Have questions about your Social Security benefits? The AARP Social Security Resource Center can help.

Reply
Super Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
266
Views

Re: NEW TOPIC: "FOR THE BIRDS"!

266 Views
Message 11 of 33

Image result for Gouldian finch birds

Gouldian Finch

 

The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae), also known as the Lady Gouldian finch, Gould's finch or the rainbow finch, is a colourful passerine bird endemic to Australia. There is strong evidence of a continuing decline, even at the best-known site near Katherine in the Northern Territory.

 

Large numbers are bred in captivity, particularly in Australia. In the state of South Australia, National Parks & Wildlife Department permit returns in the late 1990s showed that over 13,000 Gouldian finches were being kept by aviculturists. If extrapolated to an Australia-wide figure this would result in a total of over 100,000 birds. In 1992, it was classified as "endangered in the wild" under IUCN's criteria C2ai. This was because the viable population size was estimated to be less than 2,500 mature individuals, no permanent subpopulation was known to contain more than 250 mature individuals, and that a continuing decline was observed in the number of mature individuals. It is currently subject to a conservation program.


Common Names:   Lady Gouldian, Rainbow finch, name sometimes shortened to Gould.


Description


Male: The breast and belly colors are usually used to determine sex. Males will have a brighter and darker color of purple on the chest and the yellow of the belly will be darker and more intense than the female. The green back color and the light blue around the face mask is also darker. Often the face mask in males are larger and clearer than the females, but is not always the case as their are some strains of birds that have equal color in both sex's face mask. The males will also sing a nearly inaudible song while stretching and hopping on the perch. They will usually begin this song long before they have completed their molt into adult colors.

Female: The female has more subdued colors on her chest, belly and back. The female's beak will turn from a pearly white to black when she is in breeding condition.

Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
266
Views
Recognized Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
262
Views

Re: NEW TOPIC: "FOR THE BIRDS"!

262 Views
Message 12 of 33

 NO DOUBT THE ONE HUMMINGBIRD  I SAW UPON MOVING INTO MY HOUSE IN 2009 WAS ATTRACTED BY THE GIANT TRUMPET VINE   ON THE ( PULLING IT DOWN IN SPOTS, OF COURSE, BUT OH WELL. I'LL GLADLY SACRIFICE  A BIT OF FENCE TO ACCOMMODATE  THE BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES,& BEES!) FENCE. WHEN IT DIES OFF IN THE WINTER- IT LEAVES A GIANT DRIED "MEGANEST"- 3 OR 4 FEET IN DIAMETER. THE FENCE REPAIR PEOPLE THINK I'M NUTS SINCE I  WON'T LET THEM PULL IT(  HABITAT) DOWN. 

SUPERGIRL, NO REALLY I MEAN IT! HER REAL NAME & MINE ARE THE SAME( FIRST 2 NAMES ARE)
Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
262
Views
Super Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
253
Views

Re: NEW TOPIC: "FOR THE BIRDS"!

253 Views
Message 13 of 33

Image result for Lovebird

YELLOW-COLLARED LOVEBIRDS

Yellow-collared lovebirds, with their African origin, are one of the famous of the entire lovebird family. They are immensely fond of each other’s company, being content with its mate.

 Yellow-collared Lovebirds (Agapornis personatus) are small, stocky African parrots that are native to the inland plateaus of northern and central Tanzania in light brushwood and trees. These lovebirds are social creatures that form small nesting colonies in the wild.

 

Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
253
Views
Recognized Social Butterfly
0
Kudos
219
Views

Re: NEW TOPIC: "FOR THE BIRDS"!

219 Views
Message 14 of 33
ISN'T COSTA TRICA, THE PREMIER NESTING GROUND IN THIS HEMISPHERE? LOTS OF BEAUTIFUL CRITTERS THERE- OF ALL SORTS. LOVED THE BIRDS, LIZARDS, MONKEYS, TURTLES, BUT MOST FASCINATING ANIMAL WAS A SLOTH! & THEY DO INDEED MOVE VER-RY SLOWLY!
SUPERGIRL, NO REALLY I MEAN IT! HER REAL NAME & MINE ARE THE SAME( FIRST 2 NAMES ARE)
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
219
Views
Treasured Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
207
Views

Re: NEW TOPIC: "FOR THE BIRDS"!

