ornithologies

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Green-breasted mango by elaiphoto
Via Flickr:
This species breeds from eastern and southern Mexico south through Central America, including some near-shore islands, to Costa Rica. Young birds are responsible for the majority of occurrences in the United States.

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“Follow the rainbow to my door….”  The male Satin Bowerbird, an Australian species endemic to the rainforests of the East Coast regions of the mainland and Tasmania, constructs an intricate ‘bower’ on which to display, dance and attract a mate. All bowerbird species do this, however the Satin variety has a penchant for indigo blue and collects all kinds of objects in various shades of this colour to decorate the bower with. The male Satin bowerbird’s plumage has an iridescent sheen in this colour, and the female, whilst having spotted beige plumage, has a striking eye colour in this same indigo shade as well. Male bowerbirds spend an extraordinary amount of effort and time adorning their bowers, arranging and re-arranging objects around it’s entrance as seen in the above photo examples.

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Bare-throated Bellbird - Procnias nudicollis

The Bare-throated bellbird, Procnias nudicollis (Passeriformes - Cotingidae), is a striking white bird known from a wide area of east Brazil, north-east Argentina and east Paraguay. 

This bird is regarded as one of the loudest birds in the world. Its call is a loud and far-reaching series of metallic, two-tone koink and prroink notes emitted from high in the forest canopy. This remarkable call is the result of extreme sexual selection, as is the male’s arresting appearance of all-white plumage with turquoise, black, bristly, bare skin around the eyes, throat and lower neck. 

This species is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, as its global population is estimated to number no more than 10,000 in total, although it probably numbers fewer, and is thought to be in steep decline. This has most likely been caused by habitat loss and trapping for the cage-bird trade.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credits: [Top: ©Ricardo Gentil | Locality: Parque Estadual Turístico do Alto Ribeira (PETAR), Iporanga, São Paulo, Brazil, 2013] - [Bottom: ©Fábio Manfredini | Locality: Parque Estadual Turístico do Alto Ribeira (PETAR), Serra do Paranapicaba, Iporanga, São Paulo, Brazil, 2012]

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vice.com
Poisonous Birds in Papua New Guinea and a Very Baffling Story of Evolution
They secrete batrachotoxin through their feathers, which is one of the world's most deadly poisons.

Secreted from the glands of poison dart frogs in South America, batrachotoxin is fatal at a dosage of just 0.1 milligrams. That’s equivalent to around two grains of table salt. After exposure, the toxin jams open the ion channels in its victim’s nervous system, forcing muscles to fire continuously. In around 10 minutes, the heart and lungs will seize.

Batrachotoxin just about the most potent toxin on the planet. But killing power aside, the most compelling thing about batrachotoxin is how it reveals large holes in our understanding of evolution.

In 1989, a graduate student from the University of Chicago named Jack Dumbacher was studying birds of paradise in Papua New Guinea. He was trying to catch them in nets but kept getting another bird, called a pitohui, instead.

“So I had two or three in a net and was pulling them out, and they scratched my hand,” he recalled over the phone. “I licked my cuts and instantly felt my tongue start to tingle and burn. After a moment it went numb and I thought Hey, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”…

I met this albino Raven named Pearl today at Bird Fest. It is only one of four known albino Ravens in the whole world.

Pearl lives in this woman’s house. The handler has a permit, and the bird is property of the government (like hawks and falcons). She is affiliated with the California Wildlife Center. Every time the handler stopped petting Pearl she started cawing. She really likes affection.

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Artist Jane Kim has just completed painting a 3,000-square-foot mural on the wall of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Visitor Center in Ithaca, New York, that depicts the evolution of birds.

The mural features winged representatives from each of the world’s 243 families of modern birds, painted to scale on a massive world map on the 70-foot by 40-foot wall. As well as birds, which evolved 150 million years ago, it also includes 27 dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts that are ancestors of birds.

Article Here.

The Great Blue Turaco: a powerful bird in the African Etno-Ornithology

The Great Blue Turaco, Corythaeola cristata (Cuculiformes - Musophagidae), is a large bird, in fact is the largest member of the Musophagidae family, reaching 70-75 cm in length. They have a pleasant expression, and are also beautiful, combining in their plumage colors such as turquoise-blue, yellow, greenish-yellow, chestnut, and grayish, They have a conspicuous blue-black raised crest on forecrown and crown, and a large convex bill bright yellow with red tip.

Found in equatorial W Africa, from Guinea to Nigeria, and from the Congo Basin to Kenya and Tanzania, the Great Blue Turaco is one of those bird species that have or have had a traditional use in Africa, and have been studied in the field of Ethno-Ornithology

In the Congo, the Mbuti hunter-gatherers believe that the Great Blue Turacos are dangerously powerful birds, mediators between the spirit world and human society. It is believed that the Great Blue Turaco may cause deaf to the newborn, if its parents eat the bird during the pregnancy.  And also said to be closely associated with okapis (a giraffid artiodactyl mammal native to the Ituri Rainforest), informing the okapis of danger by crying loudly on the treetop over the okapis.

References: [1] - [2] - [3] - [4]

Photo credit: ©Bara Chouinard | Locality: captive - US, Florida (2011)

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vine

hoo dat

Woodpeckers are Hardcore

To prevent damage to the brain caused by the rapid and repeated impacts, woodpeckers have evolved several adaptations to protect the brain: it is small sized, orientations within the skull are such in order to maximize the area of contact with the skull and the brevity of contact. In the millisecond before each impact, a membrane covers the eye, protecting against shrapnel. The nostrils are small gaps and have special feathers to cap them. Thus, the woodpecker are capable of repeatedly pecking the wood of a tree, suffering deceleration in the order of 10,000 m/s. 

[source]

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BIG UPDATE!

I’ve finally finished my biological patches set! After many months of designing, editing, and trial and error, I’m proud to post up photos of the final products!

They are woven with bright, beautiful colors that will endure many washes and adventures to come. They’re only $8 in my store:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Monsternium



Here are the first five patches in my biological patch set. Once all ten are made, the rainbow of studies will be complete! Each one is illustrated, digitized, and embroidered by me. Stay tuned for more! Next up is herpetology ;)