Crimson Rosella

The Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) is a medium-sized parrot, of about 36 centimetres (14 inches) long, native to the coast and mountains of eastern and south-eastern Australia.

The Crimson Rosella begins with green feathers and developes red and blue colours as it matures.  It is red with blue cheeks and black-scalloped blue-margined wings, with a blue tail.

The Crimson Rosella does not migrate. They are residential and gather in flocks of up to 20 individuals. They eat fruit, seeds, nectar, berries, and nuts of a wide variety of plants. Rosellas will also eat many insects and their larvae, including termites, aphids, beetles, weevils, caterpillars, and moths.

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Striated Heron

The Striated Heron (Butorides striata) also known as the Green-Backed Heron, is a small hunched wetlands bird from the tropical regions of the world, mainly in the southern hemisphere, including west Africa, Japan, Australia, and South America.

The Striated Heron is greenish grey, with a white underbelly, a black cap, and short yellow legs. Its neck is short which makes it looked hunched over. It has a long beak, that has a black upper mandible and a yellow lower mandible.

It can grow to 40-48 centimetres (16-19 inches) tall.

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Vulturine Guineafowl

The Vulturine Guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) from northeast Africa is the largest species of guineafowl, measuring 61-71 centimetres (24-28 inches) tall.

The Vulturine Guineafowl has a round body and small head, with a bare blue face and black neck, which makes it looks like a vulture. It has a cape of long, glossy, blue and white hackles. Its chest is bright blue, and the rest of the body’s feathers are black, finely speckled with white. The wings are short and rounded.

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Common Wood Pigeon

The Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) is Europe’s largest pigeon.

It is about 40-42 centimetres (16 inches) in length with a wing span of 75-80 centimetres (30-32 inches), weighing about 500 grams (just over a pound).

The Common Wood Pigeon has grey feathers, a pinkish chest, and a green, white and purple collar around its neck. The tail has a black tip and the wings have white patches.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Jackass Penguin

The Jackass Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is commonly known as the African Penguin or the Black-Footed Penguin. It is a flightless bird only found off the South Africa coastline, living in colonies on 23 islands.

It is called a jackass penguin because it sounds like a donkey braying.

The Jackass Penguin is a small black and white penguin of about 60–70 centimetres (24–28 inches) tall, with a streamlined body. It has pink patches of skin above the eyes and a black face mask. The upper body is black and the under body is white. The under body is spotted with a black band.

The Jackass Penguin has black feet and unique black spots for each penguin.

The pink glands above its eyes are used for thermoregulation, to keep it warm in the cold waters, and cool in hot temperatures. The hotter the penguin gets, the more blood is sent to these glands which become pinker, and then the Jackass Penguin is cooled by the air.

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Rosy-Patched Bush-Shrike

The Rosy-Patched Bush-Shrike (Rhodophoneus hilgerti cruentus) is a small species of passerine (songbird) found in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, East Kenya, and North Kenya.

It is a small bird of about 22 centimetres (8-9 inches) tall. It is light brown with a distinctive blood-red stain from its throat and down its white chest. It has a long tail and hooked beak.

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The Ostrich Wing: why the ostrich can’t fly

The Ostrich (Struthio camelus) is a large African flightless bird.

Its wings are also large, with a wingspan of about two metres (6 feet and 7 inches).

Ostriches have many differences from flying birds.

Flying birds have external feathers with hooks that lock together. The Ostrich external feathers do not have tiny hooks that lock together. These hooklets are called barbules. They zip the vanes of individual feathers together to make the feather strong enough to hold the airfoil (the shape of the wing that makes it aerodynamic). Similar foils in water are called hydrofoils.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Shoebill

The Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) is a large wading bird with a beak (bill) that looks like a shoe. It is from tropical east Africa, in countries such as Uganda, South Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia, especially in marshes and wetlands with papyrus plants.

The Shoebill has blue-grey feathers, grey legs with large feet, a short neck, a short grey crest, green-blue eyes, and a large pinkish-grey beak. It has the third longest beak of all birds, after the pelican and the stork.

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Bustards: Black-Bellied and White-Bellied

What is the difference between African Bustards – the Black-Bellied Bustard and the White-Bellied Bustard? The main differences are below:

The White-Bellied Bustard (Eupoditis senegalensis) and the Black-Bellied Bustard are both African bustards, widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa in grasslands and open woodlands.

The White-Bellied Bustard is smaller than the Black-Bellied Bustard. The White-Bellied Bustard is about 48-61 centimetres (19-24 inches) long. The Black-Bellied Bustard is about 58-65 centimetres (23-26 inches) long.

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Southern Ground Hornbill

The Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus cafer) is a large bird with a heavy curved beak found in southern Africa, especially in central Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa.

The Southern Ground Hornbill has dull black feathers, a small rounded casque (bony growth) on its head, bright red skin around its eyes, and a pouch under its chin. It has long eyelashes.

It can grow to about one metre (44 inches) tall. It has short legs and long tails.

Its voice sounds like a lion’s roar.

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Laughing Dove

The Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis) is a common, small, long-tailed pigeon from Africa, the Middle East, and South-East Asia. It is also called the Palm Dove or the Senegal Dove. In India it is called the Little Brown Dove.

The Laughing Dove has a speckled chest with pink-brown feathers on the underside, a lilac head and neck, and a black beak. There is a blue-grey band along the wing, but its feathers are mainly pink-brown. Its tail has white tips. They have pink-red legs.

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African Marabou Stork

The African Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) – often just called the Marabou – is large with distinct features and is found in sub-Saharan Africa.

Its feathers are grey and white. Its soft, white tail feathers are known as marabou. It has a pink bald head and neck like a vulture with red spots and a long reddish-coloured pouch hanging from its neck, called a wattle. It has a conical bill. It has long black legs.

It grows to 1.5 metres (5 feet) tall with a wingspan of 2.6 metres (8.5 feet). In flight, it soars, but when it is on the ground it walks in a hunched manner. It is often called The Undertaker bird.

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