Do birds hibernate?

Do birds hibernate?

Hibernation is a state when animals sleep during winter, especially where the winters are extremely cold and/or snowy. Not all animals hibernate. Animals such as bears, squirrels, bats, and hedgehogs hibernate. Some lizards and snakes hibernate.

When these animals hibernate, they will eat a lot of food and gain body weight beforehand to enable them to sleep throughout the winter. For example, squirrels can gain 50% of their body weight before hibernating. 

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Burmese Python

The Burmese Python (Python bivittatus) is a non-venomous constrictor snake and a reptile.

The Burmese Python is a dark-coloured snake with many brown markings on its back. It has a clearly defined large head with dark eyes. It can also be albino (no pigmentation) or leucistic (partial pigmentation), and can look caramel, whitish, or yellowish. Albino pythons have pink eyes, but leucistic pythons have brown eyes.

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Fish Migration: Anadromous and Catadromous

Fish Migration: Anadromous and Catadromous

There are two main categories of fish migration for breeding.

Anadromous fish migration is the travel from saltwater oceans to breed in freshwater rivers. Salmon, bass, and lamprey undertake this type of migration.

Catadromous fish migration is the travel from freshwater rivers to breed in saltwater oceans. Eels undertake this type of migration.


Immigrant, Emigrant, and Migrant

What’s the difference between immigrant, emigrant, and migrant?

An immigrant animal is an animal that moves to, or travels to, another country to stay permanently. It becomes established in an area where it was previously unknown. The immigrant country is the country of the animal’s destination.

An emigrant animal is an animal that has left a country that was previously their habitat, usually permanently. The emigrant country is the country that the animal was from.

A migrant animal is an animal that moves from one country, region, or area to another (for breeding, food, safety, etc.) temporarily or permanently. The migrant is the actual animal. It is the mover.

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Black Kite and Yellow-Billed Black Kite: what’s the difference?

The Black Kite (Milvus migrans) is a common medium-sized African raptor – a bird of prey. It is commonly found in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Black Kite has brown feathers, dark brown eyes, and a slightly forked tail. It has yellow feet with black talons (claws).

The subspecies Milvus migrans parasitus has a yellow bill, and is often called the Yellow-Billed Black Kite. It is a resident raptor, living in the region all year round.

The subspecies Milvus migrans migrans has a black beak with a yellow cere (ridge between the beak and the feathers). It is a migratory Black Kite that visits the region between October and March. Continue reading “Black Kite and Yellow-Billed Black Kite: what’s the difference?”

Common Zebra

The Common Zebra (Equus quagga, formerly Equus burchellii) is also known as the Plains Zebra or Burchell’s Zebra. It is common in the treeless plains of East Africa to almost southern Africa. It is an ungulate (a hoofed mammal).

The Common Zebra is like a horse or pony with short legs, and is black and white striped. The stripes continue all the way to its hooves. No two zebras are alike, as they all have slightly different markings. Its nose is grey to black.

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What’s the difference between Swans: Bewick’s Tundra Swan and the Mute Swan?

The Bewick’s Tundra Swan is smaller than the Mute Swan.

The Bewick’s Tundra Swan has a more rounded head shape than the Mute Swan.

The Bewick’t Tundra Swan has a yellow eye-ring and the yellow of its beak extends to the forehead.

The Mute Swan has black towards it eyes and the black of its beak extends to the forehead.

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Bewick’s Tundra Swan


The Bewick’s Tundra Swan (Cygnus bewickii) is a bird in the Anatidae family of swans. It is a smaller Eurasian waterfowl than the Mute Swan. 

It is white with a yellow and black beak, a yellow eye-ring, and a rounded head. It has dark-grey legs.

The Bewick’s Tundra Swan can grow to 115-140 centimetres (45-55 inches) tall.

It lives in Europe and into southern Russia and China. It is a migratory bird, flying to warmer climates in winter in a V-formation flock.

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White-Bellied Go-Away-Bird

The White-Bellied Go-Away Bird (Corythaixoides leucogaster) is from east Africa. It is in the turaco bird family and may be related to cuckoos.

It was given the name, Go-Away Bird, because it sounds like it is calling “go-away.”

It has a grey head, a long black crest which can be raised or lowered, grey neck and back. Its stomach is grey on top and white below with a clear line of demarcation. It has rows of black bars on its wings.

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Pelage and Pelt

 What is pelage and pelt?

Pelage is the collective term for hair, fur, wool or other soft covering of a mammal. It is the complete coat.

Pelt is the skin of an animal, with the hair or wool or fur still attached, which has been processed into leather.

Barn Swallow

The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the most common and abundant swallow in the world. It is a small migratory songbird (a passerine). It often heralds the spring weather.

The Barn Swallow, or Eurasian Swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica) is found in the Northern Hemisphere, in Europe and Asia. It is dark iridescent blue with a rufous (reddish-brown) forehead, chin and throat, white underbelly, and black wings and tail. It has a deeply forked tail with large white spots.

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East African Nile Crocodile

The East African Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus afrocanus) is the largest freshwater predator in Africa, and the second largest reptile in the world, second to the Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). It is a crocodilian.

The East African Nile Crocodile is dark brown with faded blackish spots and stripes across its back, with a dirty-yellow belly. The colour darkens with age. It has four short legs, a long powerful tail, and a long snout with sharp teeth. They have thick scaly skin.

It has green eyes. Its nostrils, eyes and ears are on the top of the head, so that they can be seen out of the water when the rest of the body is underwater.

The East African Nile Crocodile has 64-68 sharp, pointy, cone-shaped teeth. It it loses a tooth, it can be replaced. On each side of the mouth, there are five teeth in the front of the upper jaw (premaxilla), 13 or 14 in the rest of the upper jaw (maxilla), and 14 or 15 on either side of the lower jaw (mandible).

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