Common Nighthawk

Nighthawk Bird Camouflage

Leaves its roost at sundown to fly with its mouth wide open to scoop insects from the air Large eyes allow it to see well in poor light, as it seeks prey in dashing, hawklike flight Mottled plumage provides camouflage as it sleeps by day, disguised as a stump of a branch Breeds in North and Central America (sub-Arctic Canada to Panama, the Bahamas and Greater Antilles) winters in South America (Colombia to northern Argentina) The peent call of the nighthawk joins the dusk chorus in many...

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.

Habitat

The Tracts And Their Purposes

In the pink Lake Nakuru, in Kenya, supports huge flocks of greater flamingos. The greater flamingo inhabits lagoons, salt pans and large, shallow lakes, from sea level to altitudes of over 9,900'. Conditions across its range are very harsh with high temperatures. The salt waters can be very - ' alkaline and contain high levels of caustic soda. However the heat and salt stimulate the growth of plankton, algae and aquatic invertebrates. Few animals could exploit such hostile waters but the...

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...

Gjjgl Creature Comparisons

Like the great bustard, the red-crested bustard (Eupodotis ruficrista) has a dramatic courtship display.The male rises for 60' before performing a backflip, folding his wings and plummeting to the ground as a fluffy ball.The red-crested bustard has the strong legs and upright posture of its relative, but weighs just 24 oz. on average. Both have barred upperparts, but whereas the great bustard has dark-brown, wavelike markings, the red-crested bustard's are cream and arrow-shaped. Also, instead...

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...

Emu

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...

Behavior

Breeding Season

For much of the time, the red kite is solitary. Juveniles, in particular may wander for one or more years, until they're able to breed. Kites sometimes gather to feed at garbage dumps or rest in communal roosts, especially in winter Most red kite populations breeding in northern and central Europe migrate south or southwest to spend the winter in regions fringing the northern Mediterranean. Birds from the southern part of the range remain in the same areas all year and there is now an...

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

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...

Conservation

Pinggul Ayam

The ruff has rarely been targeted by hunters, and humans have also had little impact on the remote tundra where it breeds. Sadly, the picture is different over the rest of its range. In Europe, the wetland stopover sites where it once recuperated in long migrations have been drained to create farmland. Neither the Arctic tundra nor flat, low-lying marshes afford much cover for the ruff, so it's always alert for signs of danger. It forms feeding parties, often with other species of wading bird....

Kori Bustard

Breeding Season

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...

Breeding Season

With dazzling plumage and a unique fanlike crest, the male is a magnificent bird To attract a mate, males use bright color, rapid movement and weird sounds The female's drab brown plumage camouflages her as she sits on the nest to incubate the eggs Inhabits lowland forests in northeast South America, from French Guiana west to eastern Colombia and south to northern Brazil occurs at up to 6,600' in Venezuela As superbly colored as the female is dull, the male Guianan cock-of-the-rock leads a...

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...

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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

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

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

Weka Nest Images

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...

Black MagiC

The ruby-throat is attracted to nectar-rich blooms. With the breeding season, a male and female loop, glide and dive in display, using the sky as a stage. Courtship continues in a dead tree, where the pair preens each other to reinforce their lifelong bond. The ruby-throat is attracted to nectar-rich blooms. With the breeding season, a male and female loop, glide and dive in display, using the sky as a stage. Courtship continues in a dead tree, where the pair preens each other to reinforce...

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...

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

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

Penguins Without Nests

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...

OFILE Snowy Sheathbill

The sheathbill is essentially a wader that has adapted to spend most of its life on dry land. Luxuriantly thick plumage helps it brave bitter winters. On hatching, the chick is covered with brown down, which turns gray after two weeks. New white feathers cover the chick in On hatching, the chick is covered with brown down, which turns gray after two weeks. New white feathers cover the chick in The greenish, horny sheath that partly covers the nostrils, and the pink, warty caruncles on the face...

1 Habitat

As its name suggests, the greater prairie chicken is at home on the prairies or rolling grasslands that are found mostly in midwestern U.S. But with the conversion of the virgin prairies into grain farms, the the greater prairie chicken's current habitat is characterized by medium and tall prairie grasses that are often mixed with cropland. In the spring and summer the grassland is necessary for the greater prairie y Strutting their stuff chicken to roost, socialize and nest, The males gather...

Paradise Whydah

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES paradisaea ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES paradisaea Found over much of eastern and southern Africa, from Angola east through Zambia and Zimbabwe east to Mozambique The paradise whydah not only relies on the green-winged pytilia for hatching and feeding its chicks, but males mimic the pytilia's song when courting female whydahs. The paradise whydah frequents open savannahs in eastern and southern Africa with scattered acacia trees or shrubs. The bird can be...

OFiLE Herring Gull

Javan Myna Behaviour

The large and heavily built herring gull is a versatile bird, equally equipped to soar the skies, sail the seas and stroll about on the ground. The heavy, hooked bill is adapted to the gull's predatory lifestyle. The bill is also _ powerful enough to tear The gull flies strongly on its long wings. It also soars on rising currents of warm air and updrafts from steep, The red spot on the gull's lower mandible plays an important role in the feeding of the young. A chick taps the spot with its bill...

