Natural history of the animal kingdom  : in three parts, comprising I. Mammalia : II. Birds : Part III. Reptiles, amphibia, fishes, insects, worms, molluscs, zoophytes, on Flickr.

By Kirby, W. F. (William Forsell), 1844-1912 
Mearns, Edgar Alexander, 1856-1916 
Schubert, Gotthilf Heinrich von, 1780-1860 
Publication info Brighton :E. & J.B. Young and Co.,1889
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Smithsonian Libraries

Turquoise-browed Motmot - Eumomota superciliosa

The Turquoise-browed Motmot, Eumomota superciliosa (Coraciiformes - Momotidae) is a colorful bird distributed in México and Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua).

Both male and female Turquoise-browed Motmot have long tails that terminate in widened blue-and-black rackets that appear to hang, unattached, below the body of the bird. In this species, males’ tail length aids in sexual selection; males with longer tails have greater pairing and reproductive success.

These birds are colonial-breeding, socially monogamous that exhibits biparental care.

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

Photo credit: ©Jerry Oldenettel (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) | Locality: La Ensenada, Costa Rica (2008)

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Birds Of A Feather Aren’t Necessarily Related

A series of exhaustive new studies on bird genetics has found new relationships between different species and elucidated the bird species explosion after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Read all about it here.

What’s your favorite ______formes? Mine’s Pelecaniformes!!!

Tree image: AAAS/Carla Schaffer

Bird images: (Left and center)iStock; (Right) Chris Minerva/Ocean/Corbis

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The hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin), also known as the stinkbird, or Canje pheasant, is a species of tropical bird found in swamps, riparian forests, and mangroves of the Amazon and the Orinoco Delta in South America. It is notable for having chicks that possess claws on two of their wing digits.


It is the only member of the genus Opisthocomus (Ancient Greek: “wearing long hair behind”, referring to its large crest), which in turn is the only extant genus in the family Opisthocomidae. The taxonomic position of this family has been greatly debated, and is still far from clear.

Text and photos via Wikipedia, CC by 2.0

Blood Pheasant - Ithaginis cruentus 

With around 15 subspecies, Ithaginis cruentus (Galliformes - Phasianidae) is commonly referred to as Blood Pheasant due to the fact that the males have vivid red coloring on the feathers of the breast, throat and forehead. 

These pheasants inhabit coniferous or mixed forests and scrub areas right at the snow line. They are native to Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar and Nepal, and move within their range depending on the seasons and during the summer are found at higher elevations. Populations move to lower elevations as the snow increases in the fall and winter.

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

Photo credit: ©Myron Tay | Locality: Eastern Bhutan (2014)