rivers

You Won’t Egret It

You Won’t Egret It

We’re meeting a wonderful shore bird today. These bright white beauties are hard to miss and one of our favorites.

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GREAT EGRET FUN FACTS:

  • These wading birds are found on coasts, lakes and rivers. Like their cousins the heron, they can be found in fresh, brackish and salt water.
  • Great egrets are carnivores. They use their big pointy beaks to grab fish, crustaceans and amphibians.
  • During mating season, egrets grow extra plums on their backs to attract mates.
  • These majestic birds have a wingspan of up to 57 inches. They are large, but slow fliers.
  • Almost hunted to extinction for their feathers, the birds have made a strong comeback due to protection efforts.
  • They are also the symbol of the National Audubon Society.

We love these birds as much as we love the Great Blue Heron. Luckily they are easy to spot with their bright white feathers.

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, birds, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, rivers, science, Today's Post, wetlands, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WATERY WEDNESDAY # 74

WATERY WEDNESDAY # 74

 We’re flying back to the United States today and taking out our river boat to meet today’s fish. These fresh water predators are crazy looking! Grab your bug spray and let’s get ready to go….

e & e river boat

MEET THE LONGNOSE GAR!

longnose gar   Range/Habitat: Central- Eastern North America/ rivers-

   wetlands

   Diet: Carnivore: small fish

   Length/Weight:  4-6ft/ up to 33 lbs

   Conservation Status: common

 

Fun Facts:

  •          Longnose Gar have diamond shaped scales.
  •          They have long thin jaws that are full of sharp teeth.
  •          Longnose gar are ambush predators.
  •          Longnose gar have long slender bodies.
  •          Their fins are set way back on their bodies.

Longnose gar are really wild looking for fish. These fish have been around for about 100 million years. Wow! Who knew such ancient fish were swimming in our waters!

 longnose gar2    longnose gar3

 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, fish, nature, rivers, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MAMMAL MONDAY # 60

MAMMAL MONDAY #60

We are off to meet a mammal who lives in a watery habitat in South America! So hop aboard our boat as we float down a river to find one cool mammal!

e & e river boat

MEET THE GREY RIVER DOLPHIN!

grey river dolphin   Range/Habitat: Central America-Northern South America/rivers,

estuaries, coasts

   Diet: Carnivore: fish, squid

   Length/Weight: 4 ½-6 ½ ft/ 77-88 lb

   Conservation Status: data deficient

 

Fun Facts:

  • Grey River Dolphins live in freshwater habitats and estuaries.
  • They have long prominent beaks.
  • Grey river dolphins are very acrobatic.
  • They are small and stocky.
  • They have large dorsal fins.
  • Grey river dolphins are solitary or live in pairs.

Grey river dolphins are amazing animals! Did you know that there were dolphins that live in rivers? We had no idea! We continue to be surprised by all the different animals on our planet!

grey river dolphin2   grey river dolphin3

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, mammals, nature, rainforests, rivers, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

FEATHERY FRIDAY # 59

FEATHERY FRIDAY #59

We’re jumping on a plane and heading to New Zealand to meet a one of kind bird on this fine Feathery Friday! Are you ready for an adventure down under?

e e stream

MEET THE WRYBILL!

wrybill   Range/Habitat: New Zealand/rivers-estuaries

   Diet: Carnivore: insects, insect larva

   Length/Weight: 7.9-8.3”/ 1.5-2.5 oz

   Conservation Status: vulnerable

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Wrybills have grey and white feathers.
  • They have long black bills.
  • Wrybills are curved to the right and sideways. They are the only birds in the world with this type of beak.
  • They perform aerial ballets during mating and migration.
  • Wrybills are a wading bird.

These funny little birds are so neat! You must get up close to see their unusual sideway bent beaks! We sure do love meeting such amazing birds!

wrybill2   wrybill3

Categories: adventure, Animals, birds, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, rivers, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WATERY WEDNESDAY # 56

WATERY WENESDAY # 56

Today we’re jetting to South America to meet one large and unusual fish! These guys don’t have any top fins and they can electrocute a human! Best if we stand next to the river to catch a peek, don’t you think?

e & e river boat

MEET THE ELECTRIC EEL!

electric eel   Range/Habitat: Northern South America/ rivers, streams

   Diet: Carnivore: fish, amphibians, birds

   Length/Weight: 6-8 ft/ up to 44 lbs

   Conservation Status: common

Fun Facts:

  • Electric eels are not true eels; they are actually members of the knifefish family.
  • They are one of the largest fresh water fish in South America.
  • Electric eels have one long fin on their underside. They have no top or tail fins.
  • Electric eels have poor eyesight.
  • They have specialized cells that store electricity like batteries.
  • They use electrical pulses to help them find their way around in murky rivers and streams.
  • Electric eels also use jolts of electricity to stun prey. They can produce jolts up to 600 volts at one time.

WOW! Electric eels are amazing animals. Who knew there were fish out in the world that could light things up? We just never ceased to be amazed by all the cool animal adaptations there are on earth! We do wonder if an electrical eel could light our lamp for us! Hahahaha!

electric eel2   electric eel3

 

 

 

 

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Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, fish, nature, rivers, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 54

REPTILIAN TUESDAY #54

It’s that wondrous day of the week, where we go on an adventure to meet a reptile and today we are off to the marshes of North America to find one colorful turtle! Apparently they like painting! Hahahaha!

e & e wetlands

MEET THE PAINTED TURTLE!

painted turtle   Range/Habitat: North America/lakes, rivers, ponds

   Diet: Omnivores: bugs, plants

   Length: 6-10”

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Painted turtles are freshwater turtles.
  • They have a flat, smooth carapace (top shell).
  • Painted turtles have yellow stripes on their necks and orange coloration on their bottom shells.
  • Painted turtles bask in the sun in groups.
  • They sleep on the bottom of the river at night.
  • In colder climates Painted turtles hibernate during the winter.

Painted turtles are so gorgeous. They are great additions to any watery habitat! We love to count turtles piled on logs and rocks in the summertime! How about you?

painted turtle2     painted turtle3

 

 

 

Categories: adventure, american, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, rivers, science, turtles, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FEATHERY FRIDAY # 49

FEATHERY FRIDAY #49

This Friday is full of feathers as usual and we’re going to meet our bird friend in Europe! These birds are very colorful. Let’s get our binoculars and practice our bird watching skills.

 

MEET THE GREATER SPOTTED CUCKOO!

   Range/Habitat: Europe-West Asia-Africa/ woodlands

   Diet: Insectivore: insects, caterpillars

   Length/Weight: 14-15 ½”

   Conservation Status: common

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Greater spotted cuckoos are related to roadrunners.
  • They have a small crest of gray feathers on their head.
  • Greater spotted cuckoos will remove the venomous hairs off caterpillars before they eat them.
  • They lay their eggs in other bird’s nests, like crows, with the crow’s eggs.
  • The crows then raise the Greater Spotted Cuckoo’s chicks.

These interesting birds use a very unusual method of raising their offspring. Instead of raising themselves they have another bird do it for them! Wow! Pretty crazy!

 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, birds, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, rivers, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WATERY WEDNESDAY # 49

WATERY WENESDAY # 49

We’re going to the Northwest U.S. today to meet a freshwater and ocean going fish! That’s right folks; there are fish who spend part of their lives in both habitats! You ready?

MEET THE RAINBOW TROUT!

 

   Range/Habitat: Northern Pacific/ North America

   Diet: Carnivore: insects, fish, snails

   Length/Weight: up to 4 ft/ up to 53 lbs

  Conservation Status: common

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Rainbow trout are members of the salmon family.
  • Some rainbow trout are called steelheads.
  • Steelhead rainbow trout live their adult lives in the ocean, but spawn in freshwater habitats.
  • Some rainbow trout spend their whole lives in freshwater habitats.
  • Rainbow trout are blue green with yellow and a pink streak down their side.

Rainbow trout are really colorful fish! They have been introduced around the U.S. and now are a popular sporting fish.

 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, rivers, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WATERY WEDNESDAY # 46

WATERY WENESDAY # 46

Let’s all get on our sweaters, hiking boots and grab a walking stick because we’re going for a hike in Northwestern US to meet a fish that starts and ends its life in freshwater.  Be on the lookout, because the river will be full of them!

MEET THE SOCKEYE SALMON!

   Range/Habitat: Northeast Asia-North Pacific-Northwest America/

rivers-oceans

   Diet: Carnivore: zooplankton

   Length/Weight: up to 33”/up to 15 lbs

   Conservation Status: locally common

 

Fun Facts:

  • Sockeye salmon spawn in rivers and lakes.
  • They are also known as red salmon.
  • Sockeye salmon have blue heads and backs as adults.
  • Sockeye salmon live in the ocean for most of their adult lives.
  • They travel up to 900 miles to spawn (release their eggs & sperm to make new salmon).
  • When they go into freshwater systems to spawn they turn bright green and red.
  • A group of sockeye salmon is called a run.

Sockeye salmon are really cool fish! They die in the same freshwater habitat that they were born in. Can you imagine swimming all those miles? Sockeye salmon must get very tired!

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, fish, nature, rivers, science, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

REPTILIAN TUESDAY # 46

REPTILIAN TUESDAY #46

We’re jetting off to New Guinea to find one odd looking reptile! Grab your wellies and a snack because we’re taking a walk in some freshwater rivers! Let’s do this!

MEET THE PIG NOSED RIVER TURTLE!

   Range/Habitat: S New Guinea-North Australia/rivers-lakes

   Diet: Omnivore: fruits, fish, snails

   Length: 28-30”

   Conservation Status: vulnerable

 

 

 

Fun Facts:

  • Pig nosed river turtles have a pig like snout. This helps them breathe when they are submerged in water.
  • Pig nosed river turtles are also known the Fly River turtles.
  • They have flipper like limbs that resemble a sea turtle more than a freshwater turtle.
  • Pig nosed river turtles have a soft, leathery skin on top of their carapace (top shell).
  • They are unlike any other freshwater turtle alive today.
  • Pig nosed river turtles are territorial.

We think these crazy looking turtles are so cool! They look like a pig, a sea turtle and a freshwater turtle all meshed in to one animal! If you could make a mixed up animal what you would make?

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, reptiles, rivers, science, turtles, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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