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29 April 2017

Birds of prey, Singapore

From left to right :
White-bellied Sea Eagle (白腹海鵰) ; Brahminy Kite (栗鳶)
Black-winged Kite (黑翅鳶) ; Changeable Hawk Eagle (鳳頭鷹雕)
Singapore (2016)

21st September, 2016. Toa Payoh Central

Changeable Hawk Eagle is well established in Singapore. Its name reflects its occurrence in two different colour morphs – dark and light. It is a mid-sized raptor and a forest edge bird, with typically broad wings and a relatively small wingspan. It feeds on small- to large-sized birds, mammals – up to the size of small macaques, and reptiles.

White-bellied Sea Eagle is one of Singapore’s largest native raptor. It is seen frequently gliding over reservoirs and woodland areas and adult birds can be identified easily by their pure white lower bodies. It hunts fish, sea snakes, terrapins, frogs, rats and fruit bats.

Brahminy Kite is a highly adaptable raptor. It is common in Singapore and distinguished easily by a contrasting combination of an auburn-brown body with a grey-white head. Unlike other kites, it has a round, instead of a forked, tail. It feeds mostly on garbage from the surface of the sea. It also eats small crustaceans, frogs, rats, shellfish and fish.

Black-winged Kite is a medium-small raptor found mostly in grassland areas. It can be recognised by its red eyes and its light grey plumage that has a black patch on each wing. It hunts usually from a perch but is also capable of hovering like the kestrel species. In this, it is unique among kite species. It feeds mostly on rodents and insects.

From left to right :
White-bellied Sea Eagle (白腹海鵰) ; Brahminy Kite (栗鳶)
Black-winged Kite (黑翅鳶) ; Changeable Hawk Eagle (鳳頭鷹雕)
Singapore (2016)

21st September, 2016. Philatelic Bureau

22 April 2017

Red-billed Leiothrix

Red-billed Leiothrix (紅嘴相思鳥)
China (2016)

9th August, 2016. Longdong, Guangzhou

Red-billed Leiothrix is native to the Indian subcontinent. Adults have bright red bills and a dull yellow ring around their eyes. Their backs are dull olive green, and they have a bright yellow-orange throat with a yellow chin; females are somewhat duller than males, and juveniles have black bills. It has also been introduced in various parts of the world, with small populations of escapees having existed in Japan since the 1980s.

The species usually found in India, Bhutan, Nepal, Burma and parts of Tibet. This species is a bird of the hill forests, found in every type of jungle though it prefers pine forests with bushes. It has also been found at elevations ranging from near sea level to about 7,500 feet.

The species was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1918 and spread to all the forested islands except Lanai. Its population on Oahu crashed in the 1960s and it disappeared from Kauai, but is now common and increasing on Oahu. The leiothrix was released in Western Australia but it failed to become established. This species was also introduced in Great Britain but permanent establishment was unsuccessful. It was introduced to France, where it is now established in several areas, and Catalonia where it is increasing and spreading from the Collserola Park.

15 April 2017

Varity events in Germany

Bird of the year 2016 :
Goldfinch (紅額金翅雀)
Germany (2016)

11th September, 2011. Neckarwestheim

50th anniversary of BSV :
Goldfinch (紅額金翅雀)
Germany (2016)

6th November, 2011. Gaildof

150th anniversary of Post in Haiteebach :
Common Cuckoo (普通杜鵑)
Germany (2017)

15th January, 2017. Haiteebach

8 April 2017

Bird definitive series (3) of Slovenia

€0,25 : European Green Woodpecker (綠啄木鳥) ; €0,30 : European Honey Buzzard (鵰頭鷹)
€0,50 ; Hazel Grouse (花尾榛雞), €0,75 : Firecrest (火冠戴菊)
€1,00 : European Bee-eater (黃喉蜂虎)
Slovenia (2016)

27th May, 2016. Maribor

European Green Woodpecker is one of the largest members of the woodpecker family, growing to a length of 30–33 cm. Its habitat consists of open areas with some trees, preferably old orchards. The female lays clutches of five to seven eggs in unlined tree cavities. It feeds on insects, especially ants, and therefore spends a lot of time on the ground hunting food with the help of its remarkably long tongue. It is a widely distributed species in Slovenia and a common species throughout the year.

European Honey Buzzard lives in open deciduous and mixed woodland bordering pastures and meadows. It usually builds its nest high in a tree and will frequently occupy the abandoned nest of other birds. The female lays one clutch of one to three eggs. It feeds on wasp larvae, adult wasps and bees, and also on amphibians and birds. The European honey buzzard is a summer species that migrates via Gibraltar, Sicily and the Bosporus to southern Africa. It is a relatively common nesting species in Slovenia.

