise nondescript cartoon parrot) has two toes pointing forward and two pointing back, as a real parrot does. Earlier games in the series gave him two toes pointing forward and one pointing back.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' it is implied that Molly the Monster's pink coloring comes from her having some genetic material from a flamingo. In real life, flamingos' pink color comes from protiens in the plankton they eat, and their feathers turn drab without it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* One customer on Website/NotAlwaysRight insisted that only mammals have meat, [[http://notalwaysright.com/somebody-took-an-evolutionary-detour/16854 ergo chicken is a mammal]].
** Another claimed that a leaking package of chicken can't have gotten blood everywhere, because [[http://notalwaysright.com/bloody-stupid/4856 birds don't have blood]].
** [[EpicFail "If God wanted birds to fly,]] [[http://notalwaysworking.com/your-intelligence-is-up-in-the-air/25316 he'd have given them wings or something!"]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Cartoon crows will usually have a yellow beak. In RealLife, most of them are all black; if it has a yellow beak, it's probably a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chough yellow-billed chough]] instead. Unless it appears in British media where the creators have used a typical Blackbird instead.
** This is actually a plot point in AlfredJKwak where the recurring villain Dolf is only half crow and does not in fact have a black beak, but he paints it black in order to pass for a full blood crow.
* RealLife roadrunners are omnivorous, gray, about one foot long, and look like little velociraptors when walking. But [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes the object of Wile E. Coyote's obsession]] more closely resembles an ostrich.
** Light was made of this in ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' when the crew's pet emu was outfitted with speakers to allow it to vocalize, and wakes up the genetically-enhanced wolf AI with a ''meep meep!'' ..."Can our roadrunner outrun our coyote?"
** ''War and Pieces'' features [[MisplacedWildlife a roadrunner on the wrong side of the Pacific]].
* Daffy Duck has been heard to quack and have a white neck ring like a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mallard mallard]], but has all black plumage more like a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Scoter black scoter]].
** MallardFillmore arbitrarily changes color from green to black between panels - maybe he suffers from the same species identity crisis?
*** In his very first cartoon (back when he actually looked like a duck) Daffy had a ''light blue'' ring around his neck. Make of that what you will.
** [[ThoseWackyNazis Hatta]] [[TheVamp Mari]] from ''Plane Daffy'' is a pigeon with ''[[NonMammalMammaries cleavage]]''.
** Actually parodied at the beginning of a Daffy cartoon where he's seen floating in a pond with a group of mallard ducks that act and look realistic. He comments that he always seems to stand out in a crowd.
* One episode of ''JohnnyTest'' has penguins referred to as "flightless furballs".
* Iago from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' (a macaw) has two toes in front of the foot and...''one'' toe in back? Oops.
** Also, despite for all appearances being based on a scarlet macaw, he's a fifth the size and somehow in Arabia centuries before the continent they're native to was discovered.
* Another All Birds Are Chickens toe error: On ''TheMysteriesOfAlfredHedgehog'', a woodpecker was depicted with three toes in front and one in back, rather than the proper two-and-two. Rather disappointing for a show intended to advance science/nature education.
* WoodyWoodpecker. A garishly-colored feather duster with goggly green eyes and a beak that occasionally exhibits teeth, he's no doubt been the cause of many an ornothologist's tears. Then again, the species he is in theory, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, entered urban legend status around when they started making these cartoons.
* Margaret from ''RegularShow''. The official site calls her a robin. She's bright red like a ''male'' cardinal, but really looks more like a PaletteSwap of Mordecai (a bluejay). And she has [[NonMammalMammaries lady pecs]].
* One episode of ''FamilyGuy'' features a gag where two stoned seagulls are talking about how KFC is delicious, and one of them freaks out when the other one points out that he's eating bird. Never mind that there's plenty of other animal species which will eat their own kind: the closest taxonomic relation the two share is class--that is, a gull eating chicken is no more cannibalism than a person eating a cow. That, and some species of gulls will prey on other birds.
** Film/HowardTheDuck makes a similar error, when the eponymous character freaks out over being offered eggs at a restaurant, shouting about how he's not a cannibal. This is despite the fact that as an '''alien''', there's no way he could be even remotely related to any terrestrial bird species.
** On the note of that drunk scene, alcohol is toxic to birds.
* DonaldDuck never flies like an actual duck at all, but whenever we actually ''do'' see him flying, he for some reason flies like a hummingbird.
* Pelicans in Warner Bros. cartoons seemed to have oversized pouches under their bill tops, leading Daffy in 1938's ''Porky and Daffy'' to quickly quip "Funny thing about the pelican, his beak can hold more than his belly can." (The pelican in question here is the referee in a fight in which Daffy is competing.)
** Also, cartoon pelicans in general.
** They can hold in their beak food enough for a week.
* An episode of ''TimonAndPumbaa'' claims that toucans have serrated bills for crushing, and the antagonistic toucan character was even shown crushing a snail shell. While the bill of a toucan is certainly serrated, it has weak muscles and is incapable of crushing even soft fruit.
* One episode of ''MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' had a woodpecker carry off a mouse with the intention of eating it.
* One episode of ''TheFlintstones'' had a dodo (which looked nothing like a real dodo) that ''mimics speech like a parrot''. This is lampshaded by the main characters.
* The ''JonnyQuest'' episode "Treasure of the Temple" had a toucan that can mimic human speech like a parrot.
* Ralph from ''MarthaSpeaks'' was revealed to be female duck in "his" second appearance upon laying eggs, in spite of [[AnimalGenderBender having the colorings of a male mallard]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episode "One Last Job" averts this by showing a male bird with beautiful plumage with extravagant tail feathers while the female is drab and plain-looking, a reference to males of some bird species being more vibrant to attract possible mates (especially true when it comes to peafowl).
* One episode of ''JohnnyBravo'' had an emu being fed avocados, which are poisonous to birds.
[[/folder]]
----

to:

->''Only after ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone Philosopher's Stone]]'' had been accepted for publication did I realize that Snowy Owls are diurnal. I think it was during the writing of ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets Chamber of Secrets]]'' that I discovered that Snowy Owls are also virtually silent, the females being even quieter than the males. So all of Hedwig's night-time jaunts and her many reproving hoots may be taken as signs of [[AWizardDidIt her great magical ability]] or [[CriticalResearchFailure my pitiful lack of research]], [[ShrugOfGod whichever]] [[WatsonianVersusDoylist you prefer.]]''
-->--'''Creator/JKRowling'''

The grandchild of ArtisticLicensePaleontology. [[MostWritersAreHuman Most animators are mammals]], and they tend not to be careful with the research when it comes to non-mammals. So, for whatever reason, cartoon birds tend to be quite unlike anything seen in RealLife.

Cartoon birds in starring roles tend to be one of only five or six semi-recognizable species. Ducks, chickens, owls, and [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins penguins]] are particularly popular and will all look pretty generic. In some cases, you will have to [[CartoonCreature take the writer's word for it what species they are meant to be]]. Parrots are also popular and they'll sport generic chicken-like bird feet and will either be pure green with huge yellow beaks, or have cockatoo crests and a bizarre mix of rainbow colors. Birds of prey other than owls tend to look like an odd combination of any carnivorous bird; in particular cartoonists seem to get hawks and vultures confused with each other (and sometimes {{Corvid|sTropes}} are tossed into the mix too). This may be because of the [[CallASmeerpARabbit "buzzard" confusion]] (in Europe a buzzard is a type of hawk like an American Red-Tail, while in parts of America, a buzzard is a small condor also known as a Turkey Vulture.) Many works, both live-action and animated, will also use the call of a Red-Tailed hawk instead of the actual call of whatever eagle or hawk they actually use. This is likely because many raptors, such as the otherwise majestic and supremely American bald eagles [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlq2kcYQcLc]], have calls that are rather unimpressive in comparison to the powerful scream of a Red-Tailed Hawk.

Almost all generic small cartoon birds will behave like robins, hopping around on the lawn and eating worms. And they will appear as a {{Palette Swap}}ped sparrow, often bright yellow or blue, with a yellow beak and legs.

A major subtrope is the idea that all birds are chickens. Even today, when your average person is unlikely to see live chickens on a regular basis, all birds seem to act [[SmallReferencePools like domestic fowl]]. They make neat nests out of straw. They spend most of the day there and all of their time sleeping there. They lay loads and loads of oval, white eggs, and these contain babies who will emerge fluffy, yellow, adorable, and constantly chirping to their mom. Mom will then immediately lead them out of the nest to hunt for worms, of course. If the show takes things far enough, the birds will hang out in a large, somewhat organized group made up mostly of females and chicks who are led by one dominant male.

Whatever the birds look or behave like, they will ''all'' spend [[AcrophobicBird most of their time on the ground]]. Unless, of course, they are up in the trees or sky, caroling their little hearts out for the sheer joy of it.

Barring the possibility that it really is the hardest thing in the world to crack open a Peterson Field Guide, there may be a reason for the chicken thing. This is largely a problem of WesternAnimation, and Disney's shadow is extremely long. Most of his characters were farmyard animals; hence the popularity of chickens as a model for all of our flight-capable theropod friends. Furthermore, many books on animal drawing will focus almost entirely on mammal anatomy -- and you might get a tiny section on the chicken to cover birds.

This may or may not have to do with the fact that birds are taxonomically a Class like mammals, but show way more similarities to each other a group than mammals. Thus the phrase "birds (them) and beasts (everyone else)".

Can certainly extend to other flying creatures; many are the {{Ptero|Soarer}}saurs and other {{Giant Flyer}}s who construct chicken-like nests. See also FeatherFingers, NoisyNature, ToothyBird, and AcrophobicBird. See also NoCartoonFish and AllAnimalsAreDogs.