207 Views
Message 15 of 33

63289981-480px.jpg

 

   

Habitat

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds occur in deciduous woodlands of eastern North America as well as across the Canadian prairies. Commonly associated with old fields, forest edges, meadows, orchards, stream borders, and backyards. On their tropical wintering grounds, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds live in dry forests, citrus groves, hedgerows, and scrub.Back to top

Food

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds feed on the nectar of red or orange tubular flowers such as trumpet creeper, cardinal flower, honeysuckle, jewelweed, bee-balm, red buckeye and red morning glory, as well as at hummingbird feeders and, sometimes, tree sap. Hummingbirds also catch insects in midair or pull them out of spider webs. Main insect prey includes mosquitoes, gnats, fruit flies, and small bees; also eats spiders. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds sometimes take insects attracted to sap wells or picks small caterpillars and aphids from leaves.Back to top

Nesting NEST PLACEMENT

Females build their nests on a slender, often descending branch, usually of deciduous trees like oak, hornbeam, birch, poplar, or hackberry; sometimes pine. Nests are usually 10-40 feet above the ground. Nests have also been found on loops of chain, wire, and extension cords.

NEST DESCRIPTION

The nest is the size of large thimble, built directly on top of the branch rather than in a fork. It’s made of thistle or dandelion down held together with strands of spider silk and sometimes pine resin. The female stamps on the base of the nest to stiffen it, but the walls remain pliable. She shapes the rim of the nest by pressing and smoothing it between her neck and chest. The exterior of the nest is decorated (probably camouflaged) with bits of lichen and moss. The nest takes 6-10 days to finish and measures about 2 inches across and 1 inch deep.

NESTING FACTS
Clutch Size:1-3 eggs
Number of Broods:1-2 broods
Egg Length:0.5-0.6 in (1.2-1.4 cm)
Egg Width:0.3-0.3 in (0.8-0.9 cm)
Incubation Period:12-14 days
Nestling Period:18-22 days
Egg Description:Tiny, white, weighting about half a gram, or less than one-fiftieth of an ounce.
Condition at Hatching:Naked apart from two tracts of gray down along the back, eyes closed, clumsy.
Back to top

 

BehaviorLike all hummingbirds, ruby-throats are precision flyers with the ability to fly full out and stop in an instant, hang motionless in midair, and adjust their position up, down, sideways, and backwards with minute control. They dart between nectar sources with fast, straight flights or sit on a small twig keeping a lookout, bill waving back and forth as the bird looks around. Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds aggressively defend flowers and feeders, leading to spectacular chases and dogfights, and occasional jabs with the beak. They typically yield to larger hummingbird species (in Mexico) and to the notoriously aggressive Rufous Hummingbird. Males give a courtship display to females that enter their territory, making a looping, U-shaped dive starting from as high as 50 feet above the female. If the female perches, the male shifts to making fast side-to-side flights while facing her.Back to top
Conservation

Ruby-throated Hummingbird populations have steadily increased every year from 1966 to 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 20 million with 84% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 51% in Mexico, and 16% breeding in Canada. The species rates an 8 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Ruby-throated Hummingbird is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Hummingbird feeders are generally safe for hummingbirds, but they can create a problem if they make the birds easy targets for cats or if the feeders are placed around nearby windows that the birds might fly into.Back to top

Backyard Tips

 

You can attract Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to your backyard by setting up hummingbird feeders or by planting tubular flowers. Make sugar water mixtures with about one-quarter cup of sugar per cup of water. Food coloring is unnecessary; table sugar is the best choice. Change the water before it grows cloudy or discolored and remember that during hot weather, sugar water ferments rapidly to produce toxic alcohol. Be careful about where you put your hummingbird feeders, as some cats have learned to lie in wait to catch visiting hummingbirds. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

Back to top
 
60395581-480px.jpg63289981-480px.jpg60395531-720px.jpg60395561-720px.jpg60395521-720px.jpg60395571-720px.jpg60395551-720px.jpg
Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
207
Views
Treasured Social Butterfly
0
Kudos
241
Views

Re: NEW TOPIC: "FOR THE BIRDS"!

241 Views
Message 16 of 33

Colorful birds!

 

Open link: https://www.facebook.com/239251833546145/posts/460978784706781/

Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
241
Views
Highlighted
Super Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
275
Views

Re: NEW TOPIC: "FOR THE BIRDS"!

275 Views
Message 17 of 33

The Golden Chinese Pheasant

The Golden Pheasant, (Chrysolophus pictus), also known as the ‘Chinese Pheasant’ is one of the more popular species of pheasant which is native to the mountainous forests of Western and Central China.

The Golden Pheasant was introduced to the United Kingdom around 100 years ago and there are around 101 – 118 mating pairs in the summer. This hardy, gamebird belongs to the order: Galliformes and is a smaller species of pheasant.

