Showing posts with label Fact Sheet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fact Sheet. Show all posts

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Fact Sheet: ECLECTUS Parrot - Eclectus roratus

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Eclectus Parrot)

Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) male
Eclectus Parrot - Photo  by warriorwoman531 

Bird Name:

Latin Name:
Eclectus roratus

Status:
Least Concern

Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Subfamily: Psittacinae
Tribe: Psittaculini
Genus: Eclectus
Species: E. roratus

General Information:
The Eclectus Parrot, also known as the Red-sided Eclectus, is a native species of northeastern Australia and the nearby Indonesian and Pacific islands. It is noted for its bright colored feathers, which are used by native tribes for decorations, and its talking ability. These attributes have made it a popular pet.

Physical Description:
On average it is about 14 inches in length and weighs in the range of 250 - 550 g. The Eclectus is known for its high degree of sexual dimorphism. The male is bright green with an orange-yellowish upper mandible and black lower mandible. Its sides and underwings are red, with blue on the sides of its wings. The female is mostly red with an all-black bill and purple on its belly. There are ten recognized subspecies of this bird, each with different color schemes compared to the nominate race.

Diet:
The Eclectus feeds on fruits, flowers, and seeds. Its digestive system is said to be extremely efficient in absorbing nutrients, and its intestinal tract is longer than average to accommodate the high fiber foods it requires.

Habitat:
The Eclectus occurs in rainforests and woodlands. Its range includes the Cape York Peninsula of Australia, the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, and several Indonesian islands, including the Molucca group. It nests in holes in trees, among rocks, and among termite mounds.

Reproduction:
A female Eclectus Parrot usually lays 2 eggs per clutch, and incubates them for about 30 days, during which time the male feeds her. The young fledge after about 70 - 80 days.

Eclectus are remarkable parrots and ideally suitable as a pet. Whenever taught properly, they're capable of cognitive behavior from a really young age.

The capability of the Eclectus to speak with humans is because of their extremely inquisitive nature, a feature highly linked to their existence within the rainforest cover. This habitat is really a rich environment needing a heightened visual as well as audible intellect to understand.

The Eclectus has developed the complex breeding tradition in this crowded vegetative environment, resulting in communal reproduction where uncles and aunties assist rear young inside a crèche -like situation. This discussing and caring function of the Eclectus makes them normally the perfect pet.

Whenever treated in a likewise caring and smart way they will rapidly learn to communicate cognitively. Eclectus additionally prefer a relaxed environment and have a powerful capability to notice modifications within their normal environment.

These highly smart birds are really cartoon and love to take part in daily activities and in doing this, will rapidly turn out to be familiar with a daily routine. Eclectus could be kept with other parrot species although it is very important that any brand new bird is launched within the correct style. This involves providing one-on-one attention with the unique bird and as almost as much as feasible, maintaining it's normal daily regimen.

Regular and constant training form a fundamental element of the Eclectus development along with the correct love as well as attention, this extremely intelligent bird makes a superb pet.

Even though Eclectus is a lovely chicken both physically as well as temperamentally, its personality previously has been misunderstood. This particular species has been characterized as boring, boring, lethargic, shy as well as stupid. What the informal observer is viewing, nonetheless, is the Eclectus Parrot's reaction to tension. When confronted by unfamiliar situations or even strangers they deep freeze and wait. Within familiar surroundings with folks they know they're garrulous, highly animated, interested, affectionate and fun.

All Eclectus subspecies share comparable behaviors and personas but with slight variations, for instance, Solomon Island, as well as New Guinea Eclectus, are a lot more docile compared to big domineering Australian Eclectus, so when hand-reared are considered to create the very best pets. Even though personality of chickens is distinct from penis Eclectus, it is questionable regardless of whether hens or pricks make much better pets.


The actual hen is a lot more intense than the cock. Whenever nesting, hand-reared hens tend to be much more aggressive than aviary-bred chickens. Both make similarly great pets, however, hens are a lot more likely to create hormonally related behavioral.