The grandchild trope of ArtisticLicensePaleontology and sister trope of RaptorAttack.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:In General]]
* Whoever coined the term "eat like a bird" knew very little about ornithology, and depicting them as eating sparingly (or being fussy) is ''very'' inaccurate. Birds are actually [[BigEater Big Eaters]], some of them eating twice their weight a day because they use up so much energy flying and preserving themselves. These are prey animals (even ones who are themselves predators) so not only do birds have to keep moving to find food, they also have to keep moving to keep themselves safe from predators. To be fast, agile and quick, you need to have energy and that energy comes from food. Birds will constantly eat to maintain that energy so that they have fuel for energy to survive.
* The belief that ostriches stick their heads in the ground to hide from predators. First off, ostriches don't need to hide and are actually more than capable of fighting off their enemies (they can disembowel a lion with one kick from their hindlegs) let alone being able to simply outrun them. Second, if they did this they would suffocate.
** It's been suggested that this old wives' tale started by people seeing ostriches investigating the burrows of small animals for food (i.e., that the birds were hunting the current occupants).
* Anytime owls are depicted rotating their heads an entire 360 degrees. At most, an average owl can only turn its head about 270 degrees. As for the particulars, owls turn their heads as far as possible one way then turn them all the way in the other direction, they don't simply make a full circle from facing forward like in virtually every depiction.
* Birds being regarded as different animals than dinosaurs. Strictly speaking this is excusable—humans are not generally discussed as being great apes, even though they are—and in common usage "bird" means "solely the post-Cretaceous dinosaurs with adaptations for flight". But if a work discusses birds' or dinosaurs' ''evolution'', it really should come to grips with the fact "birds" are just the most derived theropods.
* Turkeys will always be depicted as [[AcrophobicBird hesitant to fly]] in media like domesticated turkeys, when wild turkeys are quite agile fliers in spite of their weight.
* The [[TheOwlKnowingOne common myth about owls being wise]] is just that, a myth, probably brought about because they appear to be thinking very hard when looking for prey. As it says on that Trope page, they are no smarter than any other bird, and many are smarter.
* The belief that a bird eating another bird or their eggs is cannibalism, and sometimes birds will be shown freaking out at the concept. A bird eating another bird is [[ArtisticLicenseBiology the same as mammals eating other mammals]], not to mention [[CriticalResearchFailure some like eagles and owls prey on other birds]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* Captain Morgan would like to remind us that "The Parrot is Calling". Said parrot has horribly deformed feet just to make the "T" shape in the slogan.
* State Farm's ad in which an American husband crows about having bought a falcon with the money he saved on their policy takes a major artistic liberty, as it's illegal to simply buy birds of prey in the United States: all species are protected under law, and captive-bred birds can't be bought without falconry training and a license, so the idea that it was bought on a whim falls pretty flat. Considering the other ludicrous things other people in the commercial were shown having bought with their saved money, this can be chalked up to RuleOfFunny.
* There's a cosmetics commercial which shows a speckled, tan-colored bird's egg being coated with a tan liquid to conceal its spots: a feat viewers are expected to regard as a wonderful improvement. But speckled eggs use their markings for camouflage, and coating a fertile egg with ''anything'' can suffocate the embryo inside, which rather spoils the positive imagery the advertisers surely intended.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': When Ichigo has to rescue the soul of a little boy who has been trapped inside a bird for a very long time, the bird is persistently referred to in English, including the official manga and anime English translations as a "parakeet". It's not. It's a cockatiel, a bird more closely related to cockatoos than grass parakeets (such as the budgie).
* Coco the parrot in the 80s version of ''KimbaTheWhiteLion'' averts this. He has two toes in the front and two pointing back like a real parrot does.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Ollie, a seagull from Piers Baker's ''Ollie and Quentin'': whenever the character is drawn with his mouth open (he and Quentin, the lugworm, are usually [[NoMouth mouthless]]) we can see that his mouth is not in his beak but below it. As if his beak was some kind of nose.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* That falcon from ''Disney/{{Mulan}}''. Normally he acts like a falcon (albeit [[NoisyNature with a red-tailed hawk's call]]) until the very end after getting all his feathers burnt off. He promptly starts to cluck like a chicken. He can also run around on the ground as swiftly as a chicken, which, while [[RuleOfFunny funny]], is very hard for a falcon to do due to their anatomy. [[note]]Flightless falcons in rehab actually can and do run as their primary way of getting around, and they are surprisingly good at it. That said, chocobos, they ain't.[[/note]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'' features beautifully-rendered and researched Great Barrier Reef fish, but used American species of gulls and pelicans when there are perfectly good Australian examples they could have used.
** The pelicans really look more like a mixture between the Australian and brown pelicans, though their colouration mimics that of juvenile seabirds like albatrosses and gulls, which are brown until white feathers replace the brown ones. The storks in the short ''Partly Cloudy'' are also worth of noting for their somewhat flat beaks, which resemble more those of ducks than storks, but this is probably because they are easier to animate.
** The gulls are actually based on the Australian endemic species [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Gull Pacific Gull]], which has an absurdly oversized beak. However, they are quite uncommon in Sydney, but occur further south and west
* At the end of ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'' (also by Pixar), a passerine bird (apparently a finch) that constantly attacked the main characters actually hatches out several down-covered chicks with completely-opened eyes, that proceed to [[spoiler: eat Hopper alive]]. In real life, [[http://jaybirdseye.smugmug.com/Nature/Other-Birds/House-Finch-chicks-6-days-old/303311929_ebwW6-L.jpg baby passerine birds are born mostly naked]] (aside from a few hairy feathers in a few species) and blind, and would look nothing [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100928063221/pixar/images/4/43/Bl_059Chicks.jpg like they do in the film]], which look more like baby chickens.
** Also, finches are specialized seed-eaters, so are unlikely to persistently attack insects in the first place.
* The movie ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfTheGuardiansTheOwlsOfGaHoole'' is one of the least obnoxious examples, [[GeniusBonus and goes well out of]] [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything its way to avoid this trope.]] For the most part the birds looked, acted, and moved like owls, aside from their eyes. The fixed raptor glare wouldn't have cut it in a visual medium, but otherwise they are fairly realistic. The film even avoids the dreaded AcrophobicBird trope ("We're on the ground! The worst place for an Owl!")
