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Bird Reference Libraries

Page 8 of about 92 Articles
African Penguin
2006-02-20 11:50:52

The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is also known as the Jackass Penguin (after its donkey-like braying call). This penguin can be found on the south-western coast of Africa, living in colonies on 24 islands between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with the largest colony on Dyer Island, near Kleinbaai. Two colonies were established by penguins in the 1980s on the...

Gentoo Penguin
2006-02-17 17:23:31

The Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) is easily identifiable by the wide white stripe extending like a bonnet across the top of its head. Chicks have grey backs with white fronts. Adult Gentoos reach a height of 75 to 90 cm. They are considered to be the fastest underwater swimming penguins and can reach speeds of up to 36 km/h. Two sub-species of this penguin are recognized Pygoscelis...

Emperor Penguin
2006-02-17 17:13:48

The Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the largest of all penguins and is the only penguin that breeds at the height of winter in Antarctica. Emperor Penguins eat mainly crustaceans (such as krill) but will also occasionally indulge in small fish and squid. In the wild, Emperor Penguins typically live for 20 years, but some records indicate a maximum lifespan of around 40 years. (The...

King Penguin
2006-02-17 16:48:15

The King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is the second largest species of penguin. At about 3 ft (900 mm) tall and weighing 24 to 33 lb (11 to 15 kg), it is second only to the Emperor Penguin in size and weight. Currently there is a world population of roughly four million King Penguins, which are divided into two subspecies (A. p. patagonicus and A. p. halli). King penguins have a diet...

Black-billed Magpie
2005-06-14 09:57:14

The Black-billed Magpie is a large bird in the crow family that occurs in the western half of North America from Alaska to Oklahoma. Externally, it is almost identical with European Magpie (Pica pica) and is often considered specific. However, the American Ornithologists' Union splits it as a separate species (Pica hudsonia) on the grounds that it is genetically closer to California's...

California Quail
2005-06-14 09:45:12

The California quail (Callipepla californica) is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family. These birds have a curving crest that droops forward - black in males and brown for females. The flanks are brown with white streaks. Males have a dark brown cap and a black face with a brown back, a grey-blue chest and a light brown belly. Females and immature birds are mainly...

Northern Cardinal
2005-06-14 09:24:27

The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a member of the Cardinal family of birds in North America. The bird's name comes from the red-robed Roman Catholic Cardinals. Its crested head is also said to resemble a bishop's miter. Cardinals have been also referred to as redbirds and Virginia nightingales. Cardinals were once popular cage birds for their bright color and rich, varied songs....

Common Eider
2005-06-14 09:01:00

The Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) is a large sea duck which is distributed over the northern coasts of Europe, North America and eastern Siberia. It breeds in Arctic and some northern temperate regions, but winters somewhat further south in temperate zones, where it can form large flocks on suitable coastal waters. The nest is built close to the sea and is lined with eiderdown which is...

Condor
2005-06-14 08:40:46

Condor is the name for two species of bird in one of the vulture family. They are the largest flying land birds in the Western Hemisphere. The South American Condor (Vultur gryphus) inhabits the Andes Mountains. The California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) inhabits the western coast of the United States. Although they are primarily scavengers, feeding on carrion, these species belong to...

Eastern Screech Owl
2005-06-09 14:29:42

The Eastern Screech Owl (Otus asio) is a small owl which has either rusty or dark grey intricately patterned plumage with streaking on the underparts. Small and stocky, short-tailed and broad-winged, they have a large round head with ear tufts, yellow eyes and a yellowish bill. Rusty birds are more common in the southern parts of the range; pairings of the two color variants do occur. A pale...

Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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