There are 50 billion wild birds on Earth – but four species dominate – says a New Scientist article on 17 May 2021.
Earth has around 50 billion wild bird species according to a new global estimate, but most species are very rare and only a handful number in the billions.
Just four wild species have over a billion individuals, and they are the most common wild bird species in the world. This is in contrast to 1,180 species that have less than 5,000 individual birds each.
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Why does a bird lose its neck feathers?
There could be several reasons for the loss of neck feathers.
A bird can lose its neck feathers through natural moulting. Most birds lose some feathers over a period of two months in which new feathers emerge. The bird might also pull out its own feathers during the moulting period.
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What is a group of starlings called?
A group of starlings is called a murmuration of starlings.
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The Indian Myna (Acridotheres tristis) is a medium-sized bird. It is also known as the Common Myna. It is in the Sturnidae family of starlings and mynas.
The Indian Mynah has a brown body, a black hooded head, and a bare yellow patch behind its eyes. Its beak and legs are bright yellow. There is a white patch on the outer primary feathers. The wing lining on the underside is white.
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The Common Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa) is a medium-sized bird. It is related to the starling.
The Common Hill Myna is glossy black with a bright orange-yellow patch of bare skin and fleshy wattles (loose skin) on the side of its head and the back of its neck. Its beak is orange-yellow, and its legs are pale to bright yellow. It has round dark eyes.
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The Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) is a medium-sized critically endangered bird. It is also known as the Bali Mynah or the Rothschild’s Mynah.
The Bali Starling is mostly white with black tips on its wings and tail. It has featherless blue skin around its eyes. It has a long, drooping crest. It has grey legs and a grey beak with a yellow tip. Males and females look similar.
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The Violet-Backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) is a small bird. It is also called the Plum-Coloured Starling or the Amethyst Starling.
The male and female Violet-Backed Starling have very different appearances. The male has an iridescent violet-coloured back with a white underbelly. The female is brown with flecks on her white underbelly. The male has a dark-violet-black face. Both have a dark-grey beak and dark-grey legs. Both have yellow eyes with dark pupils.
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The Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is a widespread medium-sized bird.
The Common Starling has glossy black feathers with an iridescent sheen of purple or green. It is speckled with white spots. Males have long throat feathers. Its legs are pink and its beak is black in winter and pale yellow in summer.
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The Wattled Starling (Creatophora cinerea) is a small African bird. It is also called the Locust Bird.
The Wattled Starling is grey-brown with black wings and a black tail. It has a white rump and short wings. It has a pale pink-white beak, pale pink-grey legs, and dark eyes.
When males are ready to breed, the skin on their heads becomes yellow with twisted black wattles (hanging or drooping skin).
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The Red-Winged Starling (Onychognathus morio) is a medium-sized African bird in the Sturnidae family.
The Red-Winged Starling has iridescent black feathers with rufous (red-brown) flight feathers. The female has an ash-grey head and upper chest. It has dark eyes, a thick black beak, and black legs.
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The Ruppell’s Long-Tailed Starling (Lamprotornis purpuropterus) is a common east African bird.
The Long-Tailed Starling has a long purple or bronze tail. Its body is dark blue-black and glossy, with iridescent purple feathers. It has white eyes.
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The Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus) is a northeastern African bird. It belongs to the Passeriforme Order, and the Sturnidae family.
The Superb Starling has a black head, iridescent bluish-green feathers on its back, chest, wings and tail, with an orange-coloured stomach. There is a white bar between the stomach and the chest. Its eyes are white. The juvenile has no white stripe between its stomach and chest, and its eyes are black, not white.
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