** One odd bit: Nyra, a female Barn Owl (''Tyto alba'') is nearly solid white, with a few gray patches and spots. In real life, only male Barn Owls could have this coloration. Females are considerably darker. Then again, her plumage is more due to ColorCodedForYourConvenience. Soren's mother and father represent the normal colour dimorphism for barn owls. It's also stated in the books that one of the defining traits of Nyra is her very white facial mask and body. Several times it's stated there that her face looks like the full moon came out of the sky and down to earth. Which means the film-makers actually got that part right.
** Another sexual dimorphism aspect, and probably the most glaring error in a film that managed to get things mostly right, is the fact that for many owl species, the females are significantly larger than the males. In no scene is this more glaringly wrong than the scene with the king and queen snowy owl, where the queen is smaller and more slender than the king, because WomenAreDelicate. In reality, the sizes would be reversed, with the female a good head taller and heavier, as well as heavily spotted. This mistake is particularly unusual considering that the [[Literature/GuardiansOfGaHoole books]] this movie was based on ''does'' get this aspect right.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rio}}'' deals with this with mixed success. The parrots are referred to only as "blue macaw", but they are a real species, Spix's Macaws [[note]]called "blue macaws" in Brazilian Portuguese[[/note]], which really are nearly extinct in the wild, had lived in Brazil, and are currently the subject of a captive breeding program. The other birds in the movie are also real Brazilian species. But:
** The macaws' and toucans' feet are generic cartoon bird feet with two toes pointing forward and one pointing back, when they should have two pointing forward and ''two'' pointing back, like real parrot-types do. Blue and Jewel also sport Cockatoo-like crests.
** Rafael the Toco toucan has a mate who more closely resembles a Keel-billed toucan. InterspeciesRomance, maybe, but they have kids.
* Zazu in ''Disney/TheLionKing'' is supposed to be a hornbill but looks an awful lot more like a toucan; almost all hornbills are black, white or brown.
* ''Disney/TheThreeCaballeros'' - While the birds are either {{Funny Animal}}s or slightly cartoony, the Disney animators did [[ShownTheirWork show their work]], showcasing many obscure species. The one major misstep is the Aracuan Bird. Aracuans ''are'' real, but look and act nothing like their Disney equivalent, making the Clown of the Jungle a "take our word for it" case on par with Chuck Jone's Roadrunner.
* The ostriches in the "Dance of the Hours" sequence of ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' are ''supposed'' to be female... but the plumage is that of a ''male'' ostrich. Females are brown.
* Gloriously averted in ''{{Film/Up}}'': Kevin acts pretty much like a bird would in real life-even her eating Carl's cane before spitting it out is a typical avian reaction to testing something for edibility and finding a negative result.
* The (in)famous peeing baby penguin in WesternAnimation/HappyFeet 2. Penguins are birds, they not only don't have a urethra (just a cloaca), they don't even have ''urine''—their bodies use uric acid instead of urea, and uric acid (the white paste in pigeon poop) doesn't have to be diluted in water.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Movies set in jungles often display this trope. The Congo will be populated by South American parrots, African birds show up in the Amazon, and Australian birds show up everywhere...
** Kookaburras really get around, don't they? Damn things live in every jungle. They even have the gall to sound exactly like monkeys! [[StockSoundEffects Oh, wait...]]
* In the SoBadItsGood film ''Film/TheGiantClaw'', the eponymous bird... thing has a mouthful of some other animals' teeth, human hair, and can ''flare its nostrils''. This would be excused because it's an alien, but [[http://www.monstershack.net/sp/index.php/the-giant-claw-1957/ it's already so fake-looking]] that the nostrils just compound the silliness.
* Small potatoes compared to some of the other weirdness in the movie, but on Film/HowardTheDuck's homeworld, duck hens have [[NonMammalMammaries breasts]]. Later on, a [[ParodyOfEvolution parody of the (in)famous "rise of man"]] [[EvolutionaryLevels evolution sequence]] is shown and Howard's earliest ancestor is... [[YouFailBiologyForever an egg]]. Well, at least we now know which came first.
* In the remake of ''Film/ClashOfTheTitans'', Zeus' totem is a bald eagle. Bald eagles live in North America -- not Greece. Contact between the two continents was not formally established until many centuries after the movie is supposed to take place. The nearest plausible analog would have been the similar-looking, but lesser celebrated, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-tailed_Eagle White-Tailed Eagle]], or the similar-sized and equally impressive [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Eagle Golden Eagle]].
* ''Film/MaryPoppins'' features the title character singing with a robin during "Spoonful of Sugar"; however, it's an American robin, while the story takes place in London. It's also a pair of ''male'' robins building that nest.
* In the 1990 Haruki Kadokawa samurai film ''Heaven and Earth'', one scene features a singing White-crowned Sparrow, which is a common enough bird in Alberta, where the film was shot ... but essentially impossible to come by in medieval Japan, where the film is set.
* Classic horror film ''Film/TheBirds'' suffers from this once or twice. Not so much from the birds' behavior, since it's kind of the entire point that the birds are behaving very oddly, but from two specific scenes:
** The first is when the seagull smashes into a door and kills itself. One character states that it must have lost its way in the dark, while the other points out that there's a full moon. Really, most birds have ''atrocious'' night vision, and will only take flight at night if they have no other choice. Even with a full moon, the gull likely couldn't have seen much.
** The second is much worse in that it's an ''ornithologist'' speaking. She states that birds are quite stupid due to their small brain pans. Not only are many birds reasonably clever, but brain size and mental ability are two factors that actually don't correlate nearly as well as most folks expect. Ravens, which are exceptional problem-solvers and widely considered the smartest birds in the world, have very small brains.
* In ''Film/Jungle2Jungle'', Mimi-Siku points out a bird and says "hoko." His father interprets this as meaning "bird," but Mimi-Siku corrects him by saying "hoko" means "toucan" and that "bird" is a different word. The problem is that the bird pointed out was a scarlet macaw, not a toucan.
* In the first ''Film/CharliesAngels'' movie, Natalie (Cameron Diaz) pinpoints the BigBad's fortress by listening to a bird call over her connection to Bosley, being held captive there. She pinpoints the bird as a pygmy nuthatch, which she says is only found in Carmel, California. Two problems: 1) The bird depicted was not a pygmy nuthatch, and 2) even if it were, the nuthatch's range goes from Mexico all the way into British Columbia.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The [[http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1560100842/ref=sib_dp_pop_fc?ie=UTF8&p=S001#reader-link cover art]] for one edition of Preston Blair's seminal animation instruction book has a veritable flock of Palette Swapped Sparrows, some of which are downright psychedelic.
* ''TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' is normally correct on this and parodies this trope when Bartimaeus transforms into a raven for the first time and it was in the dark. He winds up almost normal but with a bright blue beak.
