Gjjgl Creature Comparisons

All eagles have sharp, hooked bills to tear up prey. The bill's shape reflects the eagle's diet. The bald eagle of North America has a sharply hooked bill for ripping through the scales of slippery fish. The hooked, like the martial eagle's. It's better suited to the tough skin of rabbits, hares and birds golden eagle's bill is a little less that form a large part of its diet. ground squirrels, hares, guinea fowl, snakes, lizards ground squirrels, hares, guinea fowl, snakes, lizards The martial...

Habitat

Savannah grasslands and plains south of the Sahara are the secretary bird's habitat. It avoids densely vegetated areas, forests and rocky, broken country, preferring open areas with sparse cover where it can easily forage for prey. However, it requires some tree cover to nest and roost in safety. The density of birds in any one area depends on food availability populations vary widely in different parts of Africa. In the grasslands of the far south, for example, there may be just a single pair...

Sun Bittern

Raising Nestling Sparrow Day

A heronlike wading bird that lives and feeds along tropical forest watercourses Camouflaged by its plumage until it reveals brilliant wing eye spots in a defensive display A specialist predator of fish and other aquatic life, it also hunts among the leaf litter Found in lowland tropical forests in Central and South America, from southern Mexico to Bolivia and the Amazon Basin The sun bittern lives a sedate life skulking along Central and South American streams, but reacts in a flash to threats...

Eurasian Oystercatcher

A wading bird of coasts, riverbanks and lakesides that forms large flocks in winter Breaks open shellfish with its bill or stabs between shell halves and pries them apart Forms strong pair bonds, usually staying with the same partner for life Frequents the coasts and some inland areas of Europe, the Middle East, parts of Africa Frequents the coasts and some inland areas of Europe, the Middle East, parts of Africa A familiar sight along much of the world's coastlines, the oystercatcher...

Marsh Marauder

The saddle-bill stork forages by wading slowly, probing with its huge bill. It often finds its prey by touch, snapping its bill shut on anything that moves. The adaptable bill serves as a pincer to grasp small animals and as a sharp dagger to impale larger creatures. The stork also uses its long toes to stir up the muddy bottom and flush out prey, briefly pursuing any quarry that escapes an initial bill attack. Fish are the mainstay of the stork's diet, and its bill can tackle specimens up to...

Behavior

Feral creatures are domesticated stock that through escape, straying or deliberate release by humans have established viable populations in freedom. Many have had to adapt to conditions far removed from their natural habitat. It's this process of adaptation that has molded much of the behavior of the feral pigeon. The pigeon's success is due mainly to its affinity to humans. It was first domesticated probably in Ancient Egypt, when wild rock doves started to breed in homes and people discovered...

Eurasian Swift

Breeding Season

When not nesting, the swift spends all of its time in the air it even mates while flying Feeds by trawling through swarms of insects Gathers in huge, screaming flocks when feeding and before migration Migrates, even sleeps on the wing at up to 6,000' Breeds in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East to central Asia, extending as far east as northern China migrates to Africa in winter Slim-bodied and long-winged, the Eurasian swift is the embodiment of aerial agility. Capable of any task in...

Stone Curlew

Stone Curlew

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES oedicnemus ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES oedicnemus A nocturnal bird, its loud, melodious calls are heard after sunset and throughout the night Coloration helps both the chick and adult blend in amazingly well with their heath homeland Enlarged heel joint, commonly mistaken for a knee, has led to its common name, thick-knee Found in Europe and northern Africa also in southwest Asia, including India, Myanmar and the Arabian Peninsula Found in Europe and...

ViTal StatiSTiCS

As large as a red-billed hawk, the raven turns into a ruthlessly efficient hunter if its usual diet of carrion is in short supply. The raven has relatively small eyes for a bird of its size, but they're set in large eye sockets.The bill is longer than the skull itself. The all-black, glossy plumage shows a shimmering iridescence in strong sunlight, rather like the effect created when oil is spilled onto water.The highlights are mainly purple, with hints The heavy-duty bill, with sharp cutting...

Conservation

The torrent duck is not considered threatened, but is declining in many places, especially in the northern parts of its range. Its disappearance owes much to deforestation, which causes siltation the lack of trees means that soil is washed away more easily.The increased runoff also causes flash floods, which destroy nesting sites. The female lacks the striking head pattern of the male. Her wings, neck and head ar gray her under-parts, orange Powerful webbed feet, a streamlined body and stiff...

ViTAL

During flight, the neck is usually retracted, but is extended with ease to capture prey. The Goliath heron is gray with a rusty orange head, neck and belly black and white stripes line its foreneck. Soft feathers called powder downs are located on the breast and rump. This down disintegrates to form a powder, which is used for preening. The juvenile's head, neck and underparts are paler and duller than the adult's. The juvenile will attain adult plumage by the...

OFILE Northern Mockingbird

Despite its dull plumage, the northern mockingbird attracts attention with its mimicking medleys and daredevil territorial defense tactics. The brown juvenile has faint spots on its chest that effectively conceal the bird from predators. The brown juvenile has faint spots on its chest that effectively conceal the bird from predators. The long feet are perfect for perching in treetops, from which the mockingbird establishes its territory. But powerful legs and feet also support the bird when it...

OFILE Northern Goshawk

Breeding Season

With its short, rounded wings and long, narrow tail, the goshawk twists and darts at incredible speeds through the forest in pursuit of prey. Similar to mammals, the hawk's eyes have a lens (A), cornea (B), iris (C) and retina (D).The long distance from lens to retina gives the hawk excellent vision, allowing it to see a very detailed and colorful world Found only in Cuba, the Gundlach's hawk (Accipiter gundlachi) is a close relative of the northern goshawk. Unlike the goshawk, which inhabits...

