Fallacy: A toucan can’t fly because its beak is too heavy

Is it true that a toucan can’t fly because its beak is too heavy? No, this is a fallacy – it is not true.

The Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) is a large bird in the Ramphastidae family. It has a very large, yellow-orange beak with a black band at the base and a large spot at the tip. 

However, the beak is not heavy.

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Northern Bald Ibis and Chick

The Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) is a non-wading bird in the Threskiornithidae family of wading birds. Most ibises are wetland wading birds, living near water sources, but the Northern Bald Ibis is not a wetland wading bird.

It lives and breeds in colonies and flocks of up to 100 individuals. It makes a stick nest high on a cliff ledge to avoid predators. 

The female lays 2-3 eggs. The chicks hatch after about 25 days and gain their feathers within 40-50 days. 

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Canada Goose and Goslings

The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a large North American migratory bird of Canada and the northern United States.

The Canada Goose mates for life – a male and female remain partners throughout their whole life. 

The female lays 2-9 eggs, and both parents look after the eggs until they hatch after 24-48 days. 

The chicks are called goslings. Goslings can walk, swim, and find their own food soon after hatching. They can fly after 6-9 weeks of age. 

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Mulard Duck

The Mulard Duck is a large wetlands bird in the Anatidae family of dabbling ducks. It is a hybrid between the Muscovy Duck (Cairina mschata) and the domestic duck called the Pekin Duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus). It is also spelled Moulard Duck. It is also known as the Mule Duck.

The Mulard Duck is white with a pale pink beak. It has pink or red wattles (loose skin) around its eyes and beak. It has a wide, flat tail. It has long claws on its webbed feet. Its eyes are brown.

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Geese, Ducks, and Swans – where do they feed – on land or in water?

Where do geese, ducks, and swans feed? Do they feed on land or in the water?

Swans, geese, and ducks belong to the Anatidae family of water birds, living near freshwater sources. They are all anatids.

Some anatids feed on land; some feed at the water’s edge; some feed in shallow water; and some dive down to feed at the bottom of the pond or river. 

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RESEARCH: The four most common wild bird species in the world

There are 50 billion wild birds on Earth – but four species dominate – says a New Scientist article on 17 May 2021.

Earth has around 50 billion wild bird species according to a new global estimate, but most species are very rare and only a handful number in the billions.

Just four wild species have over a billion individuals, and they are the most common wild bird species in the world. This is in contrast to 1,180 species that have less than 5,000 individual birds each.

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Eurasian Kestrel

The Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey in the Falconidae family of falcons. It is also called the Common Kestrel or the European Kestrel. It is a raptor.

The Eurasian Kestrel is mainly light chestnut brown with blackish spots on its upperside. On the underside, it is buff with narrow blackish streaks. It has long wings and a long tail. The male has a blue-grey tail and the female has a brown tail with black bars. Its cere, feet, and eyerings are bright yellow. It has a dark beak and dark eyes. 

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Tippler Pigeon

The Tippler Pigeon (Columba livia) is a medium-sized game bird in the Columbidae family of doves and pigeons. It evolved from the Rock Pigeon.

The Tippler Pigeon has a variety of colours, with flecked markings and dark tail feathers and wing feathers. It is slender and not as plump as the Rock Pigeon. Its eyes are orange or red. Its beak is grey-black with a white cere. Its feet are pinkish-red. 

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Bird Nostrils and Nares

What are bird nostrils and nares?

Bird nostrils and nares are the same – they are nose holes. The more common word is nare. 

Bird nares are openings or holes that enable a bird to breathe. 

There are two holes – one on each side of a bird’s beak.

The beaks of birds are different sizes and shapes – long or short, small or large, straight or curved, and wide or thin. Therefore, the nares are in different places for different species of birds. 

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What is the difference between the Eurasian Blue Tit and the Great Tit?

What is the difference between the Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and the Great Tit (Parus major)? 

The Eurasian Blue Tit and the Great Tit are both in the Paridae family of passerines. 

The Eurasian Blue Tit and the Great Tit both have large white cheeks, a yellowish-green back, and blue-grey wings with white wing-bars.

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Eurasian Blue Tit

The Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) is a passerine bird in the Paridae family of song birds. It is also known as the Eurasian Blue Titmouse.

The Eurasian Blue Tit has a distinctive azure-blue crown and a dark-blue line passing through its eye and encircling its white cheeks to the chin. Its forehead is white, and a bar on its wing is also white. Its nape, wings, and tail are blue and its back is yellowish-green. It underparts are yellow with a dark line down its abdomen. Its beak is black. It has bluish-grey legs. Its eyes are dark brown. 

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