* Italian 18th century poet [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugo_Foscolo-link Ugo Foscolo]] invented from nowhere a false association between the colourful bird [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoopoe Hoopoe]] and graveyards in his famous work "Dei Sepolcri" (roughly translated as "About the Tombs") because he felt that it was poetically fit.
** True only if you consider the eastern Baltic to be "nowhere" (which to some it may be). In Estonia , and to a lesser degree in neighboring areas, the hoopoe has traditionally been considered to be a harbinger of death. Across the sea in Scandinavia it is a harbinger of war.
** He's probably going off the tradition that the hoopoe is the wisest of birds and finds out things that (e.g. in the Literature/{{Quran}}) even Solomon couldn't discover. It's also the king of the birds in Aristophanes' ''Theatre/TheBirds'' and in the Persian poem "Conference of the Birds".
* Both averted and lampshaded in Creator/MercedesLackey's [[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Valdemar]] novels (the author is a falconer). While certain tribes have raptors with near-human intelligence, this is explicitly the result of a generations-long breeding program and a psychic link between handler and bird -- wild raptors are nothing like the Hawkbrothers' Bondbirds.
* In addition to what appears on the page quote, the [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5c/Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets.jpg cover of]] ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'' clearly depicts a Barn Owl (''Tyto alba'') in the owl cage during the Ford Anglia drive. It is well known the owl, Hedwig's species is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowy_Owl Snowy Owl]] (''Bubo scandiacus'' formerly ''Nyctea scandiaca'').
** Draco Malfoy's eagle owl is far bigger than one would expect, as [[http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs19/f/2007/239/9/0/Harry_Potter_and_the_PSA_by_lyosha.jpg demonstrated here]].
** Although [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_owl Eagle owl's]] have a range or different sizes, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Eagle-owl_in_Great_Britain Eurasian Eagle-owl]] is currently the largest owl living in Britain. (It's the largest species of owl in the world, actually.)
* In ''BabylonRising'' by Tim LaHaye and Greg Dinallo, villain [[MeaningfulName Talon]] trains ''hawks'' to serve as [[InstantMessengerPigeon instant messenger pigeons]]. Furthermore, his trained hawks can unroll scrolls, kill a man by dive-bombing his back, and fly around carrying [[BuffySpeak big snake statue bits.]]
* Victoria Hanley's ''The Light Of The Oracle'' crosses this trope with AnimalMotifs. In the ''Oracle'' world, [[TheChosenMany certain people]] are granted magical powers by birds, and the type of bird that chooses you [[SuperpowerLottery determines what power you get.]] Clea- the resident AlphaBitch- was chosen by a vulture, and spends the book bullying and plotting against the protagonist. Much is made in-universe of how fitting it is that such a cruel girl should be chosen by such an [[UnfortunateImplications ugly]] bird. Except...vultures ''aren't'' cruel. Most of the time, they only eat what's already dead, scavenging off the kills of other predators. This- while [[{{Squick}} disgusting]]- does not make them the emblems of vice and malice other characters hold them to be. If anything, they clean up the world.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Mention must be made of a Disney adaptation of ''Series/SwissFamilyRobinson'' (a [[RecycledTheSeries series spun off from their film adaptation]]) where the family meets a falconer and his... bird. A bird that is played by at least ''three different species'' over the course of the episode. By the time she is shown flying (via stock footage of a falcon), landing on the ground (suddenly, she's a Red-Tailed Hawk), and then landing on the man's wrist (now she's a Golden Eagle), you wonder how the producers thought we wouldn't notice.
* ''Hysteria'', the woeful TV movie about the rock band DefLeppard, features shots of American bird species in its very first scene, despite being set in Sheffield, Yorkshire.
* ''WheelOfFortune'' has trouble with bird-related puzzles, most often by putting two completely unrelated birds in the same puzzle. Twice they've had SPARROWS & PARAKEETS as a puzzle, and another time, they had CARDINALS & CANARIES — which is doubly wrong, as cardinals are a family of birds, and canaries a distinct species.
* In-universe EpicFail example: On "The Bloodhound Gang", a series of kids' detective shorts, a slimy lawyer re-wrote his bird-loving client's will to leave his fortune to a charitable organization the lawyer would run. Said organization's declared purpose was to finance the care and protection of the American passenger pigeon, a species that's been extinct since 1914.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Rome}}'' has an Australian sulfur-crested cockatoo kept as a household pet. In ancient Rome, more than fifteen hundred years before European contact with Australia. The DVD commentary explains that they asked the animal suppliers for an exotic-looking bird and that was what they got.
* Some fun with falconry - Henry VIII in ''TheTudors'' is shown handling a Harris's Hawk, a North American species that would be utterly alien to 16th century falconers and in fact, only popularized in Europe from the late 20th century onwards.
* On ''Series/{{Bones}}'', a park ranger in an East Coast nature reserve once urged Brennen and Booth to finish up their investigation quickly, as their presence might disturb the migration of boobies through the area. This line, aside from existing solely so Booth could make a cheap boob joke, must've caused facepalms among birdwatchers everywhere, as boobies are found only in the Pacific.
** Not ''quite'' true; Masked Boobies are a breeding species in Florida, while Brown and Red-footed Boobies are also found there. Away from the Dry Tortugas, though, they are ''extremely'' rare, and they certainly don't migrate anywhere along the East Coast. There may be some FridgeLogic here though, as the Northern Gannet ''does'' migrate up and down the east coast, and is from the same family of birds as the boobies (and very similar in appearance to them to the point where immature gannets can be confused for adult Brown Boobies).
* One episode of ''TheBigBangTheory'' has Sheldon being terrorized by what the cast calls a "blue jay." It's really a black-throated magpie-jay, which on top of that is not native to Pasadena.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* Karl Pilkington from ''Radio/TheRickyGervaisShow'' told the story of how Plato died, incredibly incorrect. He stated that there's a species of bird (or that there used to be) that dropped its eggs onto rocks so they would hatch, and as Plato was bald and from above his head would look like a rock, the bird dropped it and the egg killed him. Ricky and Stephen just laughed and didn't bother trying to correct him, though they said he was wrong on so many levels.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Most people think hollow bones like those of birds are fragile. In reality, thanks to a complex honeycomb structure, bird bones are no more fragile than those of mammals. In the case of the now extinct dinosaurs and pterosaurs, both having pneumatic skeletons, fragility would mean death, and they obviously had quite strong yet light bones.
* Apparently, It is commonly believed in India that Peacocks are asexual and the female conceives by drinking the males tear. [[CaptainObvious This belief is not only incorrect,]] but ironic, because the birds are actually quite promiscuous. The entire reason the male bird fans his feathers is because he's trying to attract mates.
* It is a very, very common belief that mother birds will reject fallen babies that have been returned to the nest by humans, due to the human scent. A few problems with this:
** Very few birds have a sense of smell even worth mentioning (kiwis, albatrosses, and some vultures have a good sense of smell).
** Most mother animals ''don't care'' if the baby has had contact with humans, unless that contact has been prolonged. MamaBear wouldn't be much of a trope if mother animals abandoned any and all young touched by strangers.
** If humans or other animals are hanging around watching the nest, the parents will be reluctant to return until the "threat" has left.
** Disturbed ''eggs'' will likely cause parent birds to leave a site for good. The reason being that eggs don't move on their own, and if they've been moved around it's a sign that a predator has been nosing around.
** In some cases, the parents (or the other chicks) might have ''pushed'' it out of the nest. It could be sick or food could be too scarce for all the chicks. If a chick looks healthy (breathing normally and with no discharge from the eyes or nose) you can attempt to put it back, but there's no guarantee it will stay there. If it's been pushed out again when you get back, either leave it be or take it to a wildlife shelter.
** If a young bird seems to be fully-feathered, leave it be. It's nearly full-grown, and it's very normal for a young adult bird to spend a few days on the ground until it figures out how to fly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Sound FX]]
* And there's always that wonderful moment, known to all birdwatchers, when you're watching a movie and it shows a shot of a bald eagle... while a [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-tailed_Hawk/sounds Red-Tailed Hawk]] screams in the background. Presumably they thought [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bald_Eagle/sounds sparrow-like chirping]] wasn't manly enough for the mascot of {{Eagleland}}.
** A sin committed OnceAnEpisode on ''Series/TheColbertReport'', where the eagle in the opening credits (whose name is Liberty, if you were wondering) makes precisely this noise. This makes sense in the context of the show, as [[GutFeeling bald eagles]] ''[[GutFeeling should]]'' [[GutFeeling sound like that]].
*** Red-Tailed Hawks: The Marni Nixon of the bird world.
* The number of jungles across the world in which the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughing_Kookaburra Kookaburra]] -- an Australian species of kingfisher -- can be found is ''astounding''. Many outdoor scenes use the call of a [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Belted_Kingfisher/sounds Belted Kingfisher]] -- a North American species almost exclusively found near water.
* The [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Limpkin/sounds Limpkin]], a mostly unremarkable bird found in Central and South America, plus Florida, has a very distinctive and indeed downright bizarre cry that's impossible to mistake for anything else. According to the movies, vocal limpkins are apparently a staple of African jungles (especially the Tarzan movies). Oh, and the hippogriff in the movie version of ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban'' is voice-acted for by one of these little brown birds.
* The distinctive call of the [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Loon/id Common Loon]], a bird found almost exclusively on large northern lakes, can be heard in deserts, tropical jungles, swamps in the DeepSouth, caves, and anywhere else filmmakers want an eerie wildlife sound.
* Period British TV series often use generic birdsong sound effects that include the [[http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eurasian_Collared-Dove/id Collared Dove]], a species that didn't colonise Britain until the 1950s.
* Comedian Brian Regan told a story about a golf tournament that was caught inserting non-indigenous bird sounds by a savvy bird enthusiast. "I guess I'm supposed to believe the blue-breasted whipper willow has decided to alter its annual migratory route to enjoy a little golf!"
* Sadly the ''DavidAttenborough'' documentary Life Of Birds got some things wrong. While showing species endemic to the south-west of Australia, a Pied Currawong can be clearly heard in the background - this is a species confined to the eastern seaboard of the country.
* If you believe sound effects technicians, every beach on the planet is home to herring gulls, no matter the location or season.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* [=FurReal=] Friends has a new line of baby animal animatrons that you feed fake milk. Unfortunately, that line contains a duck and a parrot. When did baby birds start drinking milk?
** Pigeons and flamingos do feed their chicks with something similar to, but very different from, milk, called crop milk. The milk is made from a secretion from the birds' crop. Ducks and parrots, on the other hand...
** Even if they ''were'' pigeons or flamingos, they'd have no business drinking milk ''from a baby bottle''.
** Speaking of [=FurReal=] Friends... Are ponies usually covered in such thick and luscious fur?
** The UK Shetland pony does have thick shaggy coat.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[Franchise/FinalFantasy Chocobos]] are functionally ostrich-like horse analogues. In some games like ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', they have a vaguely plausible, though friendly [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phorusrhacid appearance]], but traditionally are cute'd up and somewhat resemble chicken-like moas. Some can also fly, despite being as big as a ''donkey''. Baby chocobos are pure "baby chick" though.
** Justified in the cartoonier games, especially the Chocobo's Dungeon spinoff, since the humans are equally strangely proportioned.
** The most egregious case is probably ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', where adult chocobos are ridiculously large and the chicks are not only the same size as baby chickens, but ''can fly despite the adults not being able to.'' Possibly justified in that the chocobo chick was the closest thing to a comic relief in that game.
* The Spiteful Crow enemy in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' has the same problem as cartoon crows (mentioned in the WesternAnimation section below), in that it has a yellow beak instead of a black one. It's doubtful this was intended to be realistic as said enemies wear sunglasses and a bow tie.
* In a weird version, the Moas of ''GuildWars'' look nothing like the real moa, but are fairly accurate phorusrhacids...
** So would that be a Somewhere An Onithologist And A Paleontologist Are Crying On Each Others' Shoulders trope?
* In TheSims2 Pets, there's a birdcage with fairly accurate-looking models of several different species, including an African Gray Parrot, a Crested Cockatoo, and...an American Kestrel. They're all roughly the same size and can be interacted with the same way, including Play With and Teach to Talk. An American Kestrel is a small falcon. Not only is it smaller than an African Gray Parrot or a Scarlet Macaw, it is absolutely ''impossible'' to teach any falcon to talk, and if you play with one you should definitely be protecting your hand. (Somewhere, an ornithologist and a falconer are crying on each others' shoulders.)
* In a case of All Long-Legged Birds Are Herons, the flash game ''Treasure Madness'' recently offered a map that depicts black-crowned cranes standing around in a lake, as if wading for fish. Cranes of this species are savannah birds that feed on land.
* ''AngryBirds''. That is all.
* The Babylon Rogues of the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series are neither shown to be able to fly (rather, they ride upon sky-surfing hoverboards). They also generally resemble one another, despite Jet, Wave, and Storm being a hawk, a swallow, and an albatross respectively; all very different species. Oh yeah, and the second game they're in implies they're the descendants of ''aliens''.