Slavonian Grebe

Breeding Season

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES auritus ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES auritus fr I II l.l .IIWP M j I Short wings are used more for swimming underwater than flying through the air f When alarmed, the grebe will dive as deep as 20' with its chick on its back Ear tufts give rise to its common name, the horned grebe j Builds a floating nest anchored to reeds or bushes growing in ponds and lakes Found throughout Europe, Asia, the east and west coasts of the U.S., Canada, Iceland and Northwest...

King Penguin

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES patag nica ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES patag nica Found on at least eight sub-Antarctic islands, including Marion and Macquarie Islands, in the southern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans between 46-55 S I Holds record among all birds for longest fledging period (up to 13 months) Can distinguish its chick's call out of thousands when returning from the sea with food Survives the intense cold with the help of increased metabolism, a thick layer of blubber beneath...

OFILE Rainbow Lorikeet

Green Nate Lorikeet Parrot Tung

A brilliantly plumed, jewel-like bird, the lorikeet is easily recognized by its distinct coloration, heavy build and long tail. The lorikeet's tapering wings and pointed tail permit swift, agile flight large, circling flocks utter piercing cries. The bill is sharply hooked but not particularly powerful. Protrusions (papillae) on the tip of the tongue expand like the tentacles of a sea anemone to collect pollen and nectar. The bill is sharply hooked but not particularly powerful. Protrusions...

Ostrich

Ostrich Without Neck

Lives on open plains where its watchtower vision helps it spot predators its group-based lifestyle also gives the protection essential for exposed plains dwellers Gapes its bill and spreads its wings to dissipate body heat Gleans all of its water needs from plant food except during the driest months In a strip across Africa between 10 and 20 north of the equator East Africa south down the Rift Valley to Tanzania also inhabits South Africa, Namibia, southern Angola and Botswana The ostrich may...

Quelea Birds Mating And Breeding

The red-billed quelea breeds in dense colonies. Thousands of pairs rear their young in trees thick with nests. With the onset ofthe breeding season, the male, in his bright mating plumage, begins building a roughly spherical nest. When half-constructed, he stops work and starts advertising his skills and charms. If a female likes the look of him and his nest, they mate, and he completes the structure. Both parents feed the brood insects and succulent larvae a diet that ensures a rich supply of...

OFILE Redbilled Quelea

Anhimidae Fossil

The red-billed quelea looks innocent enough on its own, but in a flock a million strong, it is one of the most feared creatures in Africa. Conical and chunky, a nutcracker bill allows the quelea to break into the toughest seeds and get at their protein-rich kernels. Despite its short wings, the quelea can fly surprisingly long distances when it has to migrate in search of food. For much of the year, the male (shown) has a dull-brown plumage, but, when the time comes to mate, he acquires a...

OFILE Marabou Stork

The marabou stork is a large bird but has almost no voice its most formidable features are its inflated gular pouch and large pointed bill. The marabou lives in Africa, while the greater adjutant stork (Leptoptilos dubius) lives in Asia. Habitat aside, the two birds are very similarThe greater adjutant is slate gray above, white below, much like the marabou's dark slate-gray upperparts and white underparts. Both storks stand approximately 4' tall, though the greater adjutant can grow up to 5'....

Graycrowned Crane

Leaps up to 7' in the air in elegant ritual dances that are performed by excited groups all year Most brilliantly colored and ornately plumaged of all the world's 15 species of crane Stamps on the ground to disturb invertebrate prey that it snaps up with its thick bill Found from Kenya and Uganda south to South Africa with a band extending westward to northern Nambia and Botswana As if performing to a well-known piece of music, groups of gray-crowned cranes display their regal crests and...

Brown Skua

Fearsome predatory bird that terrorizes the colonies of penguins and other seabirds Skillful, long-distance flier that journeys around Antarctica during the southern winter Pirate of icy southern seas, harassing other birds into dropping or disgorging hard-won food Found in a ring all around Antarctica, breeding on sub-antarctic islands, along the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula and south of New Zealand A fierce bird of prey of southern oceans, the brown skua is successful because it...

QFILE Hoopoe

With its striking plumage both at rest and in flight, its graceful crest and slender bill, the hoopoe is one of Europe's most exotic-looking birds. The long tail feathers aid balance and act as a prop when the hoopoe perches at its nest hole. With its striking plumage both at rest and in flight, its graceful crest and slender bill, the hoopoe is one of Europe's most exotic-looking birds. Mainly insects including pupae and larvae spiders, centipedes, small lizards and snakes The scimitar-billed...

Southern Giant Petrel

Catches fish by impaling them on a specially adapted hooked beak Stomach oil serves as a food reserve oil may be discharged as a foul-smelling defense mechanism Preys and scavenges upon birds and animals, on land and in the sea Found in Antarctica and islands in the southern oceans, including Prince Edward, Marion, Crozet also southern Chile and on oceans south of equator skimming and gliding over the ocean waves, the southern giant petrel scans the surface of the Antarctic waters for easy...

Sulphurcrested Cockatoo

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES* galerita ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES* galerita In woodlands and clearings in northern, southeastern and eastern Australia widespread in New Guinea, except for central highland areas, Tasmania and islands of southeastern Pacific The sulphur-crested cockatoo is a wary bird. It protects itself when feeding in a flock on the ground by posting lookouts in nearby trees to give early warning of danger. A Local color Flocks of sulphur-crested cockatoos rarely move...