Eclectus possess a wide and most uncommon range of sounds, such as a soft bell or gong shades, coos, whistles, comic konks and squeals. The majority are really pleasant towards the ear. Nonetheless, they likewise have the capability to scream or even indulge in raucous screeching whenever frightened, disturbed or even excited. Eclectus Parrots additionally voice words and phrases really clearly.




Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fact Sheet: PLUM-HEADED PARAKEET - Psittacula cyanocephala

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Plum-Headed Parakeet)


English: Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyano...
Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala in Hyderabad, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bird Name:
Plum-headed Parakeet

Latin Name:
Psittacula cyanocephala

Status:
Least Concern

Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Psittacula
Species: P. cyanocephala

General Information:
The Plum-headed Parakeet is a species of parrot that occurs throughout South Asia. It lives in flocks and is considered a quite social species.

Physical Description:
This species is about 13 inches in length, with a tail that can measure nearly 9 inches. This parakeet weighs approximately 66 to 80 g. The breeding male has generally light green plumage with a black chin strap. It has a red head that fades into bluish purple on the back of the crown. Its rump and tail are bluish green and there are red/maroon patches on the shoulders. The female has a grayish colored head and no patches on its shoulders. Juveniles can be distinguished by their green heads and shorter tail feathers.



Diet:
The Plum-headed Parakeet feeds on a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, flowers, and leaf buds.

Habitat:
The Plum-headed Parakeet occurs in forests, woodlands, plains, and farmlands. They generally favor terrain with an elevation range between 1640 ft and 4920 ft. Its range spans across the Indian subcontinent, including areas in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Rameswaram Island. The Plum-headed Parakeet nests in tree holes.

Reproduction:
Unlike many other parakeets, the Plum-headed Parakeet does not mate for life. The female lays an average of 4 - 6 white eggs per clutch. Incubation lasts about 19 to 20 days, and the young fledge at about 6 - 7 weeks of age.



Friday, August 10, 2018

Fact Sheet: UMBRELLA COCKATOO - Cacatua alba

(Original Title: Umbrella Cockatoo)

English: Umbrella Cockatoo (Cacatua alba) also...
Umbrella Cockatoo (Cacatua alba) also known as the White Cockatoo.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

General Info:

The Umbrella Cockatoo, native to Indonesia, is a large, gorgeous, white parrot. On this bird, the underside of the wings and the tail have feathers of a delicate yellow color. The tail feathers are short and squared at the end. The beak and feet of this bird are a wonderful contrast to the light coloring of the feathers as they are a grayish-black color. There is a ring around the eyes that contains no feathering.

This ring is often tinged a light blue. The Female of the species often has eyes of a reddish brown color, whereas the male almost always has eyes of a very dark brown. The head holds a crest of feathers that lay flat against the head when calm and stand straight up when excited or frightened. This, in the wild, gives the bird the illusion of being larger than it really is. In this way, the bird may be able to frighten a predator or impress a prospective mate. In captivity, these feathers may play a perfect role in the comical antics shared between the bird and his or her family. It is (I say this from experience) quite amusing to see an Umbrella Cockatoo dance and "sing" with those "umbrella" feathers standing tall!

This bird is incredibly sweet and loving. It usually becomes very close to its family and will usually be especially close to one person in particular (often this person is the main caregiver of the bird).
It is important to give cockatoos a lot of attention and training. They get bored very easily and can feather pick if bored or upset.

Provide lots of toys to chew and destroy Change them often to combat boredom.

Before getting an Umbrella, decide how much attention you will be able to give on a consistent basis. Stick to a routine with the attention you give your cockatoo. Giving young bird tons of attention and then cutting off the amount of attention will cause behavior problems and can cause feather picking.

Size: The average length is somewhere around 18 inches, give or take an inch or two. The average weight is about a pound and a half.

Lifespan:

The Lifespan of the Umbrella Cockatoo is similar to that of many large parrots; about 80 years. This lifespan, as with all birds, can be lengthened or shortened, depending on the quality of care that the bird receives.