** ''TailsAdventure'' gives us the Battle Bird Armada, a paramilitary organization whose ranks include Doctor Fukurokov, an owl with a ''beard''. Interestingly enough, the [[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog the comics]] connected both them and the Rogues to one another, along with the more Daffy Duck-like [[VideoGame/SonicTheFighters Bean the Dynamite]] and the comic-original villain Predator Hawk.
* In ''BillyHatcherAndTheGiantEgg'', the villains are crows who want to bring about an eternal night. Crows are diurnal (active during the day) and like most birds have ''awful'' night vision, so why they'd want an endless night is perplexing. One wonders why the game-makers didn't just go with owls.
* Surprisingly averted in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns''. Squawks (an otherwise nondescript cartoon parrot) has two toes pointing forward and two pointing back, as a real parrot does. Earlier games in the series gave him two toes pointing forward and one pointing back.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' it is implied that Molly the Monster's pink coloring comes from her having some genetic material from a flamingo. In real life, flamingos' pink color comes from protiens in the plankton they eat, and their feathers turn drab without it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* One customer on Website/NotAlwaysRight insisted that only mammals have meat, [[http://notalwaysright.com/somebody-took-an-evolutionary-detour/16854 ergo chicken is a mammal]].
** Another claimed that a leaking package of chicken can't have gotten blood everywhere, because [[http://notalwaysright.com/bloody-stupid/4856 birds don't have blood]].
** [[EpicFail "If God wanted birds to fly,]] [[http://notalwaysworking.com/your-intelligence-is-up-in-the-air/25316 he'd have given them wings or something!"]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Cartoon crows will usually have a yellow beak. In RealLife, most of them are all black; if it has a yellow beak, it's probably a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chough yellow-billed chough]] instead. Unless it appears in British media where the creators have used a typical Blackbird instead.
** This is actually a plot point in AlfredJKwak where the recurring villain Dolf is only half crow and does not in fact have a black beak, but he paints it black in order to pass for a full blood crow.
* RealLife roadrunners are omnivorous, gray, about one foot long, and look like little velociraptors when walking. But [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes the object of Wile E. Coyote's obsession]] more closely resembles an ostrich.
** Light was made of this in ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' when the crew's pet emu was outfitted with speakers to allow it to vocalize, and wakes up the genetically-enhanced wolf AI with a ''meep meep!'' ..."Can our roadrunner outrun our coyote?"
** ''War and Pieces'' features [[MisplacedWildlife a roadrunner on the wrong side of the Pacific]].
* Daffy Duck has been heard to quack and have a white neck ring like a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mallard mallard]], but has all black plumage more like a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Scoter black scoter]].
** MallardFillmore arbitrarily changes color from green to black between panels - maybe he suffers from the same species identity crisis?
*** In his very first cartoon (back when he actually looked like a duck) Daffy had a ''light blue'' ring around his neck. Make of that what you will.
** [[ThoseWackyNazis Hatta]] [[TheVamp Mari]] from ''Plane Daffy'' is a pigeon with ''[[NonMammalMammaries cleavage]]''.
** Actually parodied at the beginning of a Daffy cartoon where he's seen floating in a pond with a group of mallard ducks that act and look realistic. He comments that he always seems to stand out in a crowd.
* One episode of ''JohnnyTest'' has penguins referred to as "flightless furballs".
* Iago from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' (a macaw) has two toes in front of the foot and...''one'' toe in back? Oops.
** Also, despite for all appearances being based on a scarlet macaw, he's a fifth the size and somehow in Arabia centuries before the continent they're native to was discovered.
* Another All Birds Are Chickens toe error: On ''TheMysteriesOfAlfredHedgehog'', a woodpecker was depicted with three toes in front and one in back, rather than the proper two-and-two. Rather disappointing for a show intended to advance science/nature education.
* WoodyWoodpecker. A garishly-colored feather duster with goggly green eyes and a beak that occasionally exhibits teeth, he's no doubt been the cause of many an ornothologist's tears. Then again, the species he is in theory, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, entered urban legend status around when they started making these cartoons.
* Margaret from ''RegularShow''. The official site calls her a robin. She's bright red like a ''male'' cardinal, but really looks more like a PaletteSwap of Mordecai (a bluejay). And she has [[NonMammalMammaries lady pecs]].
* One episode of ''FamilyGuy'' features a gag where two stoned seagulls are talking about how KFC is delicious, and one of them freaks out when the other one points out that he's eating bird. Never mind that there's plenty of other animal species which will eat their own kind: the closest taxonomic relation the two share is class--that is, a gull eating chicken is no more cannibalism than a person eating a cow. That, and some species of gulls will prey on other birds.
** Film/HowardTheDuck makes a similar error, when the eponymous character freaks out over being offered eggs at a restaurant, shouting about how he's not a cannibal. This is despite the fact that as an '''alien''', there's no way he could be even remotely related to any terrestrial bird species.
** On the note of that drunk scene, alcohol is toxic to birds.
* DonaldDuck never flies like an actual duck at all, but whenever we actually ''do'' see him flying, he for some reason flies like a hummingbird.
* Pelicans in Warner Bros. cartoons seemed to have oversized pouches under their bill tops, leading Daffy in 1938's ''Porky and Daffy'' to quickly quip "Funny thing about the pelican, his beak can hold more than his belly can." (The pelican in question here is the referee in a fight in which Daffy is competing.)
** Also, cartoon pelicans in general.
** They can hold in their beak food enough for a week.
* An episode of ''TimonAndPumbaa'' claims that toucans have serrated bills for crushing, and the antagonistic toucan character was even shown crushing a snail shell. While the bill of a toucan is certainly serrated, it has weak muscles and is incapable of crushing even soft fruit.
* One episode of ''MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' had a woodpecker carry off a mouse with the intention of eating it.
* One episode of ''TheFlintstones'' had a dodo (which looked nothing like a real dodo) that ''mimics speech like a parrot''. This is lampshaded by the main characters.
* The ''JonnyQuest'' episode "Treasure of the Temple" had a toucan that can mimic human speech like a parrot.
* Ralph from ''MarthaSpeaks'' was revealed to be female duck in "his" second appearance upon laying eggs, in spite of [[AnimalGenderBender having the colorings of a male mallard]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episode "One Last Job" averts this by showing a male bird with beautiful plumage with extravagant tail feathers while the female is drab and plain-looking, a reference to males of some bird species being more vibrant to attract possible mates (especially true when it comes to peafowl).
* One episode of ''JohnnyBravo'' had an emu being fed avocados, which are poisonous to birds.
[[/folder]]
----
[[redirect:ArtisticLicenseOrnithology]]
13th Jun '14 1:36:02 AM SeptimusHeap
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The grandchild trope of SomewhereAPalaeontologistIsCrying and sister trope of RaptorAttack.

