Archive for the 'Birds' Category

Kookaburra – the Laughing Jackasses of Australia

kookaburra-e28093-the-laughing-jackasses-of-australiaPHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

Kookaburras, known as the Laughing Jackasses of Australia, are from the family Kingfishers. Similar to other kingfishers, Kookaburras have a stout and compact body, short neck, rather long and pointed bill and short legs. Continue Reading »

Blue-Footed Booby – the Inhabitant of Central and South America

blue-footed-booby-e28093-the-inhabitant-of-central-and-south-americaBlue-footed boobies are aptly named, and males take great pride in their fabulous feet. During mating rituals, male birds show off their feet to prospective mates with a high-stepping strut. The bluer the feet, the more attractive the mate.

These boobies live off the western coasts of Central and South America. The Galápagos Islands population includes about half of all breeding pairs of blue-footed boobies. Continue Reading »

Leucopsar rothschildi - Also Known As Bali starling

leucopsar-rothschildi-also-known-as-bali-starlingThe Bali starling is one of the rarest birds in the world and relatively new to science being first described in 1912 by Walter Rothschild, from whom the bird gains its specific name. Continue Reading »

Short Description of the Tawny Frogmouth

short-description-of-the-tawny-frogmouthPHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

Tawny frogmouths have enormous wide frog-like mouths, which they use to capture insects. They have large, horny, triangular, sharply hooked bills. Their legs are very short and their feet small and weak. They are somewhat lethargic in their movements, and are the weakest fliers in the order. Their rounded wings are only of moderate length. Continue Reading »

Brief Description of the Hoatzin – the Bird that Is the Size of a Chicken

brief-description-of-the-hoatzin-e28093-the-bird-that-is-the-size-of-a-chickenLocal Name: Shansho
Scientific Name: Opisthocomus hoazin
Order: Opisthocomiformes


Length: 61 -66 cm (24 - 26 in). Weight: 816 g (1.8 lb - male) Chicken-sized bird, with large wings, small head, long neck, long tail. Head almost bare, with frizzy red crest, large bright blue area around eyes, which are red. Short bill. Bronze olive color above, buff streaks on hindneck and mantle; tail black, shoulders and tip of tail pale buff; throat and breast buffy white; remaining underparts and primaries, chestnut colored. Sexes similar but female slightly smaller and has lower crest. “Prehistoric” appearance. Continue Reading »

Mysterious Bird Noticed Near Papua New Guinea

mysterious-bird-noticed-near-papua-new-guineaSpecies thought extinct rediscovered; Beck’s petrel not seen for 80 years

A bird species not seen for 80 years has been rediscovered near Papua New Guinea, experts said Friday. The Beck’s petrel, long thought to be extinct, was photographed last summer by an Israeli ornithologist in the Bismarck Archipelago, a group of islands northeast of New Guinea. Continue Reading »

Pinguinus Impennis - also Known as The Great Auk

pinguinus-impennis-also-known-as-the-great-auk• Large breeding colonies of this flightless sea bird once gathered on rocky islands and coasts of the North Atlantic in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the British Isles and Scandanavia. A strong swimmer, the great auk migrated to winter as far south as Florida and southern Spain. Continue Reading »

The Passenger Pigeon - Beautiful but Extinct

the-passenger-pigeon-beautiful-but-extinct(Ectopistes migratorius)
Probably Once The Most Numerous Bird on Earth
It Is Now Extinct.

General Information

The Passenger Pigeon, once probably the most numerous bird on the planet, made its home in the billion or so acres of primary forest that once covered North America east of the Rocky Mountains. Their flocks, a mile wide and up to 300 miles long, were so dense that they darkened the sky for hours and days as the flock passed overhead. Population estimates from the 19th century ranged from 1 billion to close to 4 billion individuals. Total populations may have reached 5 billion individuals and comprised up to 40% of the total number of birds in North America (Schorger 1995). This may be the only species for which the exact time of extinction is known. Continue Reading »

Briefly About the New Guinean Hooded Pitohui

briefly-about-the-new-guinean-hooded-pitohuiThe Hooded Pitohui, Pitohui dichrous is common and widespread throughout New Guinea.

This species, together with its close relatives, the Variable Pitohui and the Brown Pitohui, are the first documented poisonous birds. A neurotoxin called homobatrachotoxin found in the birds’ skin and feathers, causes numbness and tingling in those touching the bird.

The hooded pitohui was the first poisonous bird to be identified. Of the three poisonous Pitohui species, the hooded pitohui (Pitohui dichrous) is the most brightly coloured and by far the most poisonous. It is followed by the variable pitohui (Pitohui kirhocephalus) and the rusty pitohui (Pitohui ferrugineus).

The Hooded Pitohui acquires its poison from part of its diet, the Choresine beetle of the Melyridae family. This beetle is also a likely source of the lethal batrachotoxins found in Colombia’s poison dart frogs.


The Hooded Pitohui is brightly colored, with a brick red or orange belly and a jet black head.
It has been suggested that the birds’ bright colors are an example of aposematism (warning coloration), and the similarity of the Hooded Pitohui and some forms of the Variable Pitohui might then be an example of Müllerian mimicry, in which dangerous species gain a mutual advantage by sharing colouration, so that an encounter with either species trains a predator to avoid both. -