Dietary Needs:

A high-quality pellet is a good base to the diet. You may lightly mix this with some assorted parrot seed. Every day, try as hard as you can to give your bird fresh fruits and veggies (stay away from Avocados and chocolate). Great fruits and veggies include apples, cantaloupe, grapes, broccoli, peas, carrots, etc. As is true with humans, the less processing the food goes through, the better. Pellet, though processed, is great as it is nutritious and has vitamins and minerals that may be missing from one or another fruit or vegetable. But there is nothing better than a scrumptious freshly sliced apple or a delectably sweet bite from a crunchy carrot.

Cage size: 36 x 28

Train-ability:

These birds are very easily trained. All that is needed is time and patience. These birds are actually great acrobats, so it's common to teach them tricks, as well as the usual "step-up" (perch on your hand) command. Tricks include flipping the bird upside down or "dancing" to music. Teaching your bird tricks is a fantastic way to get your bird to trust you. It takes a lot of trusts for a bird to allow you to flip them upside down. I remember my family's Umbrella Cockatoo. He absolutely loved to do his tricks. It really helps them to feel like a part of the family.

Health Concerns:

Umbrella Cockatoos may be susceptible to the following:

-Psittacine beak and feather disease
-Fatty liver disease
-Obesity
-Bubblefoot
-Feather-picking
-Sarcocystis
-Cloacal Prolapse
-Poor eating habits (finicky eater)
-Miscellaneous bacterial and fungal infections



Monday, July 16, 2018

Fact Sheet: BALI MYNAH - Leucopsar rothschildi

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Bali Mynah)
Bali Mynah
Bali Mynah - Photo by jonkriz 
Bird Name:
Bali Mynah

Latin Name:
Leucopsar rothschildi

Status:
Critically endangered, Appendix I of CITIES

Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Leucopsar
Species: L. rothschildi

General Information:
The Bali Mynah is also known as the Bali Starling or Rothschild's Mynah. They are endemic to the island of Bali in Indonesia and are the only surviving species. The species is critically endangered and there are only a dozen or two individuals remaining in the wild. The remaining population is under threat due to illegal bird trade and urbanization of the island. While the wild population has been struggling for years, there are a large number of captive birds in zoos. It is also listed in Appendix I of CITIES.

The Bali Mynahs are very vocal and communicate by whistling, squawking and bobbing their heads. They are the fauna symbol of Bali and locally are called kedis putih meaning white bird.

Physical Description:
This is a medium-sized stocky mynah, up to 25 cm in length. It is almost wholly white and has a long drooping crest. Black tips occur on the tail and wings. The Bali Mynah shows distinctive bare, blue skin around the eyes. It has gray legs and feet and a yellow bill. Sexes are similar. They weigh 90 to 100 gm.

Diet:
The Bali Mynahs eat fruit, seeds, and a variety of invertebrates. In dry seasons they will feed in groups.



Habitat:
Bali Mynahs will live in small groups in the forested region of Bali. Groups help them protect themselves from their predators, including snakes, lizards, monkeys, and birds of prey. Nests are built in tree cavities. It takes about two weeks for the pair to construct the nest from bark, leaves, and grass.

Reproduction:
In the wild, breeding season is in the rainy season which falls between November and April. A pair will produce two to three clutches per season. Clutch size is usually 3 eggs and incubation takes 13 to 14 days. The bluish-green eggs are incubated by both parents. The young Bali Mynahs will fledge in 15 to 25 days, but continue to be fed by both parents for a few weeks.



Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fact Sheet: SPOTTED TANAGER - Tangara punctata

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Spotted Tanager)

Spotted Tanager (Tangara punctata)
Photo by warriorwoman531
Bird Name:
Spotted Tanager

Latin Name:
Tangara punctata


Status:

Least Concern

Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Tangara
Species: T. punctata


General Information:

The Spotted Tanager is endemic to South America. There are 5 subspecies of this tanager. They are seen singly, in pairs, or small family groups. They travel independently or with other canopy tanagers.

Physical Description:
This bird averages 11 to 12 cm in length and weighs approximately 13 to 17 g. It is mainly green in color with a creamy white belly. Almost its entire body is covered in black spots. The sexes are similar in appearance, but the female is slightly washed out with less conspicuous spots compared to the male. Juveniles resemble duller, slightly more brownish versions of the adults.