Hazel Grouse is one of the smaller members of the grouse family, growing to a length of 35–37cm. It lives in coniferous and mixed forests with some undergrowth and, unlike the other members of the family, remains within a very small area, of just a few hundred square metres, throughout the year. It lives in pairs and is very shy, and therefore difficult to observe. The female lays clutches of six to ten eggs and both parents care for the chicks. The hazel grouse feeds on a variety of plant food (buds, shoots and seeds). It is relatively widely distributed in Slovenia and is found in all mountainous areas.

Common Firecrest is one of two members of the kinglet family found in Slovenia, it grows to a length of 8.5–9cm and weighs barely more than 5.5 g. Its habitat consists of coniferous and mixed forest, where it tirelessly hunts tiny insects among the needles and leaves of trees. It builds a bowl-shaped nest high up in a tree, where the female lays between seven and eleven eggs. Each female lays two clutches. A relatively common summer species in Slovenia, individual specimens also remain over the winter in southern areas.

European Bee-eater iswonderfully coloured member of the bee-eater family grows to a length of 27–29 cm. Its preferred habitat is open areas with clayey or sandy cliffs in which to dig a breeding burrow. The European bee-eater nests in colonies. The female lays clutches of four to seven eggs and both parents incubate and care for the chicks. Bee-eaters are aerial hunters of prey consisting of the larger insects, such as dragonflies, and also bees. This summer species migrates south in autumn. It is a very rare nesting species in Slovenia.

1 April 2017

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl (穴鴞)
Aruba (2016)
25th July, 2016. Oranjestad

Burrowing Owl is a small, long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. It can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open dry area with low vegetation. They nest and roost in burrows, such as those excavated by prairie dogs. Unlike most owls, burrowing owls are often active during the day, although they tend to avoid the midday heat. But like many other kinds of owls, burrowing owls do most of their hunting from dusk until dawn, when they can use their night vision and hearing to their advantage. Living in open grasslands as opposed to the forest, the burrowing owl has developed longer legs, which enables it to sprint as well as fly when hunting.

Adults have brown heads and wings with white spotting. The chest and abdomen are white with variable brown spotting or barring, also depending on the subspecies. Juvenile owls are similar in appearance, but they lack most of the white spotting above and brown barring below. The juveniles have a buff bar across the upper wing and their breast may be buff-colored rather than white. Burrowing owls of all ages have grayish legs longer than those of other owls.

25 March 2017

Birds of Georgia

1,0L : Little Bustard (小鴇) ; 0,6L : Caucasian Black Grouse (高加索黑琴雞)
0,4L : Grey Partridge (灰山鶉)
Gambia (2011)

29th July, 2016. Akhaltsikhe

Georgia is located at the edge of Asia and Europe. Georgia is a country of exceptional beauty: diverse in nature, with rich and ancient history. The country is mostly complex and mountainous. The highest peak is 5201m (peak Shkhara) above sea level. Due to Georgia's specific geographic location, on a relatively small territory (69,700 square km.) there are extremely diverse ecosystems from Alpine meadows to semi-deserts, wetlands, costal landscape, numerous lakes and rivers, caves, magnificent mountain-chains and peaks covered with eternal snow.

In Georgia there are several spectacular birdwatching locations, with very different characteristics. Each of them is interesting in terms of species composition. On a relatively small territory there is a multitude of diverse ecosystems. This is very favorable for bird watching, as in a short period of time and in area very close to each other it is possible to see birds from totally different habitats.

Birders tend to target the 'big five' species: Caucasian Snowcock, Caucasian Black Grouse, Great Rosefinch, Güldenstädt’s Redstart and Caucasian Chiffchaff but other regional specialties including: Twite (interior Asian form - a potential split), Red-fronted Serin, Wallcreeper, Citrine Wagtail, White-winged Snowfinch, Red-billed and Alpine Choughs, Chukar, Horned Lark, Water Pipit, Greenish Warbler, Barred Warbler, Alpine Accentor, Common Rosefinch and dozens of other species.

18 March 2017

The New Zwin

Common Shelduck (翹鼻麻鴨) ; Common Tern (普通燕鷗) ; Barn Swallow (家燕)
Pied Avocet (反嘴鷸) ; Eurasian Spoonbill (白琵鷺)
Belgium (2016)
16th June, 2016. Roesela

The new Zwin is the international migratory bird airport. It is a unique and varied top attraction where you experience nature to the full. The new Zwin has something in store for everyone.

