The big thing with bird photography is getting something with a fast focus.. especially for birds in flight.
First thing to figure out is what brand you like.... Nikon, Canon and Pentax all make good bodies as do the other companies.
If you are serious about wildlife take into account that body build and weather proofing go a long way.. especially if you plan on multi-day trips in rough country.
In regards to lenses... rough rule of thumb is if you are shooting mammals a 200mm is a good starting point... if you are into birds a 400mm is needed... they dont need to be primes and to start you are much better off with zooms. A 400mm goes much farther in getting better shots of mammals as well... in regards to birds... after a while you will be craving a longer lens than 400mm as well but that will be down the road.
I shoot almost exclusively wildlife and the vast magority of the time I have a 100-400mm zoom on my camera.. it really fits almost every situation for wildlife.
I'm partial to canon but that is just me.... all cameras have plus and minus points.. best thing to do is go to a camera store and touchy feely them... fondle them...
... to your hearts content and go with what is comfortable for you and of course take a look at gordon's reviews
If you are curious as to what type of shots you will get with a 400 zoom take a look at my flickr account, link below, most of my shots are taken at 25-60 meters or longer
Canon 7D + 50D + EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM + EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Pelican // Black Rapid // Think Tank // Manfrotto // Garmin
Reflections On Canadian Wildlife