Flocks of small light-colored birds can be seen throughout the Jurassic Park films. The species of birds represented remain unknown due to a combination of motion blur, distance from the viewer, and the fact that they are typically computer-generated. However, some instances are pending identification based on birdcalls heard when they appear onscreen.
The birds represented onscreen here have compact, bullet-shaped bodies, small heads with short beaks, and short, squared tails. The wings are moderate in length. Most instances of computer-generated birds appear to be white or otherwise lightly-colored.
A few different types of light-colored birds appear in the films. Some appear to have larger heads and longer wings, appearing more gull-like.
Due to a lack of species ID, growth stages are unknown at this time.
Due to a lack of species ID, sexual dimorphism is unknown at this time.
These birds have been observed mostly in open fields, but usually are not far from trees. They inhabit both inland and coastal areas, typically flocking near sources of water. In most cases, they are seen keeping close to larger herbivorous animals. When resting, the birds appear to roost in trees; they have been sighted in dense rainforest environments on both Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna.
On Isla Nublar, a flock of small white birds could be seen at the Watering Hole on June 11, 1993 accompanying a pair of bathing Brachiosaurus. A small herd of Parasaurolophus could also be seen nearby.
According to Claire Dearing, the introduction of dinosaurs in the central valley had bolstered the bird population by 2004. She speculated that the presence of large herbivorous dinosaurs protected the smaller birds from Isla Nublar’s native predatory animals.
Small white birds could be seen at Main Street in Jurassic World on December 22, 2015.
A flock of medium-sized white birds was sighted over northern Isla Nublar on December 22, 2015; others were seen flying over the Jurassic World Lagoon. These were likely a type of gull. Birds of a smaller species were seen the same day in the Gyrosphere area among a variety of herbivorous dinosaurs as well as other small bird species. Unseen birds could be heard roosting inside the remains of the Jurassic Park Visitors’ Centre.
It is most likely that, following the June 23, 2018 eruption of Mount Sibo, most of Isla Nublar’s birds either fled the island or became extinct.
Small light-colored birds are widespread on Isla Sorna. One can be seen flitting through a coastal clearing on the northern beach, shortly before Cathy Bowman’s incident with a Compsognathus pack in December 1996.
More small birds similar to these, of a slightly larger size and longer wingspan, were seen in the northeastern forest near the High Hide and Hammond‘s Gatherer encampment. A flock took to the air in alarm when a pair of Tyrannosaurus passed through the area on the night of November 2, 1997.
The open fields of western Isla Sorna are also ideal habitat for these birds, particularly the grassland frequented by large herds of herbivorous dinosaurs. Many were seen on June 18, 2001. Slightly farther inland, later in the afternoon on that same date, a flock of these birds was seen in accompaniment with a herd of hadrosaurs.
Eric Kirby‘s book Survivor describes unidentified birds roosting inside the Embryonics, Administration, and Laboratories Compound.
Also on June 18, 2001, a smaller flock of lightly-colored small birds was seen near the airstrip, taking flight in alarm as a Spinosaurus disturbed them.
More birds resembling these were seen on June 19, 2001 in the evening on the island’s central peninsula, among a gathering of herbivorous dinosaurs near the island’s largest tidal channel.
An unidentified light-colored small bird, likely a feral pigeon (Columba livia domestica), was seen near the Dinosaur Protection Group office in San Francisco, California on June 22, 2018.
Behavior and Ecology
Based on sightings, these birds appear to be diurnal or cathermal. They are seen actively flying around at various times of day, including midday, afternoon, and evening. However, they are also seen resting in trees during the daytime. They appear to sleep at night, only taking wing if disturbed.
Diet and Feeding Behavior
The diet of these birds is unknown; they are often seen accompanying herds of larger animals, suggesting that they may forage in areas disturbed by these creatures. Their diet may include small items such as seeds, berries, insects, and other tiny animals. On one occasion, they were seen gathered in groups on the ground among a herd of hadrosaurs which was feeding on low-growing plants, suggesting that they forage on the ground.
These birds are almost always seen in large flocks. On one occasion, a lone individual was seen flying near the coast on Isla Sorna, and another was seen alone near the Samsung Innovation Center on Isla Nublar. In all other cases, these birds were seen in groups. Flocks appear to travel, feed, and rest all at the same time, with coordinated movements.
Due to a lack of species ID, reproductive behavior is unknown at this time. However, the majority of birds practice parental care, rearing their young after hatching them from eggs in a nest. Baby birds tend to be helpless for a period of time following hatching.
These birds can be heard making twittering sounds, mostly when they take flight after being disturbed.
While being highly social within their own species, these birds have also been seen accompanying various herbivorous dinosaurs. They have been seen flocking near Brachiosaurus groups in particular, and have been seen gathered on the ground alongside Parasaurolophus and Corythosaurus. Other species that they have been seen near include Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, and Apatosaurus. Birds appear to be common in territories inhabited by these large herbivores, particularly Triceratops; some have suggested that the presence of large herbivores keeps native small predators at bay and therefore benefits the birds. On occasion, they can be seen resting on top of the backs of dinosaurs.
They have been seen fleeing from large carnivores such as Tyrannosaurus and Spinosaurus; however, there is no evidence that species this large intentionally interact with the birds.
The role of these birds in the ecosystem they inhabit is unclear as of now due to their species not being identified. However, it is likely that their main predators before InGen would have been reptiles such as the common boa, as well as any carnivorous mammals or birds of prey that lived on the islands. Since the introduction of dinosaurs, it is likely that smaller carnivorous dinosaurs preyed on the birds; in particular, Compsognathus and Velociraptor antirrhopus sornaensis are known from areas where these birds can be found.
Relationship to Humans
Humans have seldom been seen to interact with these birds directly. Flocks of them may occasionally be a hazard to air traffic, including Simon Masrani‘s Eurocopter JW001.
Indirectly, human activity has removed forested areas that would have formed bird habitats on these islands. However, the increased presence of humans would provide food in the form of refuse, though this may have impacted the birds’ health. In addition, humans introduced many species of large dinosaurs to both Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna, which the birds are often seen near. Claire Dearing noted in 2004 that these large dinosaurs may have indirectly protected the birds from their natural predators.