wildbird

Herons, egrets and bitterns as a group are varied and have a worldwide distribution, but are common in the tropics. These wading birds are often associated with both fresh and coastal water where they feed at the edge of lakes, rivers, and the sea on aquatic prey including fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Some species may specialise…

Wildlife

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Many birds make use of black plumage, whole or only partially. In feathers it is melanin pigments that produce the black to reddish-brown colour, these pigments are enclosed in granular structures called melanosomes. The melanosomes make black feathers stronger and more resistant to wear than non-melanised feathers, and often birds that have mostly white plumage…

Wildlife

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Energetic and colourful courtship displays are used by many bird species to attract a mate and show readiness to copulate. These displays vary widely and include the use of colourful and ornate breeding plumage; melodious songs; energetic dances; and gift giving. Once a mate is chosen pairs may strengthen bonds using behaviour such as allopreening,…

Wildlife

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In the Northern Hemisphere autumn is underway and many birds are making their way back to warmer climates to overwinter in areas with increased prey availability. Many of the bird species that migrate are aerial foragers and waders, migrating between warm areas because their main food source, insects and crustaceans, are more active and abundant…

Wildlife

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Bird flight has sparked many people’s imaginations throughout history; inspiring artwork, and aircraft design. Thanks to special adaptations such as feathers, and hollow wing bones, most bird species are capable of flight. Due to the varying sizes and shapes of birds there are different styles of flying. Flapping is common but energy intensive, this flight…

Wildlife

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Bird plumage assists birds with more than just flight; colour is often used as a signal of quality, and readiness to mate in the breeding season. Yellow feathers get their colour from carotenoid pigments which birds obtain by eating plants, or by eating organisms that eat plants. Interestingly; carotenoids will also produce red feathers when…

Wildlife

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Gamebirds are a diverse group and include both waterfowl and landfowl, their diversity extends to the wide range of habitats that they occupy; from lowland deserts to tropical rainforests, on all continents except Antarctica. These birds can be sustainably harvested making them appealing for human use as a food source or for recreation, either by…

Wildlife

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