Where In The World

Found in both Chad and Sudan also throughout Israel, Egypt and southeastern Arabian peninsula also in Ethiopia to Somalia, with main ranges from Kenya to South Africa A highly specialized hunter, Verreaux's eagle relies on the element of surprise when it strikes the eagle often swoops down a cliff to grab its favorite victim the rock hyrax.

Southern Ground Hornbill

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES leadbeateri ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES leadbeateri The bird breeds cooperatively a mated pair accepts help from immature and other adults during nestbuilding, incubation and fledging Strides purposefully across the savannah, up to 7 miles a day Produces a distinctive, booming call heard across the lowlands of Africa's grassy plains Found throughout African savannahs south of the equator from southern Kenya through Rwanda, Burundi and southeast Zaire, south...

Japanese Crane

Dances with its partner and other cranes, in rituals that extend beyond courtship into everyday life Graceful but raucous ballet seems sometimes to be performed out Japan's revered tancho, or bird of happiness, this affectionate crane forms a lifelong pair bond and is upheld as a symbol of fidelity in marriage Breeds as a resident species in the northeast of Hokkaido island, northern Japan those that breed in eastern Siberia and northern China migrate to winter south in eastern China and Korea...

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Power Yellow Brested Bird

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES- nisus Widespread in Europe, the northwestern tip of Africa and northern Japan wintering range extends into southern and eastern Asia A fierce, dashing, but secretive hawk that ambushes small birds, often catching them in the air with its talons Favors densely wooded countryside studded with fields and other open areas, where its hunting technique comes Many populations crashed due to use of pesticides in farming, but are now recovering Twisting and turning...

Southern Yellowbilled Hornbill

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES* leucomelas ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES* leucomelas Male takes total responsibility for feeding female and chicks during the breeding period Female and young are sealed in their nest hole with a wall of dried mud to keep out predators Achieves far greater fledging success than other hole-nesting birds that don't seal the nest From Angola through Namibia to Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, northern and eastern South Africa and southwestern Mozambique The...

Spotted Nutcracker

Buries nuts and seeds for the winter and recovers them by digging through deep snow drifts In times of famine, populations move to a new habitat in mass movements called invasions Nutcrackers favor high altitudes some live in the Himalayas at above 13,000' Found across northern Europe from Norway, Sweden and Finland, across Asia to Japan, south to Mongolia, China and Korea The spotted nutcracker copes with long, cold winters by carefully hoarding seeds and nuts it cleverly finds its buried food...

Rainbow Beeeater

Birds Qld Bee Eaters

> Removes stinger from bees and other stinging insects before swallowing them whole Reveals a brilliant display of colors during its frequent attacks against flying insects f Bicycles its legs, while balancing on its bill, to dig dirt for its nesting tunnels Throughout Australia, including the Northern Territory and New South Wales, but absent from Tasmania also in New Guinea and Indonesia The colorful and agile rainbow bee-eater easily catches insects in midair, then meticulously removes the...

Key Features

Mating Ruby Throated Hummingbird

A tiny bird with big performance, capable of astonishing feats of flight and endurance i Able to hover and fly backward, sideways and even upside down Brilliant colors sparkle like jewels in the sun as it sips nectar from flowers Beats its wings at an incredibly fast rate to produce the hum adapted to an energetic existence. In its busy, buzzing quest for nectar, it may visit as many as 2,000 flowers in a day. The ruby-throat is widespread A Humming home across eastern North America,...

OFILE Redheaded Woodpecker

The handsome red-headed woodpecker flashes its signature crimson head as it flies to a handy perch on dead or fallen trees. The white in the woodpecker's wings is quite visible as it engages in its erratic up-and-down flight. The white in the woodpecker's wings is quite visible as it engages in its erratic up-and-down flight. Both sexes sport a bright red head, neck and throat, hence their common name, with contrasting black-and-white plumage on the body. The straight, hard, pointed bill is...

Black Skimmer

Black Breeding

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES niger Slender, boldly patterned waterbird renowned for, and named after, its unique feeding style Uses the very long lower mandible of its bright bill to scoop fish from the water's surface Nests in large colonies, often with terns, on small river islands and coastal beaches Distributed along both seaboards of the U.S., Mexico and Central America, across much of tropical South America, and along the coasts of Chile and Argentina Distributed along both seaboards...

Coopers Hawk

Breeding Season

Found in much of North America, including British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and the I U.S. south through Mexico and Costa Rica to Colombia in South America i Hunts by ambushing its prey sometimes drowns its victim in nearby watering holes The male chooses a new nest site each year and builds most of the nest Females begin laying their eggs on the same day each year The eyes undergo several color changes, which also indicate the The Cooper's hawk preys on small birds and mammals, often...

While hovering to feed this tiny living jewel beats its wings so rapidly that they disappear in a blur and produce an

The hummingbird uses its thin, 0.4-long bill and brush-tipped tongue to reach deep into flowers and sip nectar. The male's head is adorned with long throat plumes and iridescent neck feathers that sparkle bright red in sunlight. Legs are short and the feet are small. Large feet and claws are unnecessary for a bird that spends so much time on the wing. The female doesn't have the male's iridescent colors she needs to be inconspicuous on the nest. The tiny size and rapid action of the wings lets...

