Northern Shoveler

The Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata) is a freshwater, wetlands dabbling duck. It is a bird. Spatula means spoon – it has a spoon-shaped beak.

The Northern Shoveler has a large, broad, greyish spoon-shaped beak, called a spatulate beak. It often has an orange colour on the cutting edge of its beak and lower jaw. The male has an iridescent dark-green head, white chest, chestnut belly, and chestnut side feathers. In the breeding season, the male has a white crescent on each side of its face. The female is pale mottled brown.

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Eclectus Parrot

The Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) is medium-sized bird.

The Eclectus Parrot male and female look very different. The male is bright green and the female is mostly bright red. The male is bright green with blue primary feathers and red sides. Its short tail is edged with a narrow band of creamy-yellow, but is mainly green. The female is bright red with a darker colour on her back and wings. Her underwing coverts are purple. Her short tail is edged with yellow-orange above and orange below. The male has an orange and black beak: orange on the upper mandible and black on the lower mandible. The female has an all-black beak. Both have yellow to orange eyes.

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Eurasian Common Merganser

The Eurasian Common Merganser (Mergus merganser merganser) is a freshwater bird – a large duck. It is also known as the Goosander or a Sawbill.

The Eurasian Common Merganser has a whitish-cream body with a salmon-pink tinge. Its head is black with an iridescent green sheen. It has a crest, but it usually lies flat, and is not often raised. Its rump and tail are grey, and its wings are white on the inner half and black on the outer half. Its beak and legs are red to brownish-red. The female is mainly grey with a reddish-brown head, white chin, and white feathers on its wings.

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Ruddy Turnstone

The Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) is a small wading bird – a wader – that lives in wetlands. It is in the Scolopacidae family of Sandpipers.

The Ruddy Turnstone varies in colours of brown with a pattern of black and white. Its head is mainly white with black streaks on its crown, with a black pattern on its face. It has a slightly upturned wedge-shaped dark beak. Its chest is mainly black with white patches on the side, and white underparts. Its rump and tail have dark bands. Its legs are bright orange. The female is duller in colour than the male, with a browner head that has more streaks.

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Fallacy: A Cuckooshrike is a cross between a Cuckoo and a Shrike

A fallacy is something that is not true.

A Cuckooshrike is a cross between a Cuckoo and a Shrike is a fallacy. It is not true. So, what is a Cuckooshrike?

A Cuckooshrike, a Cuckoo, and a Shrike are all birds, but a Cuckooshrike is not a Cuckoo and it is not a Shrike.

It is not closely related to the Cuckoo and it is not closely related to the Shrike. They are not very similar. In fact, they are in different families.

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Plumed Whistling Duck

The Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni) is a wetlands bird. It is also known as the Grass Whistle Duck, the Red-Legged Whistler, or the Whistling Tree-Duck.

The Plumed Whistling Duck has white side plumes (feathers) with black margins that stick out. It has brown upperparts, paler underparts, and a white rump. It chest is chestnut-brown with thin black bars.  It has a long neck. Its beak is pink with black markings, and its legs are pink. Its eyes are orange-yellow.

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King Vulture

The King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) is a large bird of prey, and a raptor.

The King Vulture has white and black feathers, with a grey to black ruff (collar) around its neck. It also has grey flight feathers and grey tail feathers. Its head and neck are bald, with the skin colour varying from yellow, orange, blue, and purple to red. It has a distinctive orange fleshy carbuncle on its hooked reddish beak. It has white eyes with a red eye-ring. It does not have eyelashes. It has grey legs with long grey claws.

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Red-Legged Seriema

The Red-Legged Seriema (Cariama cristata) is a medium-sized bird. It is also called the Crested Cariama.

The Red-Legged Seriema has medium-brown feathers with black markings. It has a pale-brown head, neck and chest, with white on its underbelly. It has a long neck, long tail, and long red legs. Its beak is red and its eyes are yellow. It has soft feathers emerging from the base of its beak. Its tail has a black band near the tip, with a white band at the tip.

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RESEARCH: Why ostriches have two legs but four knees

Why do ostriches, the largest living bird species, with the largest eggs of any bird, have two legs but four knees? Specifically, ostriches have four kneecaps, and therefore four knees. Emus and cassowaries have no kneecaps.

Sophie Regnault, and her research colleagues at the Royal Veterinary College in London, examined a dead ostrich donated to the college.

They bent and straightened the ostrich’s knees, and used an imaging technique called biplanar fluoroscopy to track how the bones moved. Then they built a simple model to understand how the kneecaps affected the leverage of the muscles controlling the knee.

Kneecaps help animals to flex the extensor muscles in their knees, so that they don’t need to exert force to straighten their knees.

However, ostriches have an upper kneecap and a lower kneecap on each leg that act differently from the kneecaps of other animals.

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Reeves’s Pheasant

The Reeves’s Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) is a large galliform game bird.

The Reeves’s Pheasant has gold, white, black, and reddish feathers, grey legs, and bare red skin around its eyes. Its beak is pale-cream, and its head is white with a narrow black band across its brown eyes. It has a very long, silvery-white tail with chestnut-brown bars. The female is brown with a blackish crown, a buff face, and a barred greyish-brown tail.

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Crested Wood Partridge

The Crested Wood Partridge (Rollulus roulroul) is also called the Roul-Roul or the Red-Crowned Wood Partridge. It is a small game bird in the Phasianidae family of pheasants.

The Crested Wood Partridge is a short, rounded short-tailed bird. It has a scarlet-red patch of bare skin around its eyes with a red eye-ring. It has red legs, without a spur or hind (back) toe. The male is metallic iridescent green on its upperparts with glossy dark-blue on its underparts. It has a purplish wing panel. Its head has a white forehead spot, black bristles, and a tall red crest.

The female has pea-green body, a grey head with bristles but no spot and no crest.  It has a brownish wing panel. The male and female have a dark-grey beak and pink-grey to red legs.

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