The Golden Pheasant along with Lady Amherst Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae), make up the group of ‘Ruffed Pheasants’ named for their ruff which is spread across their face and neck during courtship.

 

Beautiful Golden Pheasants

 

Male and female Golden Pheasants look different in appearance. Males measure 90 – 105 centimetres in length with the tail making up two thirds of the total length. Females are slightly smaller measuring 60 – 80 centimetres in length with the tail making up half of the total length. Their wingspan is around 70 centimetres and they weigh around 630 grams.

Male Golden Pheasants can be easily identified by their bright colouring. They have a golden crest tipped with red which extends from the top of their heads, down their necks. They have bright red underparts, dark coloured wings and a pale brown, long, barred tail. Their rumps are also golden, upper backs are green and they have bright yellow eyes with a small black pupil. Their face, throat and chin are a rust colour and their wattles and orbital skin are yellow. Beak, legs and feet are also yellow.

Female Golden Pheasants are less colourful and more duller than males. They have a mottled brown plumage, pale brown face, throat, breast and sides, pale yellow feet and are more slender in appearance.

GOLDEN PHEASANT HABITAT

The Golden Pheasant’s preferred habitats are dense forests and woodlands and sparse undergrowth.

 

GOLDEN PHEASANT DIET

Golden Pheasants mainly feed on the ground on grain, invertebrates, berries, grubs and seeds as well as other kinds of vegetation.

GOLDEN PHEASANT BEHAVIOUR

Golden Pheasants are very timid birds and will hide in dark, dense forests and woodlands during the day and roost in very high trees during the night. Golden Pheasants often forage on the ground despite their ability to fly, this may be because they are quite clumsy in flight. However, if they are startled, they are capable of taking off in a sudden fast upward motion with a distinctive wing sound.

Little is known about their behaviour in the wild as although the males are very colourful birds, they are difficult to spot. The best time to possibly observe a Golden Pheasant is very early in the morning when they may be seen in clearings.

Vocalisations include a ‘chack chack’ sound. Males have a distinctive metallic call during the breeding season. Also, during the males elaborate courtship display, he will spread his neck feathers over his head and beak, like a cape.

Image result for golden pheasant flying

GOLDEN PHEASANT REPRODUCTION

Female Golden Pheasants lay around 8 – 12 eggs in April. Incubation time is around 22 – 23 days. The chicks fledge after 12 – 14 days. Males acquire their bright colours during their second year of life but are sexually mature in their first year. The life span of a Golden Pheasant is 5 – 6 years.

Image result for golden pheasant flying

GOLDEN PHEASANT CONSERVATION STATUS

Golden Pheasants are classed as ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN which stands for The International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
275
Views
Super Social Butterfly
0
Kudos
260
Views

Re: NEW TOPIC: "FOR THE BIRDS"!

260 Views
Message 18 of 33

Dave, the pics of the flamingos are absolutely beautiful!

Lydia

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
260
Views
Regular Social Butterfly
0
Kudos
264
Views

Re: NEW TOPIC: "FOR THE BIRDS"!

264 Views
Message 19 of 33

@DaveMcK 

Wow Dave in all my zoo visits I've not been aware or recall that being reason for their coloring

My mom always said that I was a Flamingo I was just over 6' & 90 lbs in teens and always stood with one foot at my knee no longer that tall nor skinny but still stand that way 

Enjoy your weekend 

Ginger  ; ) 

"May your troubles be less....your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door" : )
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
264
Views
Treasured Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
275
Views

Re: NEW TOPIC: "FOR THE BIRDS"!

275 Views
Message 20 of 33

 

    iStock_102235113_SMALL.jpg

 

  animals-flamongo-flock.jpganimals-flamingo-chick.jpgww-baby-animals-flamingo.adapt.945.1.jpg1280px-Flamingos_Laguna_Colorada.jpg

FLAMINGOS ARE NATURALLY WHITE—THEIR DIET OF BRINE SHRIMP AND ALGAE TURNS THEM 

We visited the San Diego Zoo in January of 2011. It was a surprise Birthday party for Mary's brother-in-law. This works out as we visited the San Diego Zoo in January of 2011. It was a surprise Birthday party for Mary's brother-in-law. This works out well for the story below which was written about the San Diego Zoo's flamingos. 

Think pink—and orange? With their pink and crimson plumage, long legs and necks, and strongly hooked bills, flamingos cannot be mistaken for any other type of bird. These beauties have long fascinated people. An accurate cave painting of a flamingo, found in the south of Spain, dates back to 5,000 B.C. Today, images of flamingos are found in literature (Alice used them as croquet mallets in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll), and immortalized as plastic lawn ornaments!