Diet:
It feeds on fruits, seeds, nectar, and insects, such as beetles. They forage in the crowns of trees, average 15 to 50 m above the ground, but will come down to obtain fruit from smaller trees and shrubs.



Habitat:
The bird thrives in forests, forest edges, and nearby second growths. It has also been found on shaded plantations and tree-studded clearings. Its range encompasses Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, the Guianas, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. This Tanager inhabits forest edge, second growth forest and forest, particularly the mossy forest of the Andes, the terra firma forest of eastern Amazonia and the Savanna Forest of Suriname. Typical elevation range for this species is sea level to 1700 m.

Reproduction:
The female usually lays two creamy white eggs speckled with brown per clutch. Incubation lasts approximately 14 days and leaving the nest occurs about 14 to 18 days later.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Fact Sheet: RED-CAPPED CARDINAL - Paroaria gularis

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Red-Capped Cardinal)

Red-capped Cardinal (Paroaria gularis nitrogen...
Red-capped Cardinal (Paroaria gularis nitrogenis) - Parque del Este, Caracas, Venezuela 

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bird Name:

Latin Name:
Paroaria gularis

Status:
Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Paroaria
Species: P. gularis

General Information:
The Red-capped Cardinal is a small bird of the family Thraupidae, unlike other "proper" cardinals of the family Cardinalidae. There also occurs a subspecies of this bird, P. g. nitrogenis, from exists across Trinidad and northern South America. It is frequently found in pairs or family groups.

Physical Description:
An adult Red-capped Cardinal is approximately 6.5 inches in length and weighs about 22 g. Its head is red and is black around the eyes and lores. Its throat is also black and its legs are a dark hue of gray. The subspecies P. g. nitrogenis is distinguished by its black ear coverts and red lower throat and upper chest.

Diet:
The Red-capped Cardinal's diet is comprised of insects, rice, and fruit.

Habitat:
This bird's distribution spans the lowlands of Trinidad and through the northeastern coast and north-central areas of South America (including the Amazon Basin in Brazil. The Red-capped Cardinal has a natural habitat among swamps, mangroves, and other semi-open areas near water. It is also known to inhabit towns and cities.

Reproduction:
The Red-capped Cardinal breeds from around June to September. A female will lay 2 - 3 eggs but clutch in a shallow nest in a tree or another relatively secure location. The eggs vary in color from whitish to dark splotchy patterns.

The Red-capped Cardinal is a little South American bird. This belongs to Paroaria, a genus of red-headed cardinal-tanagers in the family Thraupidae, unlike the cardinals proper that are in the Cardinalidae. They were long thought to be closer to American sparrows and put into the Emberizidae.

Red-capped Cardinal = Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species in fine detail.
Initial year: 1965
Unfamiliar Established status: Species had been formerly present in Florida, but are no longer present.
Estimated Sarasota range: 1 county Not really reported breeding
Statewide pattern: No current population
Risks to natives: Species Accounts: Native to South America.

It also is a very common species on the llanos of Venezuela. This particular bird was bathing inside a shallow pool at Hato El Cedral, Apure, Venezuela, in April 1992.

It feeds on insects, grain and fruit. It is usually present in conspicuous pairs or loved one's groups. It is known to type from June to September, and possibly earlier and/or later. 

The actual Red-capped Cardinal builds a short cup nest, some 9-10 cm wide and 7 cm high outside with a Seven cm wide by Four cm deep cup, inside a tree or some other safety spot. A nest in the Cuyabeno Faunistic Reserve (Ecuador) had been built in the roots of the Macrolobium sp.






Thursday, March 8, 2018

Fact Sheet: ZEBRA FINCH - Taeniopygia guttata

(Original Title: Zebra Finches-Fiesty Birds With a Perky Attitude!)

Zebra of a different kind
Photo  by Prab Bhatia Photography 


Introduction
Zebra finches are classified as the smallest of the pet birds available on the market. Originating from the continent of Australia, they are also found in Indonesia, Central, and North America. With their attractive plumage and ease of maintenance, they are highly prized as pets. They are relatively hardy birds which can be kept indoors as well as in outdoor aviaries.

