Marmalade Fly

The Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) is a small insect in the Syrphidae family of hoverflies. It is also known as the Marmalade Hoverfly. 

The Marmalade Fly is patterned with orange and black bands on the top of its abdomen. The female has dark-orange, light-orange, and black bands. It looks like a wasp, but it is smaller and it does not have a tiny waist. The male has holoptic eyes, which means that the left and right compound eyes touch at the top of its head. The adult has wings. 

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Common Swift

The Common Swift (Apus apus) is a bird in the Apodiformes order. It looks similar to the Barn Swallow and the House Martin, but it is related to the Hummingbird and Treeswift. 

The Common Swift is black-brown, except for a small patch of white or pale-grey on its chin. It has long swept-back, narrow wings that resemble the silhouette of an anchor or a boomerang.  It has a short-forked tail. It has short legs.

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World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day is held annually on the second Saturday in May and the second Saturday in October. In 2020, it will be held on 9-10 May. The 2020 theme for World Migratory Bird Day is ‘Birds Connect Our World.’

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) aims to raise awareness of the need to conserve migratory birds and their habitats. 

The 2020 theme of ‘Birds Connect Our World’ focuses on the three flyways (three main migratory routes in the world). WMBD aims to increase awareness about general and specific threats that birds are facing when they migrate.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Barred Catfish

The Barred Catfish (Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum) is a large freshwater fish in the Pimelodidae family of long-whiskered catfish. It is also called the Barred Sorubim. It is related to the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish. 

The Barred Catfish is dark-grey with black loop-like stripes and spots. Its head is depressed with a wide mouth and long whiskers, called barbels. Its eyes and teeth are small. 

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Pallas’s Gull

The Pallas’s Gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus) is a sea bird in the seagull family. It is also known as the Great Black-Headed Gull.

The Pallas’s Gull is white with a black head. It has grey wings and a grey back, with white ‘mirrors’ at the wing tips. Its legs are yellow, with webbed feet. Its beak is orange-yellow with a red tip. Its eyes are small and dark.

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Swan Goose

The Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides) is a large bird with a long neck. 

The Swan Goose has greyish-brown upperparts, a maroon cap, and maroon at the back of its neck. Its underwing is black. It has a thin, white stripe surrounding the base of its beak. Its belly and sides are pale with darker streaks. Its beak is black, and its legs and feet are orange. It has maroon-brown eyes. The male and the female look similar, but the male has a longer beak and neck.

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Eurasian Wigeon

The Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope or Anas penelope) is a bird in the Mareca genus of dabbling ducks. It is also spelled Widgeon. 

The male Eurasian Wigeon has grey feathers on its back and sides during the breeding season, with a black tail, a dark-green speculum, and a white patch on its upper wings. It has a pink chest, white belly, and a chestnut-coloured head with a cream-coloured crown. In the non-breeding season, the male and the female look similar. 

The female Eurasian Wigeon is light brown with a paler head and white feathers on its underwing. Sometimes, the female has a rufous (red-brown) body with a redder head or a grey body with a grey head.

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Finnish Forest Reindeer

The Finnish Forest Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) is a large ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the deer family. It is a sub-species of the Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). It is also known as the European Forest Reindeer. It is an artiodactyl because it has cloven (split) hooves.

The Finnish Forest Reindeer has dark-brown to light-brown fur. Its coat has two layers of fur – a thick woolly undercoat and a longer-haired overcoat. It has long legs with wide, crescent-shaped, cloven hooves for walking across deep snow. It has white hair around its short tail. 

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European Bison

The European Bison (Bison bonasus) is an artiodactyl ungulate (split, cloven hoofed) mammal in the bovine (cattle) family. It is a bisonid. It is also known as the Wisent and the European Wood Bison. 

The European Bison has a stocky body with a massive head. It is broad and muscular. It has a shaggy dark-brown coat of fur. Both the male and female have horns that point forward, with a blunted, rounded tip. 

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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.

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Fieldfare

The Fieldfare (Turdis pilaris) is a small bird in the Turdidae family of thrushes. It is related to the Song Thrush and the Mistle Thrush. 

The Fieldfare is mainly brown, with a brown back, dark-brown wings, dark-brown tail, and white underwings. Its wings are long and pointed. It has a bluish-grey crown, grey rump, and grey neck. Its chest and sides are spotted with dark-brown markings. It has a rounded head with dark-brown eyes. Its beak is short and yellowish. Its legs and feet are brown.

The male and female are similar in appearance, but the female has more brown feathers than the male. 

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African Black Swift

The African Black Swift (Apus barbatus) is a small passerine bird in the Apodidae family of swifts. It is highly aerial, spending most of its life in the air. It is not related to swallows; it is in the same Order as hummingbirds.

The African Black Swift is black-brown except for a small, white or pale-grey patch on its chin. It has a short, forked tail. It has long, swept-back wings, which can rotate at the base (like hummingbird wings). It has short legs.

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Migratory Locust

The Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria) is an insect in the Acrididae family of short-horned grasshoppers.

The Migratory Locust varies in colour from black to brownish to yellowish and green, depending on the colour of the vegetation. Generally, it has a blackish-brown back and light-brown belly and face. It has short antennae. It has long wings and long legs.

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Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch Butterfly (Danus plexippus) is an insect in the Nymphalidae family of milkweed butterfies. It is also known as the Milkweed Butterfly, Common Tiger Butterfly, Wanderer Butterfly, and the Black-Veined Brown Butterfly. 

The Monarch Butterfly has black, orange, and white wings. The undersides of its wings are orange-brown. It has black veins and small white spots in the margins at the edge of its wings. The male has a black spot on each hind (back) wing. Its body and its six legs are black. 

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