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28 February 2015

European Green Woodpecker

European Green Woodpecker (綠啄木鳥)
Germany (2014)

9th November, 2014. Gaildorf

European green woodpecker is a member of the woodpecker family Picidae. There are four subspecies and it occurs in most parts of Europe and in western Asia. All have green upperparts, paler yellowish underparts, a red crown and moustachial stripe which has a red centre in males but is all black in females.

The European green woodpecker spends much of its time feeding on ants on the ground and does not often 'drum' on trees like other woodpecker species. It is a shy bird but usually draws attention with its loud calls. A nest hole is excavated in a tree; four to six eggs are laid which hatch after 19–20 days.

21 February 2015

Fauna of Moldova

L : White Stork (白鸛) ; R : Yellow Wagtail (黃鶺鴒)
Moldova (2014)

26th November, 2014. Chişinău

White Storks are tall long-necked wading birds with long bare red legs and a straight pointed red bill. The white plumage of the head, neck, and body contrasts with the black wing feathers highlighted with a sheen of purple and green iridescence. The contour feathers of the lower neck and chest are elongated to form a fluffy ruff that can be erected during courtship displays. A small patch of bare black skin surrounds their brown eyes. Sexes are similar in appearance, though males are slightly larger.

Juvenile birds are duller in coloration than adults. The black primaries are tinged with brown. Their blackish bills and dull brown legs slowly acquire the red color of the adults as they mature.

Though storks are considered to be largely silent birds, most species perform some variety of a bill-clattering display. This display reaches its most advanced form in the White Stork. They begin by throwing their heads straight back to create an amplifying resonance box in the gular pouch of the lower neck. As they clatter their upper and lower mandibles together rapidly they produce a loud machine-gun-like rattle that rises and falls in pace.

Yellow Wagtail is a small passerine in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws.

This species breeds in much of temperate Europe and Asia. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, such as western Europe, but northern and eastern populations migrate to Africa and south Asia.

It is a slender 15–16 cm long bird, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. It is the shortest tailed of the European wagtails. The breeding adult male is basically olive above and yellow below. In other plumages, the yellow may be diluted by white. The heads of breeding males come in a variety of colours and patterns depending on subspecies.

The call is a characteristic high-pitched jeet. This insectivorous bird inhabits open country near water, such as wet meadows. It nests in tussocks, laying 4-8 speckled eggs.

14 February 2015

Margherita di Savoia

Greater Flamingo (大紅鶴)
Italy (2014)

19th July, 2014. Margherita di Savoia

Margherita di Savoia is a town and comune in the Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani (Apulia, southern Italy). It was given this name in 1879 in honour of Queen Margherita of Savoy, who had an important love affair in the town; previously it had been known as Saline di Barletta.

7 February 2015

Horned Parakeet

Horned Parakeet (獨角鸚鵡)
New Caledonia (2014)

6th November, 2014. Bujumbura

The Horned Parakeet is a species of parrot in the genus Eunymphicus, in the Psittaculidae family, is a largely green parakeet endemic to New Caledonia. It is called Horned because it has two black feathers that protrude from the head and have red tips. This parakeet has a yellowish nape with a black and red face and bluish wings and tail. It makes a nasal "kho-khoot" contact call and also makes a wide range of shrieks and chuckles.

The species has a preference for natural forests and laurel forest habitat. The horned parakeet lives humid pine forests on New Caledonia, especially when Agathis and Araucaria pines are present. They live in pairs or small flocks and forage for seeds and nuts in the canopy. It nests both on the ground and in trees.

This bird has declined since the 1880s, but it is still found in some range on New Caledonia and recent population estimates believe that there are over 2500 birds left. Eunymphicus cornutus is declining by poaching and habitat destruction. This bird has habitat fragmented into distinct subpopulations. The total population is small, and it is restricted to single subpopulations which is suspected to have declined owing to habitat degradation, and it therefore qualifies as Vulnerable. Eunymphicus cornutus have undergone a decline over the past three generations (from 1988) owing to habitat degradation also predation by invasive species.
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