Breeding Season

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES novaehollandiae ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES novaehollandiae 1 Distributed widely across Australia in a wide range of habitats lives in Africa, this l ' huge bird is similarly I Unusual among birds, the male emu incubates the eggs and rears the brood without assistance from the female Throughout much of Australia, the emu is found in a wide variety I of habitats from coastal flats, woodlands and grassy plains to the uplands of the Great Dividing Range A...

OFILE House Sparrow

With a versatile, powerful bill and a broad diet, the resourceful house sparrow manages to thrive in a variety of habitats. Both sexes have patterned brown upperparts and pale underparts. The male (right) has a black bib, gray crown and rump, chestnut temples and a silver-gray bill. Males have varying amounts of black on the throat and breast. Those with the largest black patches (bibs) have the highest levels of testosterone and are more attractive to females. Outside the breeding season, the...

Herring Gull

Red Spot Gull Feeding Chick

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES argentatus ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES argentatus I A versatile feeder that takes carrion and scraps as well as live prey, which it hunts with great skill and expertise j A bold bird prepared to take advantage of the many feeding and nesting opportunities provided by humans f Gregarious and lives in flocks, yet it fiercely defends a small breeding territory from unwanted intruders Breeds in North America, coastal Europe and northern Asia some stay in the...

OFILE Northern Gannet

The northern gannet is equipped for life as a specialized fish-eater and flies great distances on its long wings to track down prey. The juvenile's plumage is dark brown, maybe to signal to aggressive adult males that it isn't a rival. In noisy disputes, adults often attack each other, even their own mates, on occasion. The juvenile's plumage is dark brown, maybe to signal to aggressive adult males that it isn't a rival. In noisy disputes, adults often attack each other, even their own mates,...

Food hunting

Small Birds Catch Insects

Using a tall tree or post as a vantage point, the great gray shrike watches for prey on the ground below. If there is no convenient perch, the shrike glides or hovers above the grass, scanning the ground. Once it spots a victim, it settles nearby and hops over It seizes the prey and kills it with repeated strikes to the head with its sharp bill. More rarely, the shrike pur sues and catches birds and insects in flight, swooping over hedges and walls to surprise its quarry. The shrike swallows...

Canada Goose

Canadian Geese Breeding

One of nature's great spectacles thousands fill the flyways on their journey south in autumn Travels in V-formations, creating slipstreams to minimize the effort of migratory flight Has a built-in compass to aid navigation when clouds obscure landmarks and hide the stars Breeds across northern North America winters farther south in the U.S. and Mexico introduced into Britain, Scandinavia and New Zealand Each fall, Canada geese take to the air and fly in undulating V-shaped formations as they...

OFILE Great Blackbacked Gull

The great black-backed gull often attacks colonies of other seabirds and crushes the life from their chicks with its scimitar-shaped bill. The young gull shows barred patterns on its back and checkered patterns elsewhere. It reaches adult plumage by its third year. One of the gull's most readily identifiable characteristics is the red spot on the lower edge of the bill, called the gonydeal spot. The young gull shows barred patterns on its back and checkered patterns elsewhere. It reaches adult...

Torrent Duck

Unusual among ducks in its preference for fast-flowing mountain streams with many waterfalls Simply built, long-tailed and short-legged dives into the rapids to find insects on the riverbed One of the most attractive ducks, the male has a striking black-and-white head and orange bill Resident in three separate areas of the Andes of western South America Venezuela to southern Colombia Ecuador to Peru and south through Bolivia and Chile to Argentina The torrent duck lives up to its name as a...

Kori Bustard

Kori Bustard Wingspan

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES kori I At nearly 40 lbs. and with a wingspan of nearly 8', the kori bustard is one of the world's heaviest flying birds The bustard will breed in an area just after animal herds have moved through, possibly looking for stirred-up insects to feed its young Both sexes of the kori are well camouflaged with their cryptic plumage, but the polygamous male invites attention by inflating his neck and ruffling his neck feathers. The kori bustard prefers flat, arid and...

Clean Feed

The Gouldian finch acrobatically plucks seeds from grass stems in the morning, coming close to the ground but rarely ever touching it. John Gould, the first to describe this finch in 1841, named the bird in honor of his wife, hence the common name Lady Gould. Air sac mites are a threat to the Gouldian finch. If heavily infested with these tiny organisms, a bird can die in 2-7 days, even after treatment, from the accumulation of dead mites that obstruct the airways and cause asphyxiation. The...

The Mating Game

After winning the battle, the victorious male puffs his feathers, hoping to attract a nearby female with his wing display. Two male greater rheas circle each other during a biting match. Their necks become entwined as they fight over territory. After winning the battle, the victorious male puffs his feathers, hoping to attract a nearby female with his wing display.

Hawfinch

Male Hawfinch Breeding Plumage

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES coccothraustes ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES coccothraustes Huge bill and powerful jaw muscles crack open hard seeds, especially fruit pits Shy and elusive, spending most of the time high in the treetops and avoiding open ground During courtship, the male performs elaborate displays using his wings Found across much of temperate Europe and Asia and in northwestern Africa absent from Ireland, Scotland and most of Scandinavia A master seed buster, the hawfinch...

A powerful bill and specialized feet are essential tools in the armory of this imposing fisheating bird of prey

These bony extensions of the skull overhang the eyes and help protect them from injury when the eagle is catching and handling prey.They also shield the eyes, like sun visors, reducing glare. The eagle's ability to see detail at a distance is extraordinary. Its eyesight is 4-8 times sharper than a human's.The eyes are fixed in their sockets, so the eagle has to turn its whole head to look around. As with all sea eagles, the bill is large heavily built and strongly hooked. It's capable of...

