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|The Whiskered Screech-Owl is a small owl which looks much like the Western Screech Owl. The preferred breeding range of this bird includes dense coniferous and oak forests, as well as coffee plantations found at high elevations. This species is found in southeastern Arizona in the United States and north central Nicaragua. The Whiskered Screech-Owl sits on a perch and swoops down to catch prey at night. Typical diets consist of insects, mammals, grasshoppers, beetles and moths. Nests are made in tree cavities, and sometimes abandoned woodpecker holes. The conservation rating for the Whiskered Screech-Owl is Least Concern.|
Chinese Crested Tern is a seabird of the Sternidae (tern) family, related to gulls. Their body is 43 cm long, with a black crest. They have a long, yellowish orange bill, greyish white wings and a generally white body. “This bird was first recorded in Indonesia on November 22, 1861 in Kao, North Halmahera,” said Jihad, Bird Conservation Officer of Burung Indonesia. However, it didn’t come back for more than a hundred years. That is until 2010, when a bird observer saw a Chinese Crested Tern perched on a rock on Lusaolate Island, near Seram, Maluku. Four years later, on November 2014, a Chinese Crested Tern returned to the same waters among a group of Greater Crested Terns. The appearance of Chinese Crested Tern is good news because it is a Critically Endangered species. The main threat for this species is that people take their eggs as well as the damage to coastal wetlands. Lusaolate is the only recorded wintering area for the Chinese Crested Tern. Outside Indonesia, this species is found near Matsu Island, in offshore areas of Fujian Province, China, which is under Taiwanese management. The territorial dispute over this island has led to military sensitivity, limiting public and civil access. The island itself has been declared as an area for wildlife conservation. To monitor this species, especially in the wintering areas, this summer BirdLife Asia will mark the legs of both Chinese Crested Terns and Greater Crested Terns with red flags
A calf that has lost its mother is an orphan calf, also known as a poddy or poddy-calf in British English. Bobby calves are young calves which are to be slaughtered for human consumption. A vealer is a fat calf weighing less than about 330 kg (730 lb) which is at about eight to nine months of age.
Jerboas look somewhat like kangaroos as they have many similarities such as long hind legs, very short forelegs, and long tails. Jerboas move around their environment the same way a kangaroo does, which is by hopping. Like other bipedal animals, their foramen magnum—the hole at the base of the skull—is forward-shifted, which enhances two legged locomotion. The tail of a jerboa can be longer than its head and body and it is common to see a white cluster of hair at the end of the tail. Jerboas use their tail to balance when hopping, and as a prop when sitting upright. Jerboa fur is fine, and usually the colour of sand. This colour usually matches the environment the jerboa lives in (an example of cryptic colouration). Some species of the jerboa family have long ears like a rabbit, and others have ears that are short like those of a mouse.
Jerboas are nocturnal. During the heat of the day they shelter in burrows. At night they leave the burrows due to the cooler temperature of their environment. They dig the entrances to their burrow near plant life, especially along field borders. During the rainy season they make tunnels in mounds or hills to reduce the risk of flooding. In the summer, jerboas occupying holes plug the entrance to keep out hot air and, some researchers speculate, predators. In most cases burrows have an emergency exit that ends just below the surface or opens at the surface, but is not strongly obstructed. This allows the jerboa to quickly escape predators. Related jerboas often create four different types of burrows. A temporary, summer day burrow is used for cover while hunting during the daylight. They have a second, temporary burrow used for hunting at night. They also have two permanent burrows: one for summer and one for winter. The permanent summer burrow is actively used throughout the summer and the young are raised there. Jerboas hibernate during the winter and use the permanent winter burrow for this. Temporary burrows are shorter in length than permanent burrows. Jerboas are solitary creatures. Once they reach adulthood, jerboas usually have their own burrow and search for food on their own, not in groups. However, occasional "loose colonies" may form, whereby some species of jerboa dig communal burrows that offer extra warmth when it is cold outside. Most jerboas eat plants. Some species eat beetles and other insects they come across, but they can not eat hard seeds. Unlike gerbils, jerboas are not known to store food.
Zebra finches inhabit a wide range of grasslands and forests, usually close to water. They are typically found in open steppes with scattered bushes and trees, but have adapted to human disturbances, taking advantage of human-made watering holes and large patches of deforested land. Zebra finches — including many human-bred variants to the species — are widely kept by genetic researchers, breeding hobbyists and pet owners. The zebra finch breeds after substantial rains in its native habitat, which can occur at any time of the year. Birds in captivity are ready to breed year-round. Wild birds are adaptable and varied in their nesting habits, with nests being found in cavities, scrub, low trees, bushes, on the ground, in termite hills, rabbit burrows, nests of other birds, and in the cracks, crevices, and ledges of human structures. Outside of the breeding time, brood nests are constructed for sleeping in. Zebra finches are distributed over much of Australia and the Lesser Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara), which are north-west of Australia.
