Ruff

The Ruff (Calidris pugnax) is a medium-sized wading wetlands bird. It is a Sandpiper in the Scolopacidae family of shorebirds. 

The Ruff is a long-necked bird with a small head and a rounded belly. It is grey-brown with white and grey mottled underparts. It has colourful black, chestnut or white head tufts. It has a medium-sized black beak. It has long yellow or orange legs. 

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Ruddy Turnstone

The Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) is a small wading bird – a wader – that lives in wetlands. It is in the Scolopacidae family of Sandpipers.

The Ruddy Turnstone varies in colours of brown with a pattern of black and white. Its head is mainly white with black streaks on its crown, with a black pattern on its face. It has a slightly upturned wedge-shaped dark beak. Its chest is mainly black with white patches on the side, and white underparts. Its rump and tail have dark bands. Its legs are bright orange. The female is duller in colour than the male, with a browner head that has more streaks.

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What are the similarities between the Bush Stone-Curlew and the Eurasian Stone-Curlew?

What are the similarities between the Bush Stone-Curlew (Burhinus grallarius) and the Eurasian Stone-Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)?

The Bush Stone-Curlew and the Eurasian Stone-Curlew are also called the Thick-Knee. They are both related to the Bustard.

The Bush Stone-Curlew and the Eurasian Stone-Curlew are both ground-dwelling, nocturnal birds.

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Eurasian Stone-Curlew

The Eurasian Stone-Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) is a medium-sized bird, which is also known as the Eurasian Thick-Knee. It is related to the Bustard.

The Eurasian Stone-Curlew has black, grey, white, and brown feathers, with a light-grey chest and white underbelly. It has black streaks on its crown and down the back of its long neck.  It has a grey beak, large yellow or pale-grey eyes with a white eye-ring, and light-grey legs.

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Scarlet Ibis

The Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) is a large wetlands bird. It is a wader and a shore or coastal bird. It is the only red coastal bird in the world.

The Scarlet Ibis is scarlet red. Its wingtips often have black or dark blue markings. It has a long downward-curved red beak, which is darker towards the tip. Its feet are red. Its neck and legs are long, and they are out-stretched when they fly.

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Black Crowned Crane

The Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina ceciliae) is a rare bird native to the wetlands of eastern and western Africa. It is a subspecies of the Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum).

The Black Crowned Crane has a black neck, and a white and pink naked (featherless) head. Its wings are mainly white. Its head has a crown of stiff golden feathers. Its cheeks are pinkish-white, and it has a pink throat pouch. Its beak is short and grey, and its legs are black.

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What’s the difference between an African Spoonbill and a Royal Spoonbill?

The African Spoonbill (Platalea alba) and the Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) are both white wetland wading birds with a spoon-shaped beak (bill).

The African Spoonbill has a pink-grey narrow beak, and the end of the beak is narrow which acts like a pair of forceps to grab its prey.

The Royal Spoonbill has a black beak, and the end of the beak is broad which acts like a pair of tongs to grap its prey.

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Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Great Egret: what’s the difference?

What’s the difference between the Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, and Great Egret?

The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), the Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia or Mesophoyx intermedia), and the Great Egret (Ardea alba melanorhynchos or Casmerodius albus melanorhynchos) have all white plumage (feathers).

The Little Egret has a black beak. The Intermediate Egret has a shorter, thicker yellow beak that may turn red or black in the breeding season.  The Great Egret has a long, thin, yellow beak that may become darker in the breeding season.

The Little Egret does not have a black line underneath its eye. The breeding adult Intermediate Egret has a black line underneath its eye, but it does not extend past the eye. The Great Egret has a fine black line from its beak to beyond its eye (like eye-liner underneath the eye).

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African Great Egret

The Great Egret (Ardea alba) is also known as the Common Egret, Large Egret, Great White Egret or Great White Heron. It is a large, common egret found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe. It is a member of the heron family. It is closely related to pelicans.

The African Great Egret (Ardea alba melanorhynchos or Casmerodius albus melanorhynchos) is found in the wetlands of tropical Africa.

The African Great Egret has all white feathers, and a long, thin, yellow beak, which may become darker in the breeding season. It has a fine black line from its beak to beyond its eye (like eye-liner underneath the eye). It has black legs and feet.

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Intermediate Egret

The Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia or Mesophoyx intermedia) is also known as the Median Egret, or Yellow-Billed Egret. It is a medium-sized egret found in the wetlands of Asia, Africa, and Australia. It is a member of the heron family.

The Intermediate Egret has all white feathers, and a yellow beak (which may turn red or black in the breeding season). It has black legs and feet.

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African Little Egret

The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) is a small, common egret found in Asia, Africa, Europe, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. It is a member of the heron family.

The African Little Egret (Egretta garzetta garzetta) is found in the wetlands of tropical eastern and southern Africa.

The African Little Egret has all white feathers, and a long, thin, black beak. It has black legs and yellow-soled feet. In the breeding season, it has two long plumes (feathers) on the nape (neck) that form a crest. These plumes are about 15 centimetres (6 inches) long, and are pointed and very narrow.

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Three-Banded Plover

The Three-Banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris) is also called the Three-Banded Sandplover. It is a small wetland wading bird from southern Africa.

The Three-Banded Plover has brown upperparts and white underparts, with two black chest bands separated by a white band, which make the three bands. Its head has a black crown, a white ‘headband’ (called a supercilia), and a grey face. Its eye-ring is red. Its beak is red with a black tip.

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Goliath Heron

The Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath) is also known as the Giant Hero because it is the world’s largest heron. It is a very large wading bird found in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a few colonies in Asia.

The Goliath Heron is medium-grey with chestnut coloured feathers. Its head and crest, face, and the back and side of the neck are chestnut brown. Its chin, throat, and chest are white with black streaks across the neck and upper chest. Its beak, legs, and feet are black and its eyes are yellow.

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