Mulard Duck

The Mulard Duck is a large wetlands bird in the Anatidae family of dabbling ducks. It is a hybrid between the Muscovy Duck (Cairina mschata) and the domestic duck called the Pekin Duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus). It is also spelled Moulard Duck. It is also known as the Mule Duck.

The Mulard Duck is white with a pale pink beak. It has pink or red wattles (loose skin) around its eyes and beak. It has a wide, flat tail. It has long claws on its webbed feet. Its eyes are brown.

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What is the difference between the Eurasian Blue Tit and the Great Tit?

What is the difference between the Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and the Great Tit (Parus major)? 

The Eurasian Blue Tit and the Great Tit are both in the Paridae family of passerines. 

The Eurasian Blue Tit and the Great Tit both have large white cheeks, a yellowish-green back, and blue-grey wings with white wing-bars.

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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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House Sparrow

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus domesticus) is a small bird in the Passeridae family of sparrows.

The House Sparrow has black, white, and brown feathers, with grey underparts. The female has more grey feathers on her back than the male. The male has a dark-grey crown and a black patch on its throat. The female has no black markings or dark-grey crown. It has a short, thick greyish-black beak. Its tail is short. 

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Eurasian Collared Dove

The Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is a medium-sized bird. It is closely related to the Island Collared Dove, the African Collared Dove, and the Spotted Turtle-Dove.

The Eurasian Collared Dove has a long tail, and a slim pinkish-grey body that is darker above and paler below, with a blue-grey underwing patch. It has a black half-collar around its neck. Its tail is grey-buff above and dark grey underneath. It has short reddish legs, a black beak, and red eyes (but from a distance, its eyes look black). It has white or yellow bare skin around its eyes. 

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Caucasus Tawny Owl

The Caucasus Tawny Owl (Strix aluco willkonskii) is a medium-sized nocturnal bird. It is also called the Caucasus Brown Owl or the Willkonskii Tawny Owl.

The Caucasus Tawny Owl has a stocky build with brown or grey upperparts and pale underparts with dark streaks. It has a large, rounded head with a facial disc. It has large dark eyes. It does not have ear tufts. It has rounded wings. The female is larger than the male.

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Mallard Duck

The Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is a medium-sized dabbling duck. It is a water bird, living in wetlands.

The male Mallard – the drake – has a glossy green head, white collar, grey on its wings, and grey on its belly. The female has mainly brown speckled feathers. The male and female have iridescent blue feathers with white edges on their wings. The male has a yellow-orange beak, tipped with black, and the female has a darker beak.

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Western European Herring Gull

The Western European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus) is a large sea bird. It is a seagull.

The Western European Herring Gull has a grey back and grey upper wings, with a white head and white underparts. Its wingtips are black. Its beak is yellow with a red spot and there is a ring of bare yellow skin (eye-ring) around its pale eyes. Its legs are yellow.

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Asian Golden Eagle

The Asian Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos daphanea) is a large bird of prey, and one of the most common. It is a raptor and an accipiter. It is also called the Himalayan Golden Eagle or the Berkut.

The Asian Golden Eagle is dark-brown with red-golden-brown feathers on the back of its neck. It is blackish on its back. It has white on its tail and some white markings on its long, strong wings. It has a grey beak with a dark, sharply down-turned tip. Its beak has a yellow cere. It has grey legs, and grey feet with long claws.

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Spot-Billed Pelican

The Spot-Billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis) is a large freshwater waterbird. It is also called the Grey Pelican.

The Spot-Billed Pelican is mainly white, with a grey crest and grey back of neck. It has a brownish tail. The feathers on the back of its neck are curly. Its pouch is pinkish-purple with large pale spots. It is also spotted on the sides of its upper mandible (jaw). It has a yellow-orange tip on its beak. It looks similar to the Dalmatian Pelican.

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African Red-Rumped Swallow

The Red-Rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) is a small bird from Europe, Asia, and Africa. The African Red-Rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica emini) is from Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and Zambia. Unlike the European swallows, which are migratory, the African Red-Rumped Swallows are resident (they do not fly to another location in winter).

The Red-Rumped Swallow is a blue-black with a rufous (red-brown) rump with rufous patches on the sides of its head. It has rufous underparts with a pale throat. Its tail is plain and forked. It has dark eyes, a small grey beak, and pink-grey legs.

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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?”

CREATURE FEATURE: Lilac-Breasted Roller

The Lilac-Breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus caudatus) is an east African bird found from the Red Sea to southern Africa, and most abundant in the grasslands of Kenya.

Lilac-Breasted Rollers have bright plumage (feathers), with a lilac throat that deepens into a darker lilac breast. The crown to mantle is olive, and the cheeks and ear coverts are a lilac-rufous (reddish-brown). They have long black and blue tail feathers.

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Crimson Rosella

The Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) is a medium-sized parrot, of about 36 centimetres (14 inches) long, native to the coast and mountains of eastern and south-eastern Australia.

The Crimson Rosella begins with green feathers and developes red and blue colours as it matures.  It is red with blue cheeks and black-scalloped blue-margined wings, with a blue tail.

The Crimson Rosella does not migrate. They are residential and gather in flocks of up to 20 individuals. They eat fruit, seeds, nectar, berries, and nuts of a wide variety of plants. Rosellas will also eat many insects and their larvae, including termites, aphids, beetles, weevils, caterpillars, and moths.

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