They have been a popular pet bird for over 100 years. They are an ideal choice for any bird enthusiast or anyone looking for a pet. Zebra Finches can live up to 10 years with good nutrition and care.

Description
Zebra finches come in several patterns and colors. They vary in color according to their breed. Typically, the male sports a gray-hued body and wings, while his underside is off-white. The beak and legs are a red-orange color. There are cheek patches on his head and a tear-dropped shaped mark under the eyes. There is a chestnut brown white dotted coloration below the wings. And finally, the male has a black and white striped chest which gives the species its' common name.

The female boasts a gray-hued body and wings along with the off-white underside. The beak is one shade of orange lighter than that of the male. The major difference in appearance between male and female is that the male displays the cheek patches while the female does not. Both females and males have red eyes and their feet are a combination of orange and yellow.

Behavior
Zebra finches are active birds, able to entertain themselves. They have soft, pleasing vocalizations consisting of chirping and peeping. They are flock birds and do best when a number of pairs are housed together. They are usually sold in pairs and need to be maintained as pairs for their emotional well-being.

Zebra finches are messy and voracious eaters, typically dropping seed everywhere. They are feisty little critters with a perky attitude. Zebra finches are crazy about canary tassel toys!

Like all finches, Zebra finches are cautious with humans and don't enjoy being touched. These birds do not become finger tame, though they do come to enjoy the interaction with their owners over time. However, some owners attest to bird's ability to learn to become at ease with a human touch. As social animals, they do require the company of other compatible birds to stay emotionally healthy.

Cages and Aviaries
Zebra finches are relatively hardy birds that can be kept indoors, or in outdoor aviaries. Experts advise owners to house their finches in the largest cage affordable. Zebra finches do well in a mixed aviary. However, they don't mix well with all species of finches.

Feeding
All finches are mostly seed eaters. Finch owners have assumed that their birds need grit similar to other bird species. However, finches do not require grit. Give your birds daily fresh water. Finches can die within 24 hours without water. Supplement their diet of seeds with greens and fruit-but don't overdo it! Supply a calcium supplement, especially during mating season. Cooked eggshells make a good substitute for cuttlebone.

Health
Zebra finches are usually quite healthy, but not quite as hardy as larger pet birds,
They are very susceptible to airborne toxins. Also, they can catch colds from drafts. Therefore, they need to be housed clear of windows and doors in order to stay healthy. They will do well in temperatures down to around 40 F.


Breeding
Zebra finches easily breed in captivity. Zebras breed colonially and are socially monogamous, in many cases maintaining permanent pair bonds. The male helps in the nest building as well as hatching duties and feeding the young. Zebra finches can lay a maximum of eight eggs, but usually have 2 to 5 eggs in their nests. Zebra Finches will lay one egg every other day until their clutch is complete.

After egg laying, it's the hen that will spend most of her time on the nest. The male will from time to time, relieve her for food and exercise breaks. The eggs will begin to hatch 12 to 18 days after they have been laid.

Breeding zebra finches in pair cages are ideal. However, they will breed in aviaries. During mating season the birds require up to 16 hours of daily sunlight. If there is no window in the area where the cage is located, supply an artificial source of light with a timer.

Conclusion
Zebra finches are arguably the most popular and commonly kept Australian finch species. Zebra finches are some of the easiest pet birds to keep and can make excellent companions for people where noise and space is a concern. With good nutrition and care, these birds can live up to 10 years. They are considered one of my favorite of all finch varieties.


    By Daniel P. Ransom
    Daniel P. Ransom is a finch expert. He has been raising and breeding many varieties of finches for over 20 years. He supplies local and regional pet shops with happy and healthy birds. Article Source: EzineArticles



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Fact Sheet: RED-BILLED LEIOTHRIX or Pekin Robin - Leiothrix lutea

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Red-Billed Leiothrix or Pekin Robin)

English: Red-billed Leiothrix Nederlands: Japa...
Red-billed Leiothrix  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bird Name:
Red-billed Leiothrix or Pekin Robin

Latin Name:
Leiothrix lutea

Status:
Least Concern
Although added to CITIES Appendix II in 1998.

Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Timaliidae
Genus: Leiothrix
Species: L. lutea

General information:
Common names of the Red-billed Leiothrix include Pekin Robin, Pekin Nightingale, Chinese Nightingale and Japanese (Hill) Robin.

The Red-billed Leiothrix is a brightly coloured babbler. Two subspecies exist, in the western range L. lutea kumaiensis and in the eastern range L. lutea calipyga. The rarer L. l. kumaiensis has the absence of the red edge on the inner primaries. Common in the pet trade, Red-billed Leiothrix is known for its loud melodious songs. It is currently of lest concern on the IUCN red list but was added to CITIES in 1998 because native habitat is being destroyed and the demand of the cage bird market.

Physical Description:
The Red-billed Leiothrix averages 13-15 cm in length and weighs 21-25 gm. Adults are brightly colored and have red bills with a dull yellow ring around their eyes. Their backs are a dull olive green and they have a bright yellow-orange throat with a yellow chin. They have a forked blackish tail. The sexes appear similar although males are brighter in color. Juveniles have black bills and grey coats.

Diet:
Fruits and seeds are the primary diets, although they will eat small invertebrates including larval and adult butterflies, moths, millipedes, and spiders. The Red-billed Leiothrix feeds in groups, except when pairs are breeding. Water is obtained from pools on fallen leaves.

Habitat:
The Red-billed Leiothrix is native to Southern Asia ranging from central Himalayas in India and Nepal eastwards to Burma and Vietnam. It was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands from escaped cage birds. Small populations also escaped in Japan. The Red-billed Leiothrix inhabits underbrush with a dense cover of vegetation near the ground. Cup nest made of leaves and moss lined with fungal substance usually on a low horizontal forked branch. They favor areas with heavy rainfall, at least 40 inches of rain yearly. They are often found traveling in small flocks.

Reproduction:
The Red-billed Leiothrix breeds March to August. They are monogamous and the pairs will mate for life. The clutch consists of 3 or 4 egg, although 5 can occur. Eggs are a pale blue with reddish spots. Due to low nest placement, eggs are highly vulnerable to predators, especially rats. Adults may distract predators away from the nest by running and calling on the ground. Incubation is approximately 14 days. Both parents contribute to the feeding of the young. Most commonly insects and small fruits are the early food source. Nestlings have a bright reddish apricot skin.

    By Tony Mandarich
    Author Tony Mandarich has written many articles about one of his passions, rainforest birds.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



Saturday, February 17, 2018

Fact Sheet: RED-TAILED HAWK - Buteo jamaicensis

(Original Title: Red-Tailed Hawk)

Female Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) eat...
Female Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) eating a squirrel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Red-tailed Hawk is the most common hawk in North America. It soars over the open country in search of its prey or perches in a tree at the edge of a field or meadow. With its sharp eyes peeled, it watches for the slightest movement signaling the presence of prey.

Description
The Red-tailed Hawk is a large bird measuring 18 to 25 inches in length and has a wingspan of 37 to 52 inches. Its back, head, and throat are reddish-brown, and its chest and belly are white with brown streaks. Both the adult and immature birds have a prominent brown belly band that can be seen from a distance.

When perched, the coloration on the wings blends with the back, but when in flight, the pale underside is exposed. The wings have a dark bar at the leading edge and dark tips. Its broad tail is reddish-brown or rust colored on the top and pink below. The legs and feet are yellow.
The Red-tailed Hawk's coloration is variable depending on the subspecies, age, and habitat. The shape and color of the tail and the belly band are the best identification markers to look for in an adult.

Habitat
The Red-tailed Hawk tolerates a wide range of habitats. It can be found in deserts, grasslands, deciduous and coniferous forests as well as tropical rainforests. Its preferred habitat is mixed forests and fields with cliffs or trees that can be used as perches. The Red-tailed Hawk can be found throughout North America except the arctic region.

Mating and Nesting Habits
The Red-tailed Hawk reaches sexual maturity at three years of age. Once he finds a mate, he will stay with her year after year only taking a new mate when the first one dies. The courtship ritual consists of aerial maneuvers with both flying in circles and shrilling loudly. The male will break off and shoot upward only to dive back down again. After climbing and diving several times, the male approaches the female from behind. He grabs her talons and the fight begins.

