A swan is a large heavy bird, so how does it fly?
The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is a large water bird in the Anatidae family.
It grows to 125-170 centimetres (49-67 inches) tall. It is the second largest waterfowl in the world (the Trumpeter Swan is the largest), and it is one of the heaviest flying birds.
Continue reading “Swan Flight”
The Yellow-Knobbed Curassow (Crax daubentoni) is a large bird in the Cracidae family. It is a game bird.
Yellow-Knobbed Curassow is black with an area of white feathers on its rear – the area is called a crissum. It has a crest of curly feathers on its head. The feathers curl forward. The male has a fleshy yellow knob at the base of its beak. The female does not have a knob.
Continue reading “Yellow-Knobbed Curassow”
What is a group of penguins called?
A group of penguins is called a colony of penguins.
Continue reading “What is a group of penguins called?”
What is a group of plovers called?
A group of plovers is called a congregation of plovers.
Continue reading “What is a group of plovers called?”
How does an Ostrich drink?
An Ostrich has a unique tongue. It is triangular and short (about a quarter of the size of its beak). It is also fixed in position. It cannot use its tongue to lap up water.
Continue reading “How does an Ostrich drink?”
The Madagascar Ibis (Lophotibis cristata) is a bird in the Threskiomithidae family of ibises. It is also known as the Madagascar Crested Ibis, the White-Winged Ibis, and the Crested Wood Ibis.
The Madagascar Ibis is brown with white wings, a crest of green or glossy, iridescent blue and white feathers on the back of its neck. Its head is black. Its chin, neck, throat, and underparts, are dark brown. It has a bare red patch (featherless) around its eyes. It has a yellow beak and red legs. It has brown eyes.
Continue reading “Madagascar Ibis”
Rainbow-coloured animals contain the colours of a rainbow.
The seven colours of the rainbow are, in order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. The acronym ROYGBIV helps people remember the colours.
Mainly reptiles, birds, fish, and insects have rainbow colours.
Continue reading “Rainbow Animals”
The Red-Necked Ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) is a large flightless bird in the Struthionidae family of ratites. It is also known as the North African Ostrich or the Barbary Ostrich. It is a sub-species of the Common Ostrich. It is related to the emu, rhea, cassowary, and kiwi.
The male Red-Necked Ostrich is black with white tail feathers, a featherless red neck, and red thighs. The female and young male have grey feathers. It has the largest eyes of any land vertebrate. Its legs have no feathers. The Red-Necked Ostrich has two toes on each foot, whereas most birds have four toes and emus have three toes.
It cannot fly because its feathers lack the tiny hooks that lock together to make external feathers smooth for flying. Its long legs and large wings makes it able to zigzag when it runs.
Continue reading “Red-Necked Ostrich”
Birds have many different types, shapes, and sizes of tongues, depending upon the species, and what they eat. Birds don’t have teeth, and that means that the tongue is very important.
A human tongue is a muscle. A bird tongue is a muscle too, but tougher and harder than a human tongue. Birds have five bones in their tongue. These bones are known as the hyoid apparatus. The five bones are: paraglossals, basihyale, urohyale, ceratobranchiate, and epibranchiate.
Continue reading “Bird’s Tongue”
The Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) is a large bird in the Psittacidae family. It is a psittacine. It is also known as the Hyacinthine Macaw.
The Hyacinth Macaw is blue all over. Its eyerings are bright yellow, and an area underneath its beak is also bright yellow. Many species of Macaw are featherless on their cheeks, but the Hyacinth Macaw has feathers on its face. It has a large, strong, grey beak. It has a long, pointed tail. The Hyacinth Macaw, like other parrots, has its first and fourth toes pointing backwards.
Continue reading “Hyacinth Macaw”
The Australian Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) has protective nictating membranes on its eyes. The membrane over each eye protects them from dust.
A nictating membrane is a transparent or translucent eyelid. The eyelid membrane not only protects the eye from dust, it also moistens the eye and cleans away any dust or dirt. This is because the emu lives in dry, dusty areas of Australia.
Nictating means blinking. The eye membrane is called a third eyelid, or a haw, or a plica semilunaris, or a membrana nictitans.
Continue reading “Emu Eyes and Nictating Membranes”
What is a group of jays called?
A group of jays is called a party of jays or a scold of jays.
Continue reading “What is a group of jays called?”
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.
Continue reading “Fallacy: A toucan can’t fly because its beak is too heavy”
What is a Gular Sac?
A Gular Sac is the throat pouch on some birds.
A Gular Sac is a featherless pouch, or bag, or sac, that is formed by the skin from the lower beak to the neck.
Continue reading “What is a Gular Sac?”
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.
Continue reading “Northern Bald Ibis and Chick”
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.
Continue reading “Canada Goose and Goslings”
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.
Continue reading “Mulard Duck”
Do birds have taste buds? Can birds taste their food?
Humans have over 10,000 taste buds on their tongue. Humans can taste food that is sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and so on.
A bird has taste buds in the roof, floor, and base of the tongue.
Continue reading “Do Birds have Taste Buds?”
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.
Continue reading “Geese, Ducks, and Swans – where do they feed – on land or in water?”