Showing posts with label Birds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Birds. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kakapo


The kakapo is a type of parrot that lives in New Zealand.

It is not like a normal parrot, because it can not fly!
The kakapo lives on the ground and hunts for food at night.

Because it does not fly, the kakapo is a heavy slow bird and has been hunted by people and other animals a lot.
The kakapo has a very good sense of smell, and also has a special smell on it's body that other kakapos can smell from far away.

kakapo
(from: wikipedia - kakapo)

Other animals sometimes can smell the kakapo smell and then they come and eat the kakapo. There are not that many kakapos left, so they are an endangered species and the people of New Zealand are trying to protect them.

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Hedgehog

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Osprey


The osprey is a large bird that lives near the water, and is such a great fishing bird it has nicknames like sea hawk, fish eagle, river hawk and fish hawk.

To catch fish, the osprey flies over the water, sometimes up to 130 feet above the water. When it sees a fish in the water, it dives down feet first and grabs the fish in the water with it's claws (sometimes called talons).
The osprey is very good at holding on to the slippery fish because it has two talons pointing forward and two pointing backward, so it can really grab the fish.
It also has sharp scales (called spicules) on the bottom of its feet, that are like spikes that keep the fish from getting away.

osprey
(from: wikipedia - osprey)

The osprey's eggs are whitish with red-brown splotches on them. The bird call is a high pitched whistle, that people call cheep cheep or yewk yewk.

(from: wikipedia - osprey)

The osprey can grow to be two feet long, and almost six feet wide.
They are found in almost every part of the world, from the United States to Australia.
osprey in flight
(from: wikipedia - osprey)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Dragonflies and Damselflies

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Loon


Loons are black and white birds that spend most of their life on water.
The name loon comes from old words that meant awkward or clumsy, because they do not walk very well on land.

Loons catch their food by swimming along and then diving head first into the water to catch fish, frogs, crayfish, snails and other small things in the water.
They are very good divers and they can hold their breath for up to 90 seconds while looking for food.

Loons don't have teeth, so sometimes they will swallow small rocks that will stay in their stomach, so if they swallow something with a hard shell like a crayfish the rocks will help slowly break the crayfish's outer shells and they can digest them.
loon
(from: wikipedia - loon)

The loon is such a famous bird that in Canada it is on their one dollar coin.

canadian dollar loonie
(from: wikipedia - coins of the canadian dollar)

They nicknamed their coin the Loonie.

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Horse Withers

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Grey crowned crane


The grey crowned crane is a very nice looking bird with big feathers around it's neck, a colorful face, and yellow feathers sticking up from its head like a crown.

The grey crowned crane is special because it is one of the few types of crane that can live in trees. It has one toe pointed backward that it can use to help hold on to branches.

To hunt for food, these cranes stomp their feet on the ground, then bugs come running out of the grass and they eat them up!
grey crowned crane
(from: wikipedia - grey crowned crane)

The grey crowned crane is the national bird of the country of Uganda.

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Wasps and Bees

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stork


Storks are large birds with long legs and big wings and a long beak.

Unlike most other birds, they can not make a bird call because they don't have a syrinx, which are like our vochal chords.
The only noise they can make is when they clap their beak together.

Storks have very large nests, some over 6 feet wide!
stork
(from: wikipedia - stork)

The Marabou Stork is tied with the Andean Condor for the longest wingspan, at over 10 feet

That's taller than any person!

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Flying Squirrel

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Robin


The American robin is a small bird with a bright red chest that lives in North America.

The robin's song is a happy sounding whistle that sounds like they are saying "cheerily, cheer up, cheerio".
Robins like to get up very early to hunt for food, so you might hear them early in the morning. You're trying to sleep, but they're looking for worms to eat!

The robin is so well liked that it is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Like many other birds, the robin flies south for the winter to stay warm, and comes back to the north when it is spring. Some people look at robins as one of the first signs of spring.

Robin eggs are a light blue color, so if you see light blue eggs in a nest or shells on the ground, you know they belonged to a robin!
robin
(from: wikipedia - american robin)

robin's nest
(from: wikipedia - american robin)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Earthworms

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Grouse


The Grouse is a bird from the same family as a chicken, but it doesn't look like a chicken!

It has a big white collar, and a fancy black tail.

Grouse live in very cold areas of the world, and because of this their feet actually grow feathers to stay warm.
grouse
(from: wikipedia - grouse)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Red Panda

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Peregrine Falcon


The peregrine falcon is a medium sized bird that is a hunter.
Birds that hunt are called birds of prey.

