birds

Feeling Blue

Feeling Blue

We are feeling blue- just kidding! We’re off to meet one regal blue bird! In fact they are the national bird of South Africa! Are you ready to learn more about the blue crane? Let’s gooooo!

blue crane

Blue Crane Fun Facts:

  • These cranes can grow up to 40 inches tall and weigh up to 11 pounds.
  • They are known for their loud honking calls.
  • These omnivores eats grasses, seeds and small invertebrates.
  • The males perform elaborate courtship dances.
  • The entire population of blue cranes call South Africa home.
  • Blue cranes are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

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These elegant but funny looking cranes are so amazing. There are several organizations that are working to protect these neat birds, including the International Crane Foundation!

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Golden Bird

Golden Bird

We went on an excursion today to look for a native bird of China. These birds are hard to miss with their bright colors and golden heads.

Golden Pheasant, Tangjiahe Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China

 

Golden Pheasant Fun Facts: 

  • Golden pheasants can grow up to 41” long. Two-thirds of that length is tail.
  • The males are much more colorful than the females. Females are typically more brown in color.
  • These diurnal birds are omnivores. They eat leaves, grains and insects.
  • Golden pheasants spend most of their time on the ground.
  • They will roost in trees at night.
  • While they can fly, they only do so in short bursts.
  • They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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We enjoyed seeing this bird in the wild. You often spot them in zoos too!

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Hey Nene!

Hey Nene!

After exploring for bats, we decided to sleep in again and go birding. Today we wanted to find the State bird of Hawaii. Off to meet a goose.

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Hawaiian Goose Fun Facts: 

  • The Hawaiian goose is also called the Nene- named after their soft call.
  • They grow up to 16 inches tall and weigh up to 6 3/4 lbs.
  • They are herbivores. They eat seeds, grasses , fruit and flowers.
  • Nenes evolved from the Canada Goose.
  • Males are slightly larger than females.
  • There were only 32 birds in 1952. With great conservation efforts, their populations have been raised to 1000 birds.
  • They are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

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We had a fun time on Maui meeting these rare species. It is with great care that they have been a success story. We hope their population continues to grow.

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Birding Fun

Birding Fun!

We slept in after our big snorkeling trip yesterday! We hoped a plane to the island of O‘ahu for a few days in the late morning. We were on a mission to find one of Hawaii’s native birds in the wetlands! We were super lucky to spot some! Come learn about them with us!

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Hawaiian Gallinule Fun Facts: 

  • Hawaiian Gallinule are also known as the Hawaiian moorhen.
  • They can grow up to 12 inches long and weigh up 3/4 lbs.
  • They are omnivores. They eat grass, algae and insects.
  • These wetland birds do not have webbed feet. They are excellent swimmers though.
  • They molt once a year in the summer. The molt takes 25 days or so.
  • Hawaiian gallinule are known to be very secretive.
  • Nesting parents are very territorial. They both help incubate the eggs and protect the young chicks.
  • They are listed as Endangered by the IUCN.

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It was neat to see these shy water loving birds. We love their funny long legs and feet!

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Noddy bird not a Noodle bird

Noddy bird not a Noodle bird

We are meeting our first animal here in Hawaii. We headed to the beach to meet this shore bird. Come join us on the sand!

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Brown Noddy Fun Facts: 

  • These 18 inch birds are related to gulls and terns.
  • They are the largest member of the noddies.
  • They are carnivores. They nab fish from the ocean as they fly above it.
  • Brown noddies nest together in large colonies.
  • Males and females have a courtship ritual that includes bowing to each other and flying together.
  •  Both parents incubate the eggs and help raise the chicks.
  • They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

 

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It was fun to watch these birds around the beach. We had never heard of the noddy bird, but it makes sense that they are related to seagulls!

Categories: adventure, Animals, birds, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Red Crest

Red Crest

We have northern cardinals at the HQs! They are such colorful songbirds! It turns out there are cardinals here in the Pantanal. These birds don’t have a full body of red, but they are gorgeous! Let’s learn more about them.

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Red-crested cardinal fun facts:

  • Red-crested cardinals have red heads, white chests and black wings and bodies.
  • These little birds grow up to 7 1/2 inches and weigh up to 1 1/2 oz.
  • They are omnivores. They eat fruit, seeds and insects.
  • A pair of cardinals is very territorial, especially during breeding season.
  • They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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We loved meeting this little bird who looks like one of our favorite backyard species! We had no idea there were other kinds of cardinals out there!

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What did you say birdie?

What did you say birdie?

We were exploiting the area and all of the sudden heard a loud funny call! We dissolved it was a bird called the great kiskadee! And yes, they get their name from the funny call they make!

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Great Kiskadee Fun Facts: 

  • These little birds grow up to 10 inches long  and weigh about 2 oz.
  • They are members of the flycatcher family.
  • These common birds sit and wait for their insect prey to come by, when they fly out to catch it! They are also known to eat some small vertebrates and fruit.
  • They are territorial and will even attack raptors.
  • Male and females build the nest. Females incubate the eggs.
  • They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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These gregarious little birds are spotted all around here! We have never met a member of the flycatcher family. Who else pictures a bird with a fly swatter in the wing? Hehehehe!

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That is a Falcon!

That is a Falcon!

We met one gorgeous bird today! This big member of the falcon family is known to hang with vultures and look more like a hawk!

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Southern Crested Caracara Fun Facts: 

  • Crested caracaras can grow up to 22 inches and weigh up to 3 lbs.
  • Their wing span is almost 50 inches.
  • These carnivores eat incsects, small reptiles and fish. They are also known to push vultures away from carion.
  • They have long thin legs.
  • They are mostly solitary.
  • It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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These gorgeous birds have a northern cousin that lives in Mexico and in Arizona and Texas. We love these raptors!

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Hello Birdie!

Hello Birdie!

We are meeting a little bird of the Pantanal today! Come join us!

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Chestnut-bellied guan fun facts: 

  • These birds prefer higher ground.
  • They resemble turkeys, but are not.
  • They have chestnut brown bellies and red waddles.
  • They have a rough crow like call.
  • They are about 21 inches long.
  • They are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.

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These funny looking birds remind of us of a turkey and a roadrunner. They are super cool!

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Meet the King!

Meet the King!

We met the king of Antarctica today! Most people think that all penguins call the South Pole home, but only 8 species live in this harsh environment. Today though we are meeting the King penguins. Sadly they don’t wear crowns.

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King Penguins Fun Facts: 

  • These birds are the 2nd largest penguin species in the world. Do you remember the largest?
  • Kings are easy to spot with their oranges spots on their heads and beaks and chests.
  • Both parents incubate the egg on their feet and brooding pouch, switching the egg every few weeks.
  • These efficient carnivores can dive as deep as 950 feet. More commonly they go around to 164 feet deep.
  • The chicks look very different than the adults. They are fluffy and brown! Scientists first thought they were a separate species when they first saw them.
  • Chicks stay with their parents and the colony for almost a year. This means king penguins only have one to two chicks every two-three years.
  • They are currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

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We love these gregarious birds and their bright orange colorations. They always make us and laugh and of course we always practice our waddling after seeing them.

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