Harlequin Duck

Spends almost all its life in or near white water, swimming against strong currents with skill Nests on fast-flowing rivers at the water's edge the chicks leap in and swim as soon as they hatch Moves to rocky coasts in winter, riding the surf and diving down to pry shellfish from the seabed Five major populations exist in Alaska and northwest Canada, Labrador region of eastern Canada, southern Greenland, Iceland and northeastern Siberia Enduring a rough-and-tumble life amid the wild, bitterly...

Luzon Bleedingheart

Nicobar Pigeon Courtship

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES luzonica ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES luzonica Most striking of all the bleeding-heart pigeons its breast markings resemble a deep, bleeding wound Only bleeding-heart pigeon to lay two eggs all others lay just one Spends most of its time on the ground, eating whatever edibles it can swallow whole ( Produces crop milk to feed nestlings Found on only Luzon and Polillo, two islands in the Republic of the Philippines, an archipelago made up of over 7,000 islands...

OFILE Great Crested Grebe

A fast and agile swimmer both on the water surface and beneath it, the great crested grebe is designed for high-speed pursuit of aquatic prey. After breeding, adults molt their characteristic head plumes and become drabber in appearance. In any stage of plumage, adults show a conspicuous white patch on the wing in flight. Both males and females have similar plumage, sporting crests along the top of the head, as well as cheek fans that can be expanded in display. The flexible, snakelike neck is...

Dovekie

ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES alle ORDER FAMILY GENUS & SPECIES alle A small seabird that swims around the Arctic pack ice, its numbers counted in millions Eats animal plankton, which it pursues underwater, using its wings and paddle-like feet Raises its single chick in teeming, noisy colonies located on remote northern coasts Breeds on land within the Arctic Circle, including parts of Greenland, Iceland and northern Siberia winters at sea, mainly in the North Atlantic Restless and...

OFILE Northern Pintail

Breeding Season

The pintail's slim neck and streamlined body make an elegant profile when swimming or flying, its distinctive tail feathers are easily identified. The dabbling pintail swims proficiently and webbed feet. Since the feet are set farther forward than on diving ducks, the pintail also walks well on land. At 23 and 2 lbs., the long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) is slightly smaller than the pintail. Only the male has the extended tail feathers. But both sexes have distinct summer, eclipse and...

Common Pheasant

This ground-dwelling bird rarely ranges more than 6 miles from its breeding ground Flies low and fast, skimming over thickets and Males have a bright red inflatable pouch, called a wattle, that is extended during breeding Southeast Europe and central Asia to China, Korea and Japan introduced to western Europe, North America and New Zealand Though a fast flier over short distances, the common pheasant spends most of its life on the ground, foraging in undergrowth, taking dust baths and building...

What Are The Key Features Of A

Breeding Season

Stays undercover in marshland grasses, and is rarely seen but often heard grunting as it feeds Prefers not to fly and eats plants or animals in the water or on land Leaves the nest within hours of birth, but follows its parents, which feed and protect it Even the avid birdwatcher often fails to spot the reclusive water rail, which leaves the nest immediately after birth to lead an undercover life in the marsh. Even the avid birdwatcher often fails to spot the reclusive water rail, which leaves...

Common Guillemot

Guillemot Breeding Cycle

ORDER FAMILY GENUS amp SPECIES aalge ORDER FAMILY GENUS amp SPECIES aalge Found on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in i North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Greenland the U.S. in Maine and southern California A diving seabird resembling a penguin in size and color, but with a much longer, L narrower beak a complicated ballet display in the water under the leadership of a single bird I Young guillemot take their first dive off a cliff and into the sea before they are able...

OFILE Common Loon

High Wing Loading

The common loon's streamlined body is enhanced by legs set far back, providing great maneuverability and power on and under water. Long, sharp, daggerlike bill is adapted to catching fish.The loon strikes its prey with the bill partly open. It also uses its bill to stab at birds that come too close to its nest. Wings are small and point-ed.They carry a high wing loading ratio of a bird's bodyweight to its wing area , making it necessary for the loon to patter over the surface of the water for...

Common Tailorbird

Birds With Splayed Legs

ORDER FAMILY GENUS amp SPECIES sutorius ORDER FAMILY GENUS amp SPECIES sutorius insecteater that is as at home in an urban vegetable patch as in F the undergrowth of a forest clearing The constant call between male and female is a characteristic sound of southeastern Asia Found across southern f lt China, southeastern Asia, the Malay Peninsula and Java also throughout the Indian subcontinent, including Sri Lanka The tailorbird owes its name to the female's extraordinary sewing skills. Using...

Raven Birds Mating Season

Mating Raven

The world's largest perching bird The world's largest perching bird Eats carrion as well as small animals it is able to kill in the air, performing simply dramatic aerobatic displays Adapts to a vast range of climates and habitats, from ice-cold Arctic lands and Himalayan peaks to searingly hot deserts Across the Northern Hemisphere, from the Arctic Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland, the far north of Scandinavia and eastern Siberia , south to the tropics Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico

Peregrine Falcon

ORDER FAMILY GENUS amp SPECIES peregrinus ORDER FAMILY GENUS amp SPECIES peregrinus I Hunts other birds in the air possesses the agility and flying skills to catch even the most f Specializes in spectacular diving attacks at speeds of more than 100 mph i Kills victims by the devastating impact of its strike or dispatches its quarry on the ground with a bite to the back of the neck Breeds in northern North America and Eurasia overwinters farther south in the Americas, Africa south of the...