The flamingo’s pink or reddish color comes from the rich sources of carotenoid pigments (like the pigments of carrots) in the algae and small crustaceans the birds eat. We eat carotenoids, too, whenever we munch on carrots, beets, and certain other veggies, but not enough to turn us orange! American flamingos, a subspecies of greater flamingo, are the brightest, showing their true colors of red, pink, or orange on their legs, bills, and faces.

In order to fly, flamingos need to run a few paces to gather speed. This speed is not related to the ground but rather to the air, so they usually take off facing into the wind. In flight, flamingos are quite distinctive, with their long necks stretched out in front and the equally long legs trailing behind. Their outstretched wings showcase the pretty black and red (or pink) coloration that, with slight variations, is shared by all flamingo species. When flying, flamingos flap their wings fairly rapidly and almost continuously. And, as with most other flamingo activities, they usually fly together in large flocks. The flamingos follow each other closely, using a variety of formations that help them take advantage of the wind patterns.

Flamingos are social birds that live in groups of varying sizes, from a few pairs to sometimes thousands or tens of thousands. Their numbers add to the impressiveness of ritualized flamingo displays; the purpose of these displays is to stimulate hormone production and ensure that as many birds as possible will breed.

Head-flagging: Stretching the neck with head up high and rhythmically turning the head from side to side.

Wing salute: Showing off the contrasting colors with the tail cocked and the neck outstretched.

Twist-preen: The bird twists its neck back and appears to preen its feathers with its bill quickly.

Marching: The large, tightly packed flock walks together as one, before switching direction abruptly.

Flamingos also use vocalizations and these displays to communicate between individuals or alert the group of possible danger. Their vocal repertoire includes growling, low gabbling, and nasal honking.

Greater flamingosGreater flamingos sleeping in the shallows of a lake, some standing on one leg.

Why do flamingos stand on one leg? Scientists aren’t sure. There is less heat lost through the leg if it is tucked next to the bird’s body; however, this behavior is also seen in hot climates. Another explanation is more mundane: it’s probably a comfortable position for standing. You can develop your own theory about this age-old question on your next visit to the Zoo or Safari Park, where the flamingos are always gorgeous and entertaining.

HABITAT AND DIET

Flamingos live in lagoons or large, shallow lakes. These bodies of water may be quite salty or caustic, too much so for most other animals. In some lakes, their only animal “neighbors” are algae, diatoms, and small crustaceans. That works in the flamingo’s favor, as the birds dine on these small creatures!

Lesser flamingos taking off from a lake in KenyaLesser flamingos

Chilean, Andean, and puna flamingos are found in South America; greater and lesser flamingos live in Africa, with greaters also found in the Middle East; the American or Caribbean flamingo is native to Mexico, the Caribbean, and the northernmost tip of South America.

Long legs let flamingos wade into deeper water than most other birds to look for food. And speaking of food, flamingos also have very distinctive eating habits. The bill is held upside down in the water. Flamingos feed by sucking water and mud in at the front of the bill and then pumping it out again at the sides. Here, briny plates called lamellae act like tiny filters, trapping shrimp and other small water creatures for the flamingo to eat.

The smaller puna, Andean, and lesser flamingos have deeper bills and stiff lamellae. This helps them filter very fine particles, such as algae, through their bill and keep bigger particles out. Greater and Chilean flamingos are larger and feed mostly on invertebrates such as brine flies, shrimps, and mollusks. They get these food items from the bottom mud by wading in shallow water. Sometimes they swim to get their food and sometimes by “upending” (tail feathers in the air, head underwater) like ducks.

At the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the flamingos are fed a special pellet diet that is made for zoo flamingos. This food has all the nutrients the flamingos need and a pigment that helps keep them “in the pink.” To allow the flamingos to eat in their normal way (taking in water and then pumping it back out), a water source just for feeding is near their food so they can get a “beakful” of water and then food—just like they would in the wild.

FAMILY LIFE
Caribbean flamingo parent with egg on mud nestAmerican flamingo with egg

A flamingo nest is not fancy, just a mound of mud, maybe 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 centimeters) high. The nest needs to be high enough to protect the egg from flooding and from the occasional intense heat at ground level. Both the male and female build the nest by ​using their bills to pull mud toward their feet. The top of the mound is concave so that any egg laid does not fall off. Neighboring nests are built very close, and bickering between nest mound occupants is common.