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The grandchild trope of SomewhereAPalaeontologistIsCrying ArtisticLicensePaleontology and sister trope of RaptorAttack.
10th Jun '14 6:24:05 AM Ultradester306
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The grandchild of SomewhereAPalaeontologistIsCrying. [[MostWritersAreHuman Most animators are mammals]], and they tend not to be careful with the research when it comes to non-mammals. So, for whatever reason, cartoon birds tend to be quite unlike anything seen in RealLife.

to:

The grandchild of SomewhereAPalaeontologistIsCrying.ArtisticLicensePaleontology. [[MostWritersAreHuman Most animators are mammals]], and they tend not to be careful with the research when it comes to non-mammals. So, for whatever reason, cartoon birds tend to be quite unlike anything seen in RealLife.
10th May '14 11:01:46 PM schoi30
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Added DiffLines:

** On the note of that drunk scene, alcohol is toxic to birds.


Added DiffLines:

* One episode of ''JohnnyBravo'' had an emu being fed avocados, which are poisonous to birds.
10th May '14 2:48:38 AM Nathanoraptor
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* Shen, the villain of ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'', is supposed to be [[EvilAlbino an albino peacock]], but in real life he would be leucistic instead (albinism, unlike leucism, involves a lack of ''any'' pigmentation of the body, not just with skin or hair, like in Shen's case).
18th Apr '14 2:50:17 PM Atomicsocks
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*** The UK Shetland pony does have thick shaggy coat. http://www.personalponies.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Capture-003417.jpg

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*** ** The UK Shetland pony does have thick shaggy coat. http://www.personalponies.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Capture-003417.jpg coat.
18th Apr '14 2:49:01 PM Atomicsocks
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Added DiffLines:

*** The UK Shetland pony does have thick shaggy coat. http://www.personalponies.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Capture-003417.jpg
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