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27 December 2014

Parrots of Burundi (I)

L : Red-fronted Parrot (黑翅賈丁氏鸚鵡) ; R : Cape Parrot (海角鸚鵡)
Burundi (2011)

20th October, 2014. Bujumbura

Red-fronted Parrot also known as the Jardine's parrot, is a medium-sized mainly green parrot endemic across wide areas of Africa. It has three subspecies. The extent and shade of the red or orange plumage on its head, thighs, and bend of wings vary depending on the subspecies. They are popular as pets, partly because of their ability to mimic speech and copy sounds. Trapping of wild birds for the pet trade is a potential threat to wild populations; however, they are protected by CITES (appendix II) making the trade, import and export of all wild-caught parrots illegal.

Cape Parrot is a short-tailed moderately large bird with a very large beak used to crack all sorts of hard nuts and fruit kernels, especially those of African yellowwood trees Podocarpus spp.. This contrasts with the closely related Savanna species (Poicephalus fuscicollis) which feeds on and a wide variety of tropical woodland trees such as Marula, Commiphora spp. and Terminalia spp.. These species are sexually dimorphic, with females typically sporting an orange frontal patch on the forehead. Juveniles also show a larger orange - pink patch on the forehead but lack the red on shoulders and legs of adults. These plumage characteristics vary among individuals and among the three recognized forms.

20 December 2014

The Indian issue of 'International Year of Biodiversity'


Left : Indian Eagle-owl (印度雕鴞) ; 
Right : Ruddy Shelduck (赤麻鴨) and Brahminy Kite (栗鳶)
Postmark : Pale-capped Pigeon (紫林鴿)
India (2012)

24th August, 2014. Bhubaneswar
18th October, 2014. Hong-Kong

The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. It is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives. The world is invited to take action in 2010 to safeguard the variety of life on earth: biodiversity.The International Year of Biodiversity is a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth.

13 December 2014

Endangered Seabirds

Antipodean Albatross (安島信天翁)
New Zealand (2014)

25th September, 2014. Whanganui

New Zealand’s unique marine environment is home to a diverse range of seabirds, giving New Zealand the title of ‘seabird capital of the world’. Five of our most endangered seabirds are featured on this unique stamp issue that uses thermochromic ink to reflect the disappearing nature of these precious birds.

Antipodean Albatross is a large albatross that breeds almost exclusively on the Auckland and Antipodes Islands. They are masters of low-energy flying and forage over the contintental shelf edge and deep water areas.

Restricted to the Chatham Islands as their name suggests, this large black and white shag, is a conspicuous bird along the rocky coastlines. Colonies and roost sites are located on rocky headlands and islets and there is one colony in the Te Whanga Lagoon.

Black-billed Gulls are strongly colonial and breed predominantly on braided rivers from the coast to the headwaters. The species is found throughout New Zealand but is most common east of the southern divide in the South Island and in Southland.

Chatham Island Shag (查島鸕鶿)
New Zealand (2014)

25th September, 2014. Whanganui

Black-billed Gull (黑嘴鷗)
New Zealand (2014)
25th September, 2014. Whanganui

6 December 2014

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill (黑面琵鷺)
Taiwan (2004)
20th September, 2014. Chigo

The black-faced Spoonbill has the most restricted distribution of all spoonbills, and it is the only one regarded as endangered. Spoonbills are large water birds with dorso-ventrally flattened, spatulate bills. These birds use a tactile method of feeding, wading in the water and sweeping their beaks from side-to-side to detect prey. Confined to the coastal areas of eastern Asia, it seems that it was once common throughout its area of distribution. It has a niche existence on only a few small rocky islands off the west coast of North Korea, with four wintering sites at Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as other places where they have been observed in migration. Wintering also occurs in Cheju, South Korea, Kyushu and Okinawa, Japan, and Red River, Delta Vietnam. More recently, sightings of Black-faced Spoonbill birds were noted in Thailand, the Philippines, mainland China, and Macao They were classified as an endangered species through IUCN in 2005. Declines in their population are predicted in the future, mainly due to the amount of deforestation, pollution, and other man-made industries.
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