Hottentot teals are one of the smallest ducks as well as one of the smallest species of all waterfowl. They are not very vocal, but males do emit a high-pitched whistle and the female responds with a nasal quack. These teals eat by swimming with their bill in the water.
Smallest of the toucan family, green aracari have large, colorful bills with serrated edges which act like a knife to help hold and open fruit. The length of its bill allows the bird to increase its reach, allowing access to food not usually available. Like most toucans, green aracaris don’t excavate their own nests in […]
Easily recognizable by its long, racquet-shaped central tail feathers, the blue-crowned motmot can be seen perched on a branch, swinging these tail feathers back and forth like a pendulum. Motmots are most vocal at dawn, calling with a soft and monotonous “whoot whoot, whoot whoot.”
A buoyant, large-headed duck, the Bufflehead abruptly vanishes and resurfaces as it feeds. Unlike most ducks, the Bufflehead is mostly monogamous, often remaining with the same mate for several years. They nest in former woodpecker holes, particularly those made by Northern Flickers.
Like most dabbling ducks (but unlike most Northern Hemisphere species), the sexes look similar year-round, although males on average are brighter and more boldly patterned. They have a distinctive light blue bill with a black line down the middle.
These songbirds, also known as red-crested cardinals, are commonly called Brazilian cardinals in some South American regions. They have strong legs with large feet that allow them to walk on floating vegetation while feeding. Red-capped cardinals are quite social and often found in pairs or groups as they forage. Their bright red heads and black-and-white […]
The Northern helmeted curassow is one of the largest birds in the South American forests — about the size of a wild turkey. It’s a very elusive bird, moving quite slowly through the thick underbrush during the twilight hours. The call of the Northern helmeted curassow is a prolonged, low-pitch grunting or groaning sound.
In their small social groups, dominant males typically earn the rights to most breeding, but all members of the group cooperate to raise the offspring. Female chicks leave the group after about two years, while the young males remain for about 10 years.
Can stand up to three feet tall and have a wingspan measuring up to 10 feet across. Their massive beak is well-suited for feeding on tough material, such as sinew, dry skin, and muscle.
West African crowned cranes are locally regarded as an omen of rain because the birds migrate to temporary wetlands to breed as the rainy season begins. Both parents construct the nest in thick vegetation to hide the eggs and chicks from threats.
American white pelicans are some of the heaviest flying birds in the world. They rely on their large wings to soar great distances in large flocks. American white pelicans feed from the surface of the water, often hunting fish communally by circling their prey before plunging and scooping fish out of the water. They spend […]
The color teal was actually named after the blaze of color found on this duck’s wings! In the past, about 200 years ago, these ducks resided on all the Hawaiian Islands. Today, they are only found on Laysan Island, which is just 1.5 miles in size.
Also known as a gray crowned crane, this bird gets its name from the straw-yellow crown on its’ head. They’re omnivores and very, very hungry — they can spend their entire day looking for food. Unlike other cranes, East African crowned cranes nest in trees. As soon as the chicks hatch, they’re able to run.
American avocets are long-legged shorebirds with a long, thin bill that curves upward and distinctive black-and-white stripes on their back and sides. They swoop with their long bills back and forth in the water to catch insects and aquatic crustaceans. They often travel in flocks of several hundred.
Gentoo penguins breed in colonies of a few hundred pairs and often construct their nests from rocks and anything else they can find in the harsh, Antarctic landscape. Gentoos can make as many as 500 dives a day searching for food! They’re a lot of fun to watch — keepers describe them as very curious, […]
Humboldt penguins mate for life. They are extremely social animals and are often found in groups. They are also great swimmers and can reach speeds up to 20 miles per hour.
At roughly 60 inches in height, the whooping crane is the tallest bird in North America. Whooping cranes mate for life. The whooping crane’s courtship dance involves leaping, head-pumping, kicking, and wing-sweeping.