The pair uses and defends the same nesting area year after year. They build the nest together usually placing at least 12 feet off the ground. It's not uncommon for the Red-tailed Hawk to build its nest on a cliff ledge 35 or more feet in the air.

The nest is huge, sometimes 35 inches in diameter and can be up to 3 feet tall. It is built of twigs and lined with pine needles and other soft plant matter. The nest is kept clean with fresh plant matter throughout the breeding season.

The Red-tailed Hawk competes with several different birds, including the Great Horned Owl for nesting sites. It is not uncommon for one species to destroy the eggs and kill the young in a hostile takeover.

The female starts laying her eggs in April, producing one every other day. The eggs are a bluish-white and the clutch is composed of 1 to 5 eggs. Both the male and the female Red-tailed Hawk incubate the eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the female tends the hatchlings and the male hunts. He provides food for the chicks as well as his mate. After 42 to 46 days, the chicks begin leaving the nest for short flights. For the following 10 weeks, they continue to depend on their parents while they learn to fly and to hunt.

Feeding Habits
The Red-tailed Hawk is carnivorous. Its diet is mainly composed of small mammals such as rabbits and rodents. It will also prey on snakes, lizards, birds, and fish. It is an opportunistic feeder and feed on whatever is available. It usually hunts from an elevated perch. Once its spotted prey, it swoops down and seizes it. It will even snatch a bird right out of the air.

Flight
The Red-tailed Hawk soars rather than continuously flapping its wings. The strokes are deep and slow. During the regular flight they average 20 to 40 mph, but when diving after prey it can reach speeds of close to 120 mph.

Voice
The Red-tailed Hawk's harsh kk-eee-er is often described as a scream.

Conservation Status
It is protected in the United States, Mexico, and Canada by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Interesting Trivia
o The Red-tailed Hawk displays sexual dimorphism. The female is 25% larger than the male.
o The Red-tailed Hawk is a popular bird in falconry.
o The feathers of the Red-tailed Hawk are considered sacred by some Native American tribes.
o Their eyes are keen. The Red-tailed Hawk can spot a mouse a mile away.
o The Red-tailed Hawk can live up to 20 years in the wild.




Friday, January 26, 2018

Fact Sheet: BAY-HEADED TANAGER - Tangara gyrola

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Bay-Headed Tanager)
A Bay-headed Tanager in Manizales, Caldas, Col...
A Bay-headed Tanager (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bird Name:
Bay-headed Tanager

Latin Name:
Tangara gyrola

Status:
Least Concern

Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Tangara
Species: T. gyrola

General Information:
The Bay-Headed Tanager is a social, medium-sized bird of Central and South America. It is common throughout its extensive range. There are nine subspecies of the Bay-headed Tanager.

Physical Description:
These adult birds measure about 14 cm in length and weigh approximately 19.5 g. There is considerable variation in plumage within the subspecies. T. g. gyrola, the nominate type, is mainly green with a chestnut colored head, blue belly, and a thin golden band around its hind neck. The sexes are alike in appearance and the juveniles are duller in plumage and have green heads with chestnut speckles.

Diet:
The bird feeds primarily on fruit, which is often swallowed whole. They have also been known to pick insects off the underside of branches.

Habitat:
Its range spans from Central America, including Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, down to the Amazon Basin including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. It is also present on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. The Bay-headed Tanager occurs in forests and they prefer the wetter areas. The common habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Reproduction:
The bird builds a bulky cup nest in a tree. The female will normally lay two creamy white eggs that are speckled with brown. She will incubate them for a period of approximately14 days. The chicks will fledge after another 15 to 16 days.




Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Fact Sheet: GREATER INDIA HILL MYNAH - Gracula Religiosa intermedia

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Greater India Hill Mynah)

English: Eastern Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa ...
Eastern Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa intermedia) in the Walsrode Bird Park, Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bird Name:
Greater India Hill Mynah

Latin Name:
Gracula Religiosa intermedia
Status:
Least concern

Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Gracula
Species: G. Religiosa
Subspecies: G. Religiosa intermedia

General information:
Commonly known as the Talking Mynah, the Greater India Hill Mynah is one of 10 subspecies of G. religiosa, and is considered the northern subspecies. The Greater India Hill Mynah is an extremely vocal bird and is renowned for its ability to imitate. Along with the Java Hill Myna (G. religiosa religiosa) they are the most commonly captured and imported of the Hill Mynahs for the pet trade. Described by many as the best talking bird in the world, Hill Mynahs can choose to imitate any human voice and speak in high or low tones.

Physical Description:
The Greater India Hill Mynah averages 27 cm in length but can reach up to 35 cm. It is much larger in size than the Lesser Hill Mynahs. It has glossy black feathers which turn purple-blue when exposed to the sunshine. The wings show a white band and there is obvious yellow skin behind and below the eyes. The eye and nape patches are connected, which distinguishes it from the other subspecies. The bill is orange with a yellow tip. The feet and legs are also yellow. Males and females are similar. Juveniles also resemble adults, except their coats are dull and may have a ragged appearance before their first molt.

Diet:
The diet consists of fruits, berries and seeds of various shrubs and trees. They are also known to eat insects and small lizards.

Habitat:
The Greater India Hill Mynah inhabits north India, China, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the northern through central part of Thailand. They prefer areas of high rainfall and humidity and spend most of their lives in trees. They are known for inhabiting dense jungles near the forest edge, although they are now commonly found on tea and coffee plantations with many flowering shade trees. While not breeding large flocks accumulate, but couples are obvious.


Reproduction:
The Greater India Hill Mynah nests in small tree holes usually located at the forest edge. Several pairs may nest in the same tree without territorial aggression. The monogamous pair searches together for the nesting site. Both sexes fill the hole with twigs, leaves, and feathers. Females instigate copulation by stretching horizontally and flapping their tails up and down quickly. The average clutch is 2 eggs which are blue with brown spots. Incubation lasts 13-17 days and the majority is done by the female. Parents will feed the nestlings together and they will leave them unattended when searching for food. The young fledge after a month and the pair will begin a new clutch. Hill mynas average 2-3 clutches per year, with the most occurring in warmer climates. Breeding is between April and July, although it does vary slightly by region.




Friday, November 17, 2017

Fact Sheet: SWAINSONS TOUCAN - Ramphastos swainsonii

(Original Title: Rainforest Birds - Swainson's Toucan)

English: The Chestnut-mandibled Toucan or Swai...
The Chestnut-mandibled Toucan or Swainson’s Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii) at Antwerp Zoo.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bird Name:
Swainson's Toucan

Latin Name:
Ramphastos swainsonii

Status:
Least Concern

Scientific Classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Ramphastidae
Genus: Ramphastos
Species: R. swainsonii

General Information:
The Swainson's Toucan, named after English ornithologist William Swainson, is a large near-passerine bird native to Central America and northern South America. It is the second largest of the 37 species of toucan, only slightly smaller than the Toco Toucan. It prefers to be solitary or in smaller groups as opposed to large flocks.

Physical Description:
The male is around 22 inches in length and weighs about 750 g. The female is slightly smaller at about 20.5 inches and 580 g, but otherwise alike in appearance to the male. The Swainson's Toucan's distinctive, brightly marked bill can grow up to 8 inches long. It is mostly black in appearance but has a bright yellow face and upper breast, with narrow white and broader red bands forming a border above its lower breast. Juveniles are of a sootier black color with duller plumage, especially with regard to the red border and yellow bib of its breast.

Diet:
The Swainson's Toucan feeds on fruits, which it plucks from branches with its long beak. It will also eat insects and lizards for protein, especially during the nesting period


Habitat:
These toucans occur in forests ranging from Honduras and Costa Rica down through northern Colombia. They are resident breeders in moist lowland forests, often nesting in tree cavities or old woodpecker's nests.

Reproduction:
Female Swainson's Toucans lays 2 - 4 eggs per clutch and will incubate them for a period of 14 - 15 days. After hatching, the young toucans are fed by both parents and fledge the nest after about 6 weeks.