Prior to breeding, the male is selected by the female, and he then closely follows behind her in shallow water. The individual courtship rituals tend to be subtle and inconspicuous to ​humans. The pair tends to stay together as long as there is reproductive success. If not, then the female may choose a new mate.

Lesser flamingo with young chickLesser flamingo chick

Flamingos lay one large, chalky white egg in a mud nest build like a sand castle by the parents. A parent sits on the mound, reaches over, picks up mud and dribbles it onto the nest, which can reach 2 feet (0.6 meters) in height and is usually surrounded by a trench as further protection from rising water. At hatching, a flamingo chick has gray down feathers and is the size of a tennis ball. It also has a straight, pink bill and swollen pink legs, both of which turn black within a week.

After hatching, the chick stays on the nest mound for 5 to 12 days. During this time, the chick is fed a type of “milk” called crop milk that comes from the parents’ upper digestive tract. (Flamingos share this trait with pigeons.) Both males and females can feed the chick this way, and even flamingos that are not the parents can act as foster-feeders. The begging calls the hungry chick makes are believed to stimulate the secretion of the milk. As the parents feed their chicks the crop milk, they are drained of their color—so much so that their plumage turns a pale pink or white! The parents gain this color back eventually as the chicks become independent and eat on their own.

By the time a chick leaves the nest, it can already walk and swim quite well. Chicks flock together in large groups called crèches, looked after by a few adults, possibly birds that have lost their own young. Parents visit the crèche and continue to feed their chick with the milky secretion. But how do they find their offspring in such a large and noisy group? Chicks and their parents recognize one another through their distinctive calls! Adult flamingos have few natural predators, as they tend to live in inhospitable places where the lagoons are pretty bare of vegetation, so few other birds or animals come there. But flamingo chicks are sometimes preyed upon by eagle species.

AT THE ZOO

Flamingos as ambassadors: Guests are instantly drawn to our American flamingo flock as they enter the San Diego Zoo. And who wouldn’t be? With their flamboyant color and amusing behaviors, flamingos have been on hand to welcome Zoo guests since 1932, about 10 years after the Zoo grounds opened to visitors. They are our unofficial ambassadors!

While much is known about flamingo breeding behavior, there are never any guarantees. Any major or minor change to the flock or exhibit can start or stop breeding. For example, in the early 1980s, a number of flamingos were relocated. It was completely unexpected that this action would cause the remaining birds to stop breeding for the next 14 years! A number of remedies were tried. Finally, new birds were introduced and the exhibit renovated to improve the nesting area. One or both changes did the trick, and the Zoo’s flamingos began breeding again in 1996 and have bred almost every year since then. The Zoo has hatched more than 170 since 1957. Today, it is home to just under 90 adult American flamingos.

Once a year, there is an event at the Zoo that is unlike any other. After weeks of preparation, three departments are mobilized, dozens of keepers are involved, all of the flamingos are caught up, and everyone gets wet! The occasion? The annual Flamingo Roundup! Why do we catch the whole flock—even the healthy ones—once a year? They are all due for their West Nile virus booster shot. Each flamingo is also weighed and given a general checkup during the roundup.

Safari Park successes: ​At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the first greater flamingo egg was laid in 1998; six years later, another greater flamingo chick pecked its way out through its shell and into history in 2004 as the facility’s 100th hatching of this subspecies. Today, the Park has the largest flock of greater flamingos in the United States at around 150 birds. We have hatched 173 chicks, so far. The Safari Park is also home to lesser flamingos and Chilean flamingos.

CONSERVATION

Over time, people have used flamingos for food and medicine.Currently, no flamingo species is endangered, although the puna or James’s flamingo was thought to be extinct in 1924; it was rediscovered in 1957.

But as with many wild species, the threat of habitat loss due to road construction and housing development is causing some populations to be threatened. In 1989, about 100 Caribbean flamingos died in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula from lead poisoning, due to the ingestion of lead shot. Lead bullets are now prohibited in that area.

The Andean flamingo is considered the rarest of the flamingo species. It lives high in the mountains of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. People have been collecting the flamingos’ eggs and expanding into their habitat with farms, road construction, and urban development. Chile has now established a national flamingo reserve around one of the lakes used by the birds for breeding colonies and is taking steps to protect other lakes for the flamingos.

The Flamingo Specialist Group was created in 1978 to study, monitor, and help conserve the world’s flamingo populations. Working with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the group monitors and surveys wild flamingos and develops action plans for species that may be threatened.

Posted by Dave the Lighthouse Keeper
Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
275
Views