Breeding

Communal courtship begins as soon as the male has acquired his new plumage in late autumn, but pair bonds are often formed in spring. In winter, males display in groups. They become highly vocal, whistling as they swim back and forth, tossing and shaking their heads. Females will respond by growling, stretching their necks and ritually preening their wings. Small islands are favored breeding sites on some of them, there may be hundreds of nests spaced about 15' apart.The male plays no part in...

Il

African jacana American purple gallinule Slate-blue during the summer, the bill changes to yellow with a brown tip in the winter. In flight, the pheasant-tailed jacana flaps its wings in a slow, deliberate manner, trailing its long legs and revealing its white wing coloring. The male jacana tucks his chicks under his wings to carry them about, leaving their legs dangling free. Long toes spread weight over a large area, allowing the bird to walk over lily pads without sinking. The purpose of the...

Hooded Vulture

I Widespread in Africa, where it has learned to live closely alongside humans in many parts of its range f Scavenges almost any organic matter and so performs a garbage-disposal service around towns and cities I Attracted to farmland habitats, where carcasses of i domestic livestock provide rich pickings Found in Africa from Mauritania and Senegal east to Ethiopia and south to South Africa absent from the dense forests of western central Africa and Madagascar A familiar visitor to sub-saharan...

Pels Fishing Owl Prey

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES peli ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES peli Does not rely on sound to find prey, as most owls do . Loose feathering on head gives it a distinctive fluffy appearance j Unfeathered feet are equipped with sharp scales and talons to catch and hold fish Lacks the ear tufts found in most owl species Found along large rivers and tree-lined streams of Africa, from Nigeria across the Congo Basin and central Africa to the Zambezi River and in Ethiopia south to South Africa...

Snow Goose

Bird Watch During Snowing

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES caerulescens ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES caerulescens Breeds mostly inside thetfin Island and Greenland west Vast flocks of snow geese breed on the Arctic tundra, exploiting the brief flush of plant growth. Each autumn they head south to spend the winter in the southern U.S. A Peaceful pastures Snow geese favor areas of vegetated wilderness that provide ample food and-shelter. The snow goose breeds in the Arctic, usually on lowland grassy tundra and often...

Kea

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES nota bilis ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES nota bilis I Labeled a sheep killer, it occasionally feeds on meat but is mainly a vegetarian f Its far-reaching call echoes from the swirling mists of the mountain tops high in It's the only parrot in the world that can survive in snow frequently remains in high altitudes throughout the winter Limited to the southern portion of the island of New Zealand found only on South Island, from northwestern city of Nelson...

Ruff

Lengthening days of spring herald the return of the ruff to its lek, where rival males clash for supremacy and females gather to pick partners from the flamboyant contestants. Winter holiday To avoid the winter, the ruff flies south to warmer wetland habitats. A trail of tiny marks in soft mud may mean a hungry ruff the bird feeds by walking briskly as it jabs the ground with its slender bill. The flexible tip is packed with sensitive nerve endings and can be opened while the rest of the bill...

Eastern Screech Owl Nesting Season

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES asio ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES asio Cries out a shrill, chilling screech during the night, hence its common name f Species has three colors gray, red and brown none of which has to do with age, sex or season > Incredible ability to camouflage itself can blend with tree bark or look like a tree branch Most nocturnal owl in North America Widely distributed throughout North America from southern Canada, to the south, east and central U. S. (east of the...

Superb Lyrebird

Breeding Season

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES novaehollandiae ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES novaehollandiae Found in southeastern Australia (southeastern Queensland to southern Victoria) in 1934, the species was introduced to central and southeast Tasmania, where its numbers are slowly increasing Pheasant-sized, it's one of the largest and most remarkable of all perching birds The male is an outstanding singer and also has an unrivaled capacity for mimicking the sounds of other The male's long, lacy,...

OFILE Pheasanttailed Jacana

The female is very much the dominant bird in pheasant-tailed jacana society. Larger than the male, she grows an even more splendid tail. Slate-blue during the summer, the bill changes to yellow with a brown tip in the winter. In flight, the pheasant-tailed jacana flaps its wings in a slow, deliberate manner, trailing its long legs and revealing its white wing coloring. The male jacana tucks his chicks under his wings to carry them about, leaving their legs dangling free. Long toes spread weight...

Eurasian Avocet

Scythes through mud and water with specialized upturned bill to filter out tiny aquatic organisms Strikingly patterned in black and white, it's a conspicuous inhabitant of saltwater wetlands Defends its nest vigorously during the breeding season, noisily driving away intruders On wetlands from Europe to China winters in North and West Africa, the Middle East and southeast China also occurs in East Africa Resplendent in its eye-catching piebald plumage, the Eurasian avocet has another striking...

Common Snipe

J A wading bird of shallow marshes and I wetlands that uses its long, slender bill to probe for invertebrates f The male produces a distinctive winnowing with his tail feathers during display flights ' Female nests in I a depression on the ground and relies on the superb camouflage ' of her mottled plumage to escape the attention Europe, South America, the U.S. and southern Africa migratory elsewhere, breeding in North America, northern Europe and Asia, and wintering farther south The common...

Toco Toucan

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES toco The largest toucan known throughout the world as an exotic symbol of South American forests Its bill is a lightweight and dexterous tool for plucking and manipulating fruit and seeds Also uses bill to kill small animals and in playful bouts of bill-fencing and mutual preening Found in South America, from Guyana south across much of southeastern Brazil to northern Argentina, and into westernmost Bolivia its range excludes the heart of the Amazon rainforest...

