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  • 1. Summary
    Siberian Crane
    This species breeds in arctic Russia in Yakutia and western Siberia.
    Description
    Large males can exceed 152 cm (60 inches) and weigh over 10 kg (22 lbs). Adults are all white, except for a dark red mask extending from the bill to behind the eye and black primary wing feathers. The male is slightly larger than the female. A single bird was seen on North Keeling Island (Cocos (Keeling) Islands) in 1988. Greater flamingo is the state bird of Gujarat, India.
    Like all flamingos, this species lays a single chalky-white egg on a mud mound.
    Ruff
    The male is much larger than the female (the reeve), and has a breeding plumage which includes brightly coloured head tufts and the large collar of feathers which led to the species' current name. This highly gregarious species is migratory, wintering, sometimes in huge flocks, in southern and western Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Australia. The Ruff breeds in extensive lowland freshwater marshes and damp grasslands. This species is migratory, with the bulk wintering in Africa. Huge dense groups also form on the wintering grounds; one flock in contained one million birds. Non-breeding birds may remain in the wintering quarters all year. Males typically winter further north than females; for example, virtually all wintering Ruff in Britain are males, whereas in Kenya most are females.
    Black-winged Stilt
    The Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus, is a widely distibuted very long-legged wader in the avocet and stilt family (Recurvirostridae). Most sources today accept 2-4 species.
    Description
    Adults are 33-36 cm long. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. In the populations that have the top of the head normally white at least in winter, females tend to have less black on head and neck all year round, while males often have much black, particularly in summer. This difference is not clear-cut however, and males usually get all-white heads in winter.
    In the most extensive circumscription, with one species and 5-7 subspecies, this bird is often called Common Stilt.
    NW populations migrate south to Africa in winter.
    Head and neck vary from all-white to white with all-black cap and hindneck, usually with white band across upper back. Sometimes vestigial open black chest band.
    Black-necked Stilt, Himantopus himantopus mexicanus, Himantopus mexicanus mexicanus or H. mexicanus (P.L.S.Müller, 1776)
    Northernmost populations migrate south in winter. Intergrades with White-backed Stilt in C Brazil.
    Head and neck always white with black cap down to the eyeline, white spot above eye, black hindneck. Usually no white band across upper back. Often vestigial open black chest band.
    White-backed Stilt, Himantopus himantopus melanurus, Himantopus mexicanus melanurus or H. melanurus Vieillot, 1817
    Intergrades with Black-necked Stilt in C Brazil.
    Head and neck usually white with black hindneck and a black line from the nape to the eye. Pied Stilt, White-headed Stilt or (New Zealand) poaka, Himantopus himantopus leucocephalus or H. leucocephalus Gould, 1837
    Southern population winter in the Philippines region.
    Head usually all-white, neck white, black behind and with open black chest band.
    Northern Pintail
    The Pintail or Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) is a widely occurring duck which breeds in the northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America. It is strongly migratory and winters south of its breeding range to the equator. The male has a very distinctive brown, grey and white appearance, whereas the female has mainly light brown plumage and a shorter tail. The male's call is a mellow whistle, whereas the female quacks like a Mallard.
    The Northern Pintail is a bird of open wetlands which nests on the ground, often some distance from water. It is highly gregarious when not breeding, forming large mixed flocks with other species of duck.
    Description
    Male
    The male in breeding plumage has a chocolate-brown head and white breast with a white stripe extending up the side of the neck. The adult female is mainly scalloped and mottled in light brown with a more uniformly grey-brown head, and its pointed tail is shorter than the male’s; it is still easily identified by its shape, long neck, and long grey bill.
    Non-breeding males wintering in India
    In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake Pintail looks similar to the female, but retains the male upperwing pattern and long grey shoulder feathers.
    Yellow Wagtail
    It is a slender 15-16 cm long bird, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. The breeding adult male is basically olive above and yellow below. The heads of breeding males come in a variety of colours and patterns depending on subspecies.
    White Wagtail
    The White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small passerine bird in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. This species breeds in much of Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa.
    Breeding ranges of the major races
    Description
    The nominate subspecies Motacilla alba alba is basically grey above and white below, with a white face, black cap and black throat.
    Some races show sexual dimorphism during the breeding season. It has also been noted that both back and chin change colour during the pre-basic moult; all black-throated subspecies develop white chins and throats in winter and some black-backed birds are grey-backed in winter.
    Northern Shoveler
    This species is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill. The breeding male has a green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female.
    The female's forewing is grey.
    This bird winters in southern Europe, Africa, northern South America, and the Malay Archipelago. In winter, breeding birds move south, and are replaced by an influx of continental birds from further north.
    The bird can be branded as partly resident and partly a winter visitor. It lays two ivory white eggs, surprisingly the juveniles are sooty black in colour.
    The bird breeds limitedly in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
    Gadwall
    Description
    The breeding male is patterned grey, with a black rear end, light chestnut wings, and a brilliant white speculum, obvious in flight or at rest. The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female Mallard. It can be distinguished from that species by the dark orange-edged bill, smaller size, the white speculum, and white belly.
    Spotted Sandpiper
    The body is brown on top and white underneath with black spots. The Acititis species have a distinctive stiff-winged flight low over the water. Spotted Sandpipers nest on the ground.
    Eurasian Wigeon
    The breeding male has grey flanks and back, with a black rear end and a dark green speculum and a brilliant white patch on upper wings, obvious in flight or at rest. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the female. The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female American Wigeon.
    It breeds in the northernmost areas of Europe and Asia. It is strongly migratory and winters further south than its breeding range.
    Black-tailed Godwit
    The Black-tailed Godwit, Limosa limosa, is a large, long-legged, long-billed shorebird first described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1758. There are three subspecies, all with orange head, neck and chest in breeding plumage and dull grey-brown winter coloration, and distinctive black and white wingbar at all times.
    Its breeding range stretches from Iceland through Europe and areas of central Asia. Black-tailed Godwits spend winter in areas as diverse as Australia, western Europe and west Africa. The Black-tailed Godwit is a large wader with long bill (7.5 to 12 cm long), neck and legs. The legs are dark grey, brown or black. In winter, adult Black-