The turacos make up the bird family Musophagidae (literally "banana-eaters"), which includes plantain-eaters and go-away-birds. In southern Africa both turacos and go-away-birds are commonly known as louries. They are semi-zygodactylous – the fourth (outer) toe can be switched back and forth. The second and third toes, which always point forward, are conjoined in some species. Musophagids often have prominent crests and long tails; the turacos are noted for peculiar and unique pigments giving them their bright green and red feathers. Traditionally, this group has been allied with the cuckoos in the order Cuculiformes, but the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy raises this group to a full order Musophagiformes. They have been proposed to link the hoatzin to the other living birds, but this was later disputed. Recent genetic analysis have strongly supported the order ranking of Musophagiformes. Musophagids are medium-sized arboreal birds endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, where they live in forests, woodland and savanna. Their flight is weak, but they run quickly through the tree canopy. They feed mostly on fruits and to a lesser extent on leaves, buds, and flowers, occasionally taking small insects, snails, and slugs. As their name suggests, turacos enjoy bananas and can become so tame as to be hand-fed. They are also partial to grapes and pawpaw (papaya). They are gregarious birds that do not migrate but move in family groups of up to 10. Many species are noisy, with the go-away-birds being especially noted for their piercing alarm calls, which alert other fauna to the presence of predators or hunters; their common name refers to this. Musophagids build large stick nests in trees, and lay 2 or 3 eggs. The young are born with thick down and open, or nearly-open, eyes.
The herons are medium to large sized birds with long legs and necks. They exhibit very little sexual dimorphism in size. The smallest species is usually considered the little bittern, which can measure under 30 cm (12 in) in length, although all the species in the Ixobrychus genus are small and many broadly overlap in size. The largest species of heron is the Goliath heron, which stand up to 152 cm (60 in) tall. The necks are able to kink in an S-shape, due to the modified shape of the sixth vertebrae. The neck is able to retract and extend, and is retracted during flight, unlike most other long-necked birds. The neck is longer in the day herons than the night herons and bitterns. The legs are long and strong and in almost every species are unfeathered from the lower part of the tibia (the exception is the zigzag heron). In flight the legs and feet are held backward. The feet of herons have long thin toes, with three forward pointing ones and one going backward.
The parrots are a broad order of more than 350 birds. Macaws, Amazons, lorikeets, lovebirds, cockatoos and many others are all considered parrots. Though there is great diversity among these birds, there are similarities as well. All parrots have curved beaks and all are zygodactyls, meaning they have four toes on each foot, two pointing forward and two projecting backward. Most parrots eat fruit, flowers, buds, nuts, seeds, and some small creatures such as insects. Parrots are found in warm climates all over most of the world. The greatest diversities exist in Australasia, Central America, and South America.
EagleEagles are large, powerfully built birds of prey, with a heavy head and beak. Even the smallest eagles, like the booted eagle have relatively longer and more evenly broad wings, and more direct, faster flight – despite the reduced size of aerodynamic feathers. Most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from some vultures. The smallest species of eagle is the South Nicobar serpent eagle at 450 g (1 lb) and 40 cm (16 in). The largest species are discussed below. Like all birds of prey, eagles have very large hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, and powerful talons. The beak is typically heavier than that of most other birds of prey. Eagles' eyes are extremely powerful, having up to 3.6 times human acuity for the martial eagle, which enables them to spot potential prey from a very long distance
HawkHawk any of various small to medium-sized falconiform birds, particularly those in the genus Accipiter, known as the true hawks, and including the goshawks and sparrowhawks. The term hawk is often applied to other birds in the family Accipitridae (such as the kites, buzzards, and harriers) and sometimes is extended to include certain members of the family Falconidae (falcons and caracaras). The great majority of hawks are more useful to humans than they are harmful, but there is still widespread prejudice against them. Occasionally they destroy poultry and smaller birds, but usually they eat small mammals, reptiles, and insects. Hawks have many foraging techniques, but the most typical in their pursuit of prey is raking, or swiftly following the animal’s efforts to escape. Once the hawk has secured the prey with its powerful talons, the bird dismembers it with its sharply pointed, strong beak.
HummingbirdThe Hummingbirds are New World birds that constitute the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring in the 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) range. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5-cm bee hummingbird, weighing less than a U.S. penny (2.5 g). They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans. They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, typically around 50 times per second, allowing them also to fly at speeds exceeding 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph), backwards. Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any homeothermic animal. To conserve energy when food is scarce, and nightly when not foraging, they go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, slowing metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate
FlamingoThese famous pink birds can be found in warm, watery regions on many continents. They favor environments like estuaries and saline or alkaline lakes. Considering their appearance, flamingos are surprisingly fluid swimmers, but really thrive on the extensive mud flats where they breed and feed. Greater flamingos are likely to be the only tall, pink bird in any given locale. They also have long, lean, curved necks and black-tipped bills with a distinctive downward bend. Their bent bills allow them to feed on small organisms—plankton, tiny fish, fly larvae, and the like. In muddy flats or shallow water, they use their long legs and webbed feet to stir up the bottom. They then bury their bills, or even their entire heads, and suck up both mud and water to access the tasty morsels within. A flamingo's beak has a filterlike structure to remove food from the water before the liquid is expelled.
|Optical illusion with star shape visible at the center of the cubical structure.|
And this is how mums give birth, amazing!
Posted by Small Steps Magazine on Saturday, October 17, 2015
|Painting seascape big sailboat rainstorm|