Posts tagged bird.
All of my favorite birds can best be described as ‘murderous little shits.’
(Juvenile Goshawk [!!!] and Common Raven)
Australian Eclectus Parrot (female) - Extreme Reversed Sexual Dichromatism in a bird without Sex Role Reversal
This colorful parrot is Eclectus roratus macgillivrayi (Psittaciformes - Psittaculidae), the Australian subspecies of about 10 known subspecies of the Eclectus Parrot.
Eclectus roratus is a species with a unique form of sexual dichromatism (red and blue females, green males), scientifically named reversed sexual dichromatism in which females are brighter than males.
Reversed sexual dichromatism is usually associated with sex role reversal in which males care for offspring and females compete for mates. It is, in bird species with females brighter than males, males usually take care for offspring.
However, the striking reversed plumage dichromatism of Eclectus roratus parrots does not fit this pattern. This species is a case of extreme reversed sexual dichromatism, which is not associated with classic sex role reversal (the species does not exhibit sex role reversal and females take care of the offspring), but results from sex-based differences in visual predation and female competition for nest hollows.
In their environment, the red and blue females are more conspicuous than males against a visual background of leaves but not against trunks. In contrast, the green males are more conspicuous against tree trunks than against leaves.
Females remain in their nest tree for up to 11 months each season, so during breeding females compete for nest hollows and males for access to breeding females. Whereas females are more conspicuous than males against leaves, they also have the nest hollow nearby as a refuge against predators. However, foraging males cannot retreat to a nest hollow whenever a predator approaches, and consequently their colors need to be less conspicuous (green) against the leafy background.
Male plumage reflects a compromise between the conflicting requirements for camouflage from predators while foraging and conspicuousness during display. Females are liberated from the need for camouflage but compete for rare nest hollows.
Photo credit: ©Peter Nijenhuis | Locality: The Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary, Port Douglas, Craiglie, Queensland, Australia
Crow: CROW YES!
You can feel the offense on that golden eagle’s face.
Even if the last three are ravens, not crows. (Not sure of the one in the first pic—it’s crow-shaped but has magpie-ish coloration, or a trick of the camera?)
Top one is a hooded crow :)
ABC Bird of the Week: Inca Tern
This striking bird occupies part of the same habitat ruled by the ancient Inca Empire in South America. Inca Terns are best known by their dashing white mustaches, which are found on both male and female birds.
The species is found only near the cold waters of the Humboldt Current, where the birds feed on anchovies and other small fish. Like Least Terns, Inca Terns feed by plunge diving and surface dipping. The birds also scavenge scraps from sea lions, dolphins, and fishing boats. Declining fish stocks are one of the reasons for this species’ population decline.
It’s a gregarious species, nesting in colonies of several thousand birds. This recording from Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge outside of Lima, Peru, gives an idea of what these colonies are like…
(read more: American Bird Conservancy)
photo by Greg Homel
Inca terns are fabulous
Travelers on a National Geographic - Lindblad expedition to Antarctica came across a leucistic chinstrap penguin. Unusual light coloring sets this penguin apart from its black-and-white brethren. Often mistaken for albinos, leucistic birds have a genetic mutation that restricts the dissemination of pigment to feathers.Click to learn more about the Antarctica expedition.Click to see more video highlights from the National Geographic - Lindblad fleet of expedition ships traveling around the globe.Click to read more about this rare penguin.Click to see video of a mutant all-black penguin.
Who knew chickens could be so cool? The colorful comb (top part) and wattle (bottom part) of the Green Junglefowl (Gallus varius) is so gorgeous! Actually, the bird isn’t exactly a chicken - it’s in the pheasant family. That explains it.You’ll find Green Junglefowl in pairs/groups of two to five in the wild led by a dominant male who leads the pack, so to speak. At night he’ll lead the rest of his troop back into the cover of the forest where the birds nest in bamboo stands at 15–20 feet above the forest floor.
The Green Junglefowl, Gallus varius also known as Javan Junglefowl, Forktail or Green Javanese Junglefowl is a medium-sized, up to 75 cm long, bird in the pheasant family Phasianidae. Recent molecular work (Kimball et al., Barrowclough) has revealed that Junglefowl and Pheasants are not monophyletic.
( read more )