The Zwin Nature Park is an interactive nature experience park for the entire family. It is a place where you can discover the special Zwin nature in an attractive and stimulating manner.

Apart from the Zwin Nature Park, the Zwin is accessible free of charge: the Zwin Bistro, the Zwin Shop, the Zwin Region Information Centre and no less than 220ha of Zwin dunes and polders which guide you to the Zwin Nature Park on foot or by bike from Knokke Het Zoute.

11 March 2017

Birds of Cameroon

Top : Mount Kupe Bushshrike (庫山叢伯勞) ; Martial Eagle (猛雕) ; Purple Heron (紫鷺)
Bottom : European Robin (知更鳥) ; Black-casqued Hornbill (黑盔犀鳥)
Cameroun (1983, 1985, 1991)
12th July, 2016. Yaounde

Cameroon offers some of the best and most exciting birding in West and Central Africa. Cameroon boasts of more than 900 species of birds and a lot of them being endemic and near endemic. Cameroon bird habitats in Cameroon are mountain forests, savanna plateaus in the Mid North, Sahel in the Extreme North, the numerous forests and lakes.

In the far north, large concentrations of waterbirds such as White-faced Whistling Duck and Long-tailed Cormorant can be found along with a great variety of raptors. Further south are the transition zones of the Adamawa plateau in the Mbam Djerem National Park and the lowland evergreen forests. In the western part of the country is the Cameroon Mountain Arc with the Afro-tropical mountain vegetation type. This is where the endemic species such as Mount Cameroon Francolin, Mount Kupé Bush-Shrike and Bannerman’s Turaco can be found. There are also several freshwater systems such as River Sanaga and Nyong and a few lakes e.g. Lake Magba and Lake Maga where waterbirds such as cormorants, darters, storks and herons can be seen. The south-west of the country has a 350 km coastline with a marine ecosystem that provides a roosting ground for a host of migratory species.

4 March 2017

Great Frigatebird

Great Frigatebird (小軍艦鳥)
Nauru (2008)

21st April, 2016. Nauru

Great Frigatebird is a large seabird in the frigatebird family. Major nesting populations are found in the Pacific (including the Galapagos Islands) and Indian Oceans, as well as a population in the South Atlantic.

It is a lightly built, large seabird up to 105cm long with predominantly black plumage. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism; the female is larger than the adult male and has a white throat and breast, and the male's scapular feathers have a purple-green sheen. In the breeding season, the male is able to distend its striking red gular sac. The species feeds on fish taken in flight from the ocean's surface (mostly flying fish), and indulges in kleptoparasitism less frequently than other frigatebirds. They feed in pelagic waters within 80km of their breeding colony or roosting areas.

25 February 2017

200th anniversary of Audubon

150f : Marabou Stork (禿鸛) ; 70f : Saddle-billed Stork (鞍嘴鸛)
200f : Secretarybird (蛇鷲) ; 110f : Common Ostrich (鴕鳥)
Chad (1985)

15th July, 2016. N'Djamena

John James Audubon
(born Jean Rabin; April 26, 1785 – January 27, 1851) was an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon identified 25 new species.

Audubon developed his own methods for drawing birds. First, he killed them using fine shot. He then used wires to prop them into a natural position, unlike the common method of many ornithologists, who prepared and stuffed the specimens into a rigid pose. When working on a major specimen like an eagle, he would spend up to four 15-hour days, preparing, studying, and drawing it. His paintings of birds are set true-to-life in their natural habitat. He often portrayed them as if caught in motion, especially feeding or hunting. This was in stark contrast to the stiff representations of birds by his contemporaries, such as Alexander Wilson. Audubon based his paintings on his extensive field observations.

He worked primarily with watercolor early on. He added coloured chalk or pastel to add softness to feathers, especially those of owls and herons. He employed multiple layers of watercolouring, and sometimes used gouache. All species were drawn life size which accounts for the contorted poses of the larger birds as Audubon strove to fit them within the page size. Smaller species were usually placed on branches with berries, fruit, and flowers. He used several birds in a drawing to present all views of anatomy and wings. Larger birds were often placed in their ground habitat or perching on stumps. At times, as with woodpeckers, he combined several species on one page to offer contrasting features. He frequently depicted the birds' nests and eggs, and occasionally natural predators, such as snakes. He usually illustrated male and female variations, and sometimes juveniles. In later drawings, Audubon used assistants to render the habitat for him. In addition to faithful renderings of anatomy, Audubon also employed carefully constructed composition, drama, and slightly exaggerated poses to achieve artistic as well as scientific effects.
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