R

The smew's serrated bill and clawed, webbed feet enable it to lead a lifestyle of fishing in waters near its woodland nesting site. The serrated edges allow the bird to grip fish and give rise to the term sawbilled duck. The serrated edges allow the bird to grip fish and give rise to the term sawbilled duck. The male smew in breeding plumage is distinguished from other wildfowl by his striking white head and neck, and a black eye mask. His crest serves in breeding displays. Characterized by...

Dwarf Cassowary

The dwarf cassowary's inner toe has evolved into a long, daggerlike claw, making its foot a formidable weapon Extremely heavy, this flightless bird weighs up to 55 lbs., yet can run up to 30 mph r The male dwarf cassowary incubates the eggs and also cares for the chicks for up to 9 months Found only in the forests of New Guinea, New Britain Island and on Yapen Island, mainly at higher altitudes found occasionally at lower elevations Usually a shy bird, the cassowary can be quite aggressive,...

Mallard

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES Anseriformes Anatidae Anas platyrhynchos The world's most abundant species of duck Feeds on submerged plants by upending and pushing its long neck underwater Male abandons his mate after egg-laying Ducklings stay close to their mother for protection, often swimming behind her in a long line Found in a huge range that includes nearly all of Northern Hemisphere's temperate zone introduced populations in Australia and New Zealand The mallard can raise a family in...

K

Peregrine populations declined from the 1950s to the 1970s as a result of the pesticide DDT. Many falcons died or laid eggs with thin shells after preying on seed-eating birds with deadly levels of DDT. Today, DDT is banned in many countries, and some populations are on the rise. The peregrine preys almost exclusively on birds and often catches them on the wing. Its diet depends on what's available within its range. Falcons in coastal locations, for example, prey mainly on seabirds around their...

Brown Pelican

Pelican Soaring High

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES occidentalis ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES occidentalis Heavyweight hunter that patrols coastlines of the Americas in large aerial formations Only pelican species that skydives into the sea to scoop up fish Opens its bill and unfurls a huge throat pouch, like a fisherman's net, to trap prey Widespread and common, it's a visitor to tourist beaches On the east and west coasts of the Americas, from California and the Carolinas, south to northern Chile and...

Sooty Tern

Gull Tern Wingspan Length

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES fuscata ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES fuscata Reaches sexual maturity at 6-8 years of age, later than any other member of the gull family Easily distinguished from other terns by its two-tone plumage black above, white below Breeding cycle seems to follow the phases of the moon in the south Atlantic Found in tropical and subtropical regions of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, including Africa, Australia and North America The sooty tern rides the air...

Burrowing

Burrowing Owl Breeding

Found in grassland from British Columbia in Canada, through western U.S. and central Mexico, to Tierra del Fuego in South America Nests in abandoned underground rodent burrows, and leads a largely terrestrial life Has long legs, unique among North American owls, enabling it to stalk prey on the ground An accomplished vocalist, it mimics a rattlesnake's rasp to warn off predators Found in grassland from British Columbia in Canada, through western U.S. and central Mexico, to Tierra del Fuego in...

OFILE Great White Pelican

The pelican swims strongly and with precise control, dipping its long, flexible neck to scoop a slippery catch in its bizarre pouched bill. A supple pouch distends to take in 3.5 gallons of fish and water. It drains the water, tilts its bill and swallows the entire catch. Up to 18.5 long, the bill has a specially modified lower mandible to support the great pouch and its heavy load. A supple pouch distends to take in 3.5 gallons of fish and water. It drains the water, tilts its bill and...

Blackbird

Uses songs to advertise territory, court mates or sound warnings Occupies a wide range of habitats, but densest populations are now in suburban areas Raises several broods each year to offset heavy predation, especially by the domestic cat From Azores and Iceland eastward through Europe, northwestern Africa and southern Asia to China introduced to Australia northwestern Africa and southern Asia to China introduced to Australia A garden bird loved for its rich song and lively manner, the...

Nightingale Bird Behavior

The voice of a male nightingale is celebrated as one of the most beautiful of the bird kingdom. His song varies by season and circumstances. It is richest, loudest and most often performed in late spring, when the male sings at night to attract a mate and to proclaim territory.These arias are delivered from the same perches night after night, often high up and exposed. By day, his songs are less varied and are delivered in shorter bursts. The male performs a quieter version of his song when...

OFILE Hyacinth Macaw

With its powerful bill and brilliant blue coloring, the majestic macaw is a portrait of strength and beauty. The powerful jaws are controlled by strong muscles used to crack open the toughest seeds. The powerful jaws are controlled by strong muscles used to crack open the toughest seeds. The stout, curved bill is hooked and hinged which offers leverage for cracking nuts and tearing fruits.The prehensile tongue helps remove flesh from these foods. The stout, curved bill is hooked and hinged...

OFILE Green

The dazzling green jay's yellow, blue and green plumage blends perfectly with patches of sunlight and shadows in woods and thickets. With its sturdy black bill, the jay picks at a variety of food items, from grasshoppers to seeds and fruit. It sweeps its bill from side to side, turning over leaves and twigs in search of food. The northern race, Cyanocorax yncas glaucescens, has a prominent forehead, crown and neck that are colored various shades of blue. The back, rump and upper tail are bright...

