Birds

Modern birds are characterised by feathers, a beak with no teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight but strong skeleton. All living species of birds have wings—the now extinct flightless moa of New Zealand were the only exception. Wings are evolved forelimbs, and most bird species can fly. Flightless birds include ratites, penguins, and a number of diverse endemic island species. Birds also have unique digestive and respiratory systems that are highly adapted for flight. Some birds, especially corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animal species; a number of bird species have been observed manufacturing and using tools, and many social species exhibit cultural transmission of knowledge across generations.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Geographical Range:Most of North America
 Habitat:All American wetland areas
 Conservation Status:Least Concern
The plumage of an adult Bald Eagle is evenly dark brown with a white head and tail. The tail is moderately long and slightly wedge-shaped. Males and females are identical in plumage coloration. The beak, feet and irides are bright yellow. The legs are feather-free, and the toes are short and powerful with large talons. The highly developed talon of the hind toe is used to pierce the vital areas of prey while it is held immobile by the front toes. The adult Bald Eagle is unmistakable in its native range.
Budgerigar

Budgerigar

Melopsittacus undulatus
Geographical Range:Australia
 Habitat:Dryer grasslands
 Conservation Status:Least Concern

Often referred to as a parakeet or budgie in the pet-trade.  Budgerigars are naturally green and yellow with black, scalloped markings on the nape, back, and wings, but have been bred in captivity with coloring in blues, whites, yellows, grays, and even with small crests.

Chilean Flamingo

Chilean Flamingo

Phoenicopterus chilensis
Geographical Range:Temperate South America
 Habitat:Wetlands that may be very saline, alkaline or even fresh water
 Conservation Status:Near Threatened
The plumage on the Chilean Flamingo is pinker than the slightly larger Greater Flamingo, but less so than Caribbean Flamingo. It can be differentiated from these species by its grayish legs with pink joints and also by the larger amount of black on the bill (more than half). Young chicks may have no sign of pink coloring whatsoever, but instead remain grey.
Cockatiel

Cockatiel

Nymphicus hollandicus
Geographical Range:Australia
 Habitat:Favor the Australian wetlands, scrub lands, and bush lands
 Conservation Status:Least Concern
The Cockatiel, also known as the Quarrion and the Weiro, is a member of the cockatoo family common to Australia. They are prized as a household pet and companion parrot throughout the world. It was previously considered a crested parrot or small cockatoo; however, more recent molecular studies have assigned it to its own unique Cockatoo subfamily Nymphicinae. It is, therefore, now classified as the smallest of the Cockatoo family.
Common Ostrich

Common Ostrich

Struthio camelus
Geographical Range:Africa North and South of the Sahara
 Habitat:open land areas of savannas and semi-desert
 Conservation Status:Least Concern

Male is black and white, female is brown and off-white. Only bird with just two toes and is the largest non-flight bird.  Can run at up to about 43 mph, the fastest land speed of any bird.   The ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest eggs of any living bird.

East African Crowned Crane

East African Crowned Crane

Balearica regulorum gibbericeps
Geographical Range:Uganda and Kenya, and South Africa
 Habitat:dry savanna, nests in somewhat wetter habitats
 Conservation Status:Endangered

Also known as the Grey Crowed Crane.  The body plumage is mainly grey. Wings are predominantly white. Head has a crown of stiff golden feathers.  This crane does not migrate.

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Alopochen aegyptiaca
Geographical Range:Central and Southern Africa
 Habitat:Most of Africa except in deserts and dense forests
 Conservation Status:Least Concern

The sexes are identical in plumage. Backs are reddish orange to brown; undersides of wings are white and iridescent green. Distinguishing chestnut brown mask around eyes.  This goose was considered sacred by most of ancient Egypt.  There are large feral populations of this goose throughout much of the world due to it’s popularity as an ornamental bird.

Emu

Emu

Dromaius novaehollandiae
Geographical Range:Australia
 Habitat:Most habitats
 Conservation Status:Least Concern
These soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds reach up to almost seven feet in height. They have long thin necks and legs. Emus can travel great distances at a fast, economical trot and, if necessary, can sprint 31 mph. They are opportunistically nomadic and may travel long distances to find food. Emus will sit in water and are also able to swim. They are curious birds who are known to follow and watch other animals and humans. Emus do not sleep continuously at night but in several short stints sitting down.
Greater Rhea

Greater Rhea

Rhea americana
Geographical Range:Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay
 Habitat:grassland, savanna, scrub forest, and desert
 Conservation Status:Near Threatened

Plumage is drab grey-brown in both sexes. No tail feathers. Legs and bill are light brown. Has 3 toes and wings are large but flightless. Base of male’s neck is black.  Males do all the incubation and rearing of chicks.  Multiple females will mate and lay their eggs in the males nest.  Females will then move on and breed with other males and deposit their egg in that males nest.

Laughing Kookaburra

Laughing Kookaburra

Dacelo novaeguineae
Geographical Range:Australia
 Habitat:woodland territories
 Conservation Status:Least Concern

Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers. They average a total length of 11–17 inches. Kookaburras are best known for their unmistakable call, which sounds uncannily like loud, echoing human laughter – good-natured, but rather hysterical, merriment in the case of the renowned Laughing Kookaburra. They are generally not closely associated with water, and can be found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, but also in suburban and residential areas with tall trees.

Red-billed Horned bill

Red-billed Horned bill

Tockus erythrorhynchus
Geographical Range:Sub-Saharan Africa
 Habitat:Savanna and Woodland
 Conservation Status:Least Concern

Red-billed Horn bills have mainly whitish under body and head, grey upper body, long tail, and a long and curved red bill.  Females lay 3 to 6 whitish eggs in a hollowed out tree.  The male then cover the hole with mud and fruit pulp with just enough room to get their beaks through to transfer food.  They eat insects, fruit, and seeds.

White-Naped Crane

White-Naped Crane

Grus vipio
Geographical Range:Northeastern Mongolia, Northeastern China, and parts of Russia
 Habitat:Wetlands and River basins
 Conservation Status:Vulnerable
Pinkish legs and a dark gray and white striped neck, white hind neck and nape surrounded by an extensively reddish face. Adult plumage is dark gray and wings and wing coverts are silver gray.