CREATURE FEATURE: Red-Crowned Parrot

The Red-Crowned Parrot (Amazona viridigenalis) is a bird in the Psittacidae family of parrots. It is also called the Green-Cheeked Amazon Parrot or Mexican Red-Headed Parrot. 

The Red-Crowned Parrot is green with a bright red forehead and crown, dark-blue streak behind the eyes, and light-green cheeks. Some have red and blue feathers under their wings. It has a white eye-ring with bright yellow eyes. It has a beige beak and cere. It has grey or beige legs. 

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Monk Parakeet chick

The Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) is the only parrot that builds a stick nest in a tree. Other parrots use a hollow in a tree trunk for their nest. 

The female Monk Parakeet lays 4-8 eggs, which hatch after about 24 days. The newly-hatched chicks are born altricial – featherless, blind, and helpless.

Monk Parakeet chicks open their eyes after about four days. They take time to gain all of their feathers. Initially, the down feathers make young chicks look fluffy with dirty-white feathers, and a few green feathers. The chicks have a large orange beak. 

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Willie Wagtail

The Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophyrs leucophyrs) is a passerine songbird. It is not related to the Eurasian Wagtail in the Motacillidae family. It is related to the crow, raven, drongo, and bird of paradise. It wags its tail from side to side when it is on the ground.

The Willie Wagtail has black upperparts and white underparts. It has a white eyebrow. It has a black fantail. It has a short, thin, black beak, which has a hooked tip. It has long, black legs for its size. 

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Turkmenian Fox

The Turkmenian Fox (Vulpes vulpes flavescens) is a vulpine mammal. It is a sub-species of the Red Fox.

The Turkmenian Fox has greyish fur with reddish-yellow tints. Its winter fur is dense, long, soft, and silky. It sides are lighter than its back and its chin, lower lips, throat and front of the chest are white. The tip of its fluffy tail is white. It has a long body, long narrow head, and short legs. Its front paws have five toes and its back paws have four toes. Each toe has a strong claw. It has orange-brown, oval-shaped pupils with excellent vision.

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Albert’s Lyrebird

The Albert’s Lyrebird (Menura alberti) is a large passerine songbird in the Menuridae family. It is a ground-dwelling bird. 

The Albert’s Lyrebird looks like a partridge or pheasant, with a plumpish body, slender neck, and a long tail. It has short, rounded wings, which makes them poor fliers.

When the tail is fanned out, the male’s large tail looks like a lyre musical instrument. His tail has 16 modified feathers. Two of the tail feathers, called medians, are broad, brown curved feathers with dark tips. There are also two thin dark feathers, called lyrates. The rest of the 12 tail feathers are white filamentaries.  

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North American River Otter

The North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is a freshwater, semi-aquatic mammal in the Lutrinae sub-family of the Mustelidae family of weasels. It is a mustelid. It is also known as the Northern River Otter or the Common Otter.

The North American River Otter has a long, slender body, which is streamlined for swimming. Its fur is short, thick and water-repellent. It has short legs with webbed feet for swimming, but it can also walk on land. It varies in colour from light-brown to black, with a greyish chest, neck, and throat. It has a short nose, flat head, round ears, and a nose pad (like a dog). It has long whiskers, called vibrissae. It has a long, tapered tail.

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Eurasian Treecreeper

The Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) is a small passerine bird. It is also known as the Common Treecreeper. 

The Eurasian Treecreeper has camouflaged, patterned, light-brown and dark-brown upperparts, white underparts, and a rufous (red-brown) rump. It has a white eyebrow. Its tail is brown and long. It has a curved, dark-grey beak. It has pink-beige legs and feet, with long, hooked claws. 

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Himalayan Griffon

The Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) is a large bird of prey, a raptor, and an accipiter. It is a vulture. It is also known as the Himalayan Griffon Vulture. It is related to the Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus). 

The Himalayan Griffon has a long, spiky, pale-brown ruff around its neck with white streaks. Its head has pale blue skin, covered with soft, yellowish down feathers. Its underside and underwings are pale-brown or buff-coloured. Its legs are feathered, and its feet can be greenish-grey to white. Its upperbody is pale and unstreaked with contrasting dark-brown wings. It has a grey, hooked beak, and small, orange-brown eyes. 

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Dunnock

The Dunnock (Prunella modularis) is a small passerine, or perching and singing bird in the accentor family. It is also called the Hedge Accentor, the Hedge Sparrow, or the Hedge Warbler. 

The Dunnock is a brown bird with streaks of darker brown on its back. Its underbelly is light-brown. It has a blue-grey head. It has a fine-pointed beak. It has pink legs. The male and female look similar. 

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Jaguar

The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is a large, near-threatened wild cat. It is a felid. 

The Jaguar looks like the Leopard, but it is larger and more muscular. It has tawny-brown fur covered with rosette-shaped markings with one or several dots. It has spots on its head and neck. Its tail also has spots, and ends with bands. Forest Jaguars are usually darker than those in open areas. It has short, powerful legs. It has a large head with strong jaws.  

The Black Panther or Black Jaguar is actually a melanistic Jaguar, mainly found in South America. 

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Eurasian Tree Sparrow

The Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus dilutus) is a passerine bird in the sparrow family.

The Eurasian Tree Sparrow has a chestnut crown and nape, with a black patch on each white cheek. It also has a black patch on its chin, throat, and the area between its beak and throat. Its beak is grey in summer and darker, almost black, in winter. Its upperparts are light brown, streaked with black. Its brown wings have two distinct, narrow, white bars. Its legs are pale brown. 

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New Caledonia Flying Fox

The New Caledonia Flying Fox (Pteropus vetulus) is a bat, and a mammal, in the Pteropodidae family. Ptero means winged. It is not a fox.

The New Caledonian Flying Fox has long, silky brownish-red fur. It does not have a tail. Its head looks like the head of a small fox. It has long pointed ears, large eyes, and a small grey nose. It has long, black, clawed fingers, and large black wings. 

Its wings are flexible and look like a human’s hand, except that the digits (fingers) are longer and bats have a thin membrane of skin, called the patagium, between the fingers. These features enable the bat to move in the air and to change direction quickly. 

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