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The Wonderful World of Birds

I would imagine that a lot of people are like myself. I describe myself as an amateur bird-watcher. I love to watch birds from the comfort of my chair or, if out and about, on a nice country walk then if a bird happens to pass I will try and work out what it was and make a mental note of it.

We have all sorts of beautiful birds here in the UK. My favourite is the long-tailed tit – beautiful little birds that flutter around our gardens and woodlands in small flocks, their shrill chirping easily identified but doesn't become their beauty. One of our most popular garden birds is our little Robin Redbreast, always featuring in winter scenes for Christmas cards and always around when you are in the garden digging soil, hoping to be there when the big fat worm is uncovered.

Worldwide the variety in the bird world is absolutely amazing. A new study suggests that there are around 18,000 bird species worldwide whereas previously it was thought there were around 9 or 10 thousand. These are just some of the birds I have found out about:

 

One of the prettiest:One of the ugliest:
Resplendent Quetzal
Latin Name: Pharomachrus mocinno
Found in Central America
Eats fruits and occasional insects
Marabou Stork
Latin Name: Leptoptilos crumenifer
Found in sub-Saharan Africa
Eats carrion

 

The smallest:One of the biggest:

Bee Hummingbird
Latin Name: Mellisuga helenae
Found in Cuba and the Isle of Youth
Females weigh 2.6g and are 6.1cm long
Eats flower nectar and occasional insects

Ostrich
Latin Name: Leptoptilos crumenifer
Found in sub-Saharan Africa
Females weigh 63kg to 145kg
Eats carrion

 

Beautiful bird song:ARGH!! Awful noise!:
Common Nightingale
Latin Name: Luscinia megarhynchos
Found in Europe, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa
Eats fruits, seeds, insects, nuts
Jackdaw
Latin Name: Corvus monedula
Found in Europe, Asia and Africa
Eats seeds, fruit, insects and carrion

 

Complex nests:No nests:
Common Tailorbird
Latin Name: Orthotomus sutorius
Found in Asia
Eats insects
Common Potoo
Latin Name: Nyctibius griseus
Found in Central and Southern America
Eats insects

 

Does everything on the wing:Can't fly:
Swift
Latin Name: Apodidae
Found in all continents except Antarctica
Eats air bourne insects
Kiwi
Latin Name: Apteryx
Found in New Zealand
Eats seeds, grubs, small invertebrates, etc.

 

Which are your favourite birds?


Contributed by Maria

images taken from books in stock:
The Bird Guide to Southern Africa by Ulrich Oberprieler and Burger Cillie
Complete Photographic Field Guide Birds of Southern Africa by Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan
The World of Birds by Jonathan Elphick
Complete Birds of Britain and Europe by Rob Hume
Also, google images.

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