The Indonesian island famous with tourists for its beaches, yoga retreats, and waterfalls is currently under threat from one of the island’s active volcano, Mount Agung. While the volcano has not erupted in over 50 years, experts now say that eruption is imminent and the government has evacuated a 12km radius around the volcano. Continue reading The Birds of Bali
It’s Wednesday! You know what that means! Time to learn about something wild and wacky about that part of the animal world we don’t think about much. So lets talk about the bowerbird and this species’ ostentatious mating habits. Now the last weird animal Wednesday, fondly known as Hump Day, I discussed the absurd echidna. I was not so keen on the idea of life as a female echidna, but the bowerbird is a different story. I mean who wouldn’t want to be wooed with sparkly, color-coordinated goodies?! Sign me up! Continue reading Bowerbird: Decorator, Singer, Dancer… Ideal Boyfriend?
These magnificent 3 foot tall birds may not be a species you have heard of, but then again, you may be wrong. If you have ever heard the panicked parent’s reply to the question “Where do babies come from?” you’ve probably at least heard reference to this iconic bird. When someone says “Storks bring babies” they are referring to the European stork. Continue reading The European Stork: From Marrakech to Urban Legend
We’ve all been to the park and watched people pull that plastic bag of old bread out of their purse and start throwing pieces to the ducks, swans, geese or what-have-you. Maybe you have been the person feeding those lovely little waterfowl. But is that really the wisest decision?
I am so incredibly sorry for my absence these past few weeks. I’ve (sort of.. long story for another time) moved to Oxford and I have had little time (or wifi) these past few weeks. But on the bright side I got the chance to visit the Bird of Prey Centre in Loch Lomond, Scotland. It was a trip that happened a bit by accident, but I am so glad that I got to visit such a beautiful place and find such an incredible centre.
One of the few animals I saw on a regular basis while in Sierra Leone was the Great Blue Turaco. The first time I was told by Papanie that the giant blue bird that flew overhead was a turaco I was shocked. The turaco I had worked with in Dallas had barely been half that size! But the more I saw them the more resemblance I saw to Marty, my Dallas-dwelling turaco. So in honor of the Great Blue Turaco and the amazing wildlife of Sierra Leone, lets have them be the next focus for an Odd Animal Profile.
Corythaeola cristata. I don’t normally include the scientific names in my O.A.P.s but Corythaeola crostata rolls off of the tongue with such grace. It is a name that couldn’t belong to any other animal than this giant, blue bird. Continue reading OAP: Great Blue Turaco
Did you know that the Drongo, a small bird that lives in the Kalahari desert has been observed crying wolf? That’s right. The Drongo actually calls out false alarm calls to drive away competition. Sounds that are usually reserved for seeing predators are being used to scare off other birds and cause them to drop whatever juicy insect they’ve got their claws on!
The southern ground hornbill is the largest species of hornbill bird and can be found naturally across the savannas of Africa. These birds are listed as vulnerable, according to the IUCN Red List, but studies done in South Africa suggest they could be in much worse trouble than scientists previously thought. Their habitat is being cleared for farmland and these birds are dying off.
Yippee! It’s time for hornbills! This one is from Southeast Asia, not Africa, and they are gorgeous! Honestly every single time I see a hornbill (any species) I heard my dad laughing and shouting “Look at the head on that rooster!” which he says to every ridiculous looking bird. It never fails to make me smile. Well, enough about me! Let’s get to the bird!
A new study suggests that orangutans (and one young gorilla) may be more capable of identifying types of animals than we had previously given them credit for. In the 1700’s Carolus Linneaus gave two names to each species, organizing species for the first time. He classified them in a hierarchical system, starting broad with kingdom, phylum, class, then getting more specific with family, genus, and finally the most specific, species. It took humans an embarrassingly long time to become so organized and look more critically at the animals we share our planet with.