Laughing Kookaburra

Australian Kookaburra Bird

An opportunistic predator of Australia's bush, this crow-sized kingfisher grabs and stabs prey with its bill Master reptile killer that thrashes snakes and lizards to death, often after dropping them from high in the air to stun them first . with a vocabulary of loud calls that sound like chuckles and sidesplitting laughs Over much of eastern Australia in a broad band (Queensland in the north to Victoria and southwestern South Australia) introduced to a corner of western Australia and Tasmania...

OFILE Superb Lyrebird

Lyrebird Form

The male superb lyrebird flaunts his beautiful train of filmy, shimmering tail feathers and pours out his elaborate song to advertise for mates. The tail, which is molted each year, is 20-24 long and consists of two broad, lyre-shaped outer feathers called yrates.Twelve lacy feathers and two wirelike central feathers (guard p umes) make up the rest of the tail.The tail forms a spectacular train when the male erects it in courtship display. It takes young males 3-8 years to acquire these...

Birds

Copyright 2007 by International Masters Publishing. Portions of this material were previously published as part of the Wildlife Explorer reference set. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information contact Facts On File, Inc. An imprint of Infobase Publishing 132...

LOFILE Budgerigar

Budgie Color Variations

The budgerigar, with its compact, streamlined body and long, tapering wings, is a fast flier that travels long distances in search of food. The only visible difference between the sexes is the color of the cere (fleshy nostril area at the base of the bill), which is blue in males (shown) and brown in females. Breeding Throughout Season the year varies with location 7-8 years in the wild up to 20 in captivity The only visible difference between the sexes is the color of the cere (fleshy nostril...

Blackheaded Gull

Unlike most gulls, spends much of its life inland Adapts to man-made environments, nesting on reservoirs and gravel pits, feeding on farmland and scavenging at dumps and parks Sexes look identical and raise young together, amid the din of bustling, close-packed colonies Breeds across Europe and Asia, from Iceland to Russia some move south in winter to the Middle East, western Africa and eastern North America The black-headed gull thrives close to humans, as it has learned to exploit the rich...

Fruit Raiders

Fruit Flies And Parrots

Three toco toucans fly to find a fruiting tree.They may be joined by other toucans, but feeding parties rarely exceed 12 birds. Three toco toucans fly to find a fruiting tree.They may be joined by other toucans, but feeding parties rarely exceed 12 birds. One grasps a branch while craning to reach a berry.With a delicate tweezing action, it picks the delicacy from its stalk. One grasps a branch while craning to reach a berry.With a delicate tweezing action, it picks the delicacy from its stalk....

OFILE Namaqua Sandgrouse

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Dry desert conditions are no threat to the Namaqua sandgrouse its thick-soled feet can withstand hot sand, and its belly feathers carry water. The base of the bill is feathered, which insulates the bird against extreme temperature and protects nostrils against windblown sand and dust. A white and chestnut pectoral band and brown belly are distinguishing characteristics of the male. The legs are short and three front toes are stout, fairly broad and thick-soled, well suited for walking great...

OFILE Southern giant petrel

The white variety (morph) of the southern giant petrel is found in only 15 of the population and is easily distinguished from the dark morph. With a wingspan of up to 6', the petrel unfolds its wings and seems to float into the air. The dark morph (left), with its dark gray-brown body and whitish head and neck, is easily distinguished from the white morph. The large nasal tubes, on top of the upper mandible, extend for three-fifths the length of the bill. Salt secreting glands, located...

Seek And Devour

An accomplished swimmer, the merganser uses its powerful feet to propel itself through the water in search of fish prey. The merganser dips its head under the surface, swinging its crested head from side to side as it eagerly scans for fish. An accomplished swimmer, the merganser uses its powerful feet to propel itself through the water in search of fish prey. The merganser dips its head under the surface, swinging its crested head from side to side as it eagerly scans for fish. In one quick...

Eurasian Nuthatch

A colorful woodland bird that wedges nuts into bark crevices and breaks them open with its bill Walks head first down tree trunks a habit that is unique to the nuthatch family Hides surplus food in autumn to help it survive the winter, and defends territory throughout the year Europe and Asia, east to Kamchatka and south into India and Cambodia isolated populations in Africa and Middle East Europe and Asia, east to Kamchatka and south into India and Cambodia isolated populations in Africa and...

OFILE Raggiana Bird of Paradise

Adalt Eating Their Breast

A bird built for display, the male spends up to five months of every year in molt shedding his old feathers and growing a fresh set of plumes. The female is smaller than and very different from the fully plumed male. Her male chicks resemble her until they begin to acquire adult plumage. The female is smaller than and very different from the fully plumed male. Her male chicks resemble her until they begin to acquire adult plumage. Resembling that of its crowlike ancestors, Ij the powerful bill...

OFILE Northern Cardinal

The northern cardinal is a familiar and welcome sight in its year-round homes, with its rich red plumage and melodic songs. The short, wedge-shaped red bill has sharp edges, which allow the cardinal to crack open large and tough seeds.The lower mandible is broader than the upper man dible and very strong. The predominantly brown female has a crest similar to the male's her tail, however, is proportionately shorter than the male's.The base of the bill has a blackish-gray area, but it is not as...

OFILE Paradise Whydah

During the breeding season, the male paradise whydah is unmistakable with his black plumage and spectacular sweeping tail. The female's mottled brown and buff plumage is similar to but duller than that of the nonbreeding male. Her breast is either plain or necklaced with fine streaks she has C-shaped marks on the side of the face. The large, dark bill is short and conical, well adapted for cracking seeds. During the non-breeding seasons June to November in South Africa and April to October in...

Macaroni Penguin

Penguin Feather Layers

Named for its long golden crests, which resemble the flashy feathers worn by 18th-century Englishmen Breeds in extremely dense colonies and interacts socially within them Monogomous and devoted parents, macaroni penguins will spend up to 45 days fasting when caring for chicks Found on sub-Antarctic islands in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Falkland Islands off of Argentina also in the waters south of South America and Africa Macaroni penguins spend two years with their chick....

OFILE Northern Wheatear

Jaunty and restless, the wheatear flits, hops or runs from perch to perch, flicking its wings and flaunting its strongly marked tail if threatened. The dazzling white rump and tail with its inverted, black T-shaped pattern is most conspicuous when the bird is in flight. The bird also flashes its tail in i courtship and territorial displays. The female lacks the crisp, bright coloring of the male. Her dark facial markings are less conspicuous than those of her mate, and her back is brown rather...

Magnificent Frigatebird

An aggressive pirate of the skies, it forces other seabirds to give up their catch of fish Long wings, a streamlined shape and low weight give it great maneuverability in the air Snatches fish from the sea's surface and steals eggs and chicks from other birds' nests Along coasts from Florida to Brazil and Baja California to Ecuador on the Galapagos Islands and off the West African coast on the Cape Verde Islands Despite being a poor swimmer and lacking waterproof feathers, the magnificent...

OFILE Common Grackle

Roof Mouth Rip

Sunlight enhances the glossy-black common grackle's metallic sheen males accentuate this feature by puffing out their feathers. The male common grackle (right) is glossy black all over, usually with a purple sheen, depending on the subspecies.The female is smaller, with duller black plumage. Young birds are a drabber, sooty brown and have dark eyes, a contrast with the adult's pale yellow eyes. By its first fall, the juvenile attains glossier plumage and pale eyes. The large, pointed bill is...

OFILE Himalayan Snowcock

Himalayan Snowcock

The Himalayan snowcock is a stout gamebird with strong legs and feet designed to get a good grip on steep, rocky mountainsides. A mixture of gray, white and buff plumage camouflages the snowcock as it moves through its mountain home. The bird also has chestnut bands that extend from the eye and throat to the neck. Three toes in the front and one in the back provide optimum balance. Strong, short legs enable this ground-dwelling bird to move up and down mountains easily. Males and females look...

Eurasian Kingfisher

Breeding Season

Plumage is iridescent and appears to be either blue or green, depending on the light conditions Plunges into the water at great speed to catch fish in its long, pointed bill Burrows deep into a soft, sandy riverbank to build a secure nesting chamber The Eurasian kingfisher is a small bird that makes a big splash in its surroundings it flashes metallic color in its arrowlike flight and hits the water in a headlong plunge. The Eurasian kingfisher is a small bird that makes a big splash in its...

Owl Breeding Season In New Mexico

Breeding Season

The smallest owl in the world at 5-6'' long, it is roughly the size Relies entirely on abandoned woodpecker holes in cacti and trees for nesting sites Acute hearing allows it to locate prey in the darkness of night The most nocturnal owl found in all of North America Found in North America from southeastern California west to northeastern New Mexico, and from southern Texas to central and southern Mexico, including the tip of Baja California Despite its small size, the elf owl has an...

OFILE Rainbow Beeeater

Small Verizon Pariotthe Bird

The rainbow bee-eater, with colored feathers that span the spectrum, scans its surroundings constantly for flying insect. The hard, sharp bill is strong enough to chisel earth during exca vation of a nesting tunnel, but also delicate enough to snatch insects in flight. The hard, sharp bill is strong enough to chisel earth during exca vation of a nesting tunnel, but also delicate enough to snatch insects in flight. When perched, a rainbow bee-eater moves its two needlelike central tail feathers...

Golden Eagle

Breeding Season Jon Eagle

Able to soar effortlessly for long periods on its broad, 6.5'-long wings Ranges across territories as large as 80 sq. miles an area similar to that of a medium-sized city Traditional nests, or eyries, may be used by generation after generation of golden eagles Inhabits the western and northern U.S. and eastern Canada, parts of Europe, east through much of central and northern Asia also parts of Africa A regal resident of the roof of the world, the golden eagle naturally symbolizes power and...

France Rock Crevice Bird

A wallcreeper flashes its brilliant, crimson-patterned wings as it flies toward a steep rock face. The agile bird hops between rocks, searching for a new nook with tasty insects. A wallcreeper flashes its brilliant, crimson-patterned wings as it flies toward a steep rock face. The agile bird hops between rocks, searching for a new nook with tasty insects. The wallcreeper disappears into a rock crevice its long, curved bill helps it delve deep after food. The wallcreeper disappears into a rock...

OFILE Graycrowned Crane

The striking gray-crowned crane is adapted to feeding in open country, wading through open grasslands on its long, strong legs to find food. Lacking the showy colors of its parents, the juvenile has dull plumage to blend in with the dry savannah. A golden fan of stiff and bristly head-'hers forms a j behind the gray own that gives the spe-ies its name. Lacking the showy colors of its parents, the juvenile has dull plumage to blend in with the dry savannah. The crane spends much time on the...

OFILE Canada Goose

Warmed by dense plumage in the cold skies, the high-flying Canada goose travels thousands of miles each year on migration. Toothlike serrations along the edges of the upper and lower mandibles of the bill help the goose grip plants. The long neck enables the Canada goose to reach down for food underwater, when it upends like a duck or a swan. Insulating plumage keeps the bird warm in northern latitudes and while flying at high altitudes.The goose sheds all its primary (wingtip) feathers...