What is the difference between the Australian Magpie and the Eurasian Magpie?

What is the difference between the Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) and the Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)?

The Australian Magpie is a bird in the Artamidae family of butcherbirds, whereas the Eurasian or European Magpie is a bird in the Corvidae family of crows. The Australian Magpie is an artamid and the Eurasian Magpie is a corvid. They are both passerine songbirds.

Continue reading “What is the difference between the Australian Magpie and the Eurasian Magpie?”

Juvenile Eurasian Blackbird

The Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) is a bird in the Turdidae famiy of thrushes. It is also called the Common Blackbird. It is a thrush common in Europe, Asia, and north Africa.

The adult Eurasian Blackbird is black with grey legs, a yellow-orange beak, and yellow eye-rings. The female has dark-brown feathers. 

The female Eurasian Blackbird builds a mud-lined, cup-shaped nest from grass and leaves. She lays 3-5 bluish-green eggs with reddish-brown blotches, which she incubates for 12–14 days before the altricial (blind and naked) chicks are hatched.

Continue reading “Juvenile Eurasian Blackbird”

CREATURE FEATURE: Eurasian Otter

The Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) is a semi-aquatic mammal in the Mustelidae family of weasels and otters. It is also known as the European Otter, Common Otter, Old World Otter, and Eurasian River Otter.

The Eurasian Otter has a streamlined, elongated body, and a long, strong, flat tail. It has two layers of dense brown water-repellent fur, and a cream underbelly. It has a short neck, small dark eyes, a black nose, long white whiskers, and small rounded ears. It has five long toes and webbed feet to swim in water, but it needs air to breathe.

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Eurasian Otter”

Rough-Legged Buzzard

The Rough-Legged Buzzard (Buteo lagopus) is a medium-sized bird of prey, and a raptor. It is also known as the Rough-Legged Hawk. 

The Rough-Legged Buzzard has brown feathers that can be light-brown or dark-brown, with a lot of speckles or specking. It has more white feathers on its underbelly. It has long, white tail feathers. Its feet are feathered. Its claws are smaller than the claws of most birds of prey. It has dark eyes and a light beige beak.

Continue reading “Rough-Legged Buzzard”

Western Barn Owl

The Western Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is a medium-sized bird in the Tytonidae family of barn owls.

The Western Barn Owl has a wide, white facial disc with a light brown edge. Its underbelly is white and its wings are brown flecked with black. It has long, broad wings. It has big eyes, and a light-grey to beige beak. It does not have ear tufts that many other owls have. It has long legsand toes with sharp claws.

Continue reading “Western Barn Owl”

Saiga Antelope

The Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica) is a critically endangered ungulate (hoofed) mammal.

The Saiga Antelope has yellow-to reddish fur in summer and grey-brown fur in winter. It has longer hair in winter than in summer. It has a long mane of hair on its neck. It has a big, rounded nose with closely-spaced nostrils. It has long ears. Only the male has horns, which are thick with 12-20 rings. 

Continue reading “Saiga Antelope”

European Badger

The European Badger (Meles meles) is a mammal in the Mustelidae family. It is also known as the Eurasian Badger. 

The European Badger has a small tapered head, a stocky body, small black eyes, and a short tail. It has short plantigrade feet with five toes on each foot, which means that all parts of its feet make contact with the ground. It has long, sharp claws for digging. Its claws are not retractable. Their long snouts are also used for digging. 

It has black, grey, brown, and white fur. Before winter, its fur is mainly black, with a lighter belly. It has two black bands along its head, and there is a wide, white band from its nose to its crown. Its summer fur is much coarser, shorter and sparser, and is deeper in color, with the black tones becoming brownish.

Continue reading “European Badger”

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.

Continue reading “Eurasian Common Merganser”

What is the difference between a Eurasian Coot and a Red-Knobbed Coot?

What is the difference between a Eurasian Coot and a Red-Knobbed Coot?

The Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) has a wider distribution, because it is native to Europe, Asia, Australia, and northern Africa.

The Red-Knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata) is native to Africa and southern Spain.

The Eurasian Coot does not have red knobs on its head. The Red-Knobbed Coot has two small red knobs on its head.

Continue reading “What is the difference between a Eurasian Coot and a Red-Knobbed Coot?”

Eurasian Coot

The Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), also known as the Common Coot, is a bird in the Rail and Crake family. It is found in Europe, Asia, Australia, and northern Africa. The Australian subspecies is known as the Australian Coot.

The Eurasian Coot is a medium-sized roundish-bodied black bird with a white frontal shield on its head, above its creamy-grey beak. Its head is darker black. Its eyes are round and red. It has grey, partially-webbed feet, which enables it to swim and to walk on swampy land near water. Its tail is very short.

Continue reading “Eurasian Coot”

Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

The Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is not a bird. It is a moth from the Sphingidae family. It looks like a tiny hummingbird because it hovers around plants.

The Hummingbird Hawk-Moth has brown forewings, with black wavy lines across them, and the hindwings are orange with a black edge. The abdomen is quite broad, with a short fan-tail of setae (fine hairs) at the end. It has a long proboscis (sucking nose), which it inserts into flowers to suck up the nectar. Its antennae are very feathery. Like a hummingbird, it makes a slight humming sound.

Continue reading “Hummingbird Hawk-Moth”

Bactrian Eurasian Magpie

The Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) is a common bird across Eurasia (Europe and Asia). It is related to the crow. It is a corvid.

The Bactrian Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica bactriana) is a sub-species that ranges from east Siberia to the Caucasus, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia and Pakistan. The photographed birds are from Georgia in the Caucasus region.

The Bactrian Eurasian Magpie has a black and metallic iridescent green head, neck, and chest. Its belly and shoulder feathers are white. Its wings are black with green and purple. Its tail is long and black, and its legs and beak are black. Its eyes are dark-brown.

Continue reading “Bactrian Eurasian Magpie”

Eurasian Jay

The Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius atricapillus) is a common bird from western Europe to northwest Africa, India, and Asia. The atricapillus is from the Middle East, Crimea, Turkey, and Georgia.

The Eurasian Jay has a black crown, white face, black chin, and black beak. Its back feathers are brown-grey, and its underparts are brown-grey. Its wings are black and white with black and blue barring. Its tail is black with barring. Its feet are pink-grey.

Continue reading “Eurasian Jay”