When the pregrine falcon is going to attack, it flies up very high, then dives down through the sky to attack it's prey from above.

When the falcon is diving, it can get as fast as 200 miles per hour.
That's faster than any animal in the whole world!
peregrine falcon
(from: wikipedia - peregrine falcon)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Turtle Scutes

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Emu


The emu is the second largest bird in the world, right after the ostrich.

Emus don't chirp like a small bird, they make booming, drumming, grunting and hissing sounds that can be heard from a mile away!

emu
(from: wikipedia - emu)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Wolverine

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Blue Jay


Blue Jays are big bossy loud birds that often chase other birds away from bird feeders.

But they do help other birds!
Blue Jays are great at screaming out warning sounds when hawks are around, and other birds know to go hide or the hawk may come eat them!
They also will work together with other blue jays to try and fight back against hawks that come to attack.
And some blue jays are even able to make the same sounds as a hawk to confuse them!
blue jay
(from: wikipedia - blue jay)


Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Rhino teeth and horns

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Flamingo


Flamingos are pretty pink birds who like to stand on one leg.

Why do they stand on one leg?

Scientists think it's because their feet get cold!
Flamingos spend a lot of time standing in the water eating shrimp,
and if they just stand on one foot then the other foot can warm up.

flamingo
(from: wikipedia - flamingo)

But why are grownup flamingos pink, when babies are white?
Scientists discovered that it's because flamingos eat lots of shrimp.
The shrimp have something called beta carotine in their bodies,
and that is what turns the flamingos pink.

baby flamingo
(from: wikipedia - flamingo)



Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Deer

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Albatross


The albatross is a bird with the largest wing span of any bird in the world, reaching up to 12 feet!
That's taller than any person!

They are sometimes called Gooney Birds.

albatross
(from: wikipedia - albatross)



Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bald Eagle - nest & plumage

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Duck


There are many colors and types of ducks in the world,
some of them are so beautifully painted that people carve and paint
wooden ducks to look just like them!

Ducks are mostly aquatic animals, which means they live around water.

duck
(from: wikipedia - duck)

Some types of ducks have what looks like a comb inside their beak.
This is called pecten. Ducks will get a big mouthful of water and food, and then squish the water out of their mouth. The pecten keeps the food from squishing out with the water.
pecten
(from: wikipedia - duck)



Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Giraffe Horns

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ostrich


The Ostrich is the largest bird in the world.

It can't fly, but it can run faster than any other bird,
and about twice as fast as a human, at 43 miles per hour!

ostrich
(from: wikipedia - ostrich)

The ostrich egg is the largest egg of any living bird,
about 10 times bigger than a chicken's egg.
ostrich egg
(from: wikipedia - egg (food))

Sometimes if an ostrich is frightened, it will put it's head low to the ground,
so that from far away it just looks like a large pile bush instead of a big bird!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kiwi


The kiwi bird is a small bird that lives in a country called New Zealand.
It can't fly, just like the ostrich or penguin.

A kiwi bird is about the size of a chicken, but the kiwi egg
is about six times the size of a chicken's egg!

kiwi
(from: wikipedia - kiwi)


One different thing about the kiwi is that it has nostrils at the very end of its beak.
It can use it's beak to smell the dirt and find small bugs or seeds to eat below the dirt.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rooster Comb


The bright red skin you see on top of a rooster's head is called a comb.

rooster
(from: wikipedia - chicken)


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vultures


Vultures can look pretty gross and scary sometimes, mostly because of their head with no feathers on it.

They don't have feathers because vultures eat carrion which means dead animals.
Since the meat they're eating may be old and kind of nasty,
they don't have feathers on their head so they don't get all messy and covered in old meat.
turkey vulture
(from: wikipedia - turkey vulture)

Even though vultures look scary, they only eat animals that are already dead,
so you don't have to worry about them attacking you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wild turkey snood


The fleshy skin that flops over the top of a turkey's beak is called the snood.
snood
(From: Wikipedia - snood)

A male turkey is called a tom or gobbler, and a female turkey is called a hen.
turkey
(From: Wikipedia - wild turkey

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bald Eagle - nest & plumage


The bald eagle's next is over 8 feet wide.
That's longer than any grownup person is tall!

bald eagle
(From: Wikipedia - bald eagle)

The "bald" part of the name, comes from an old word that actually means "white".

The size and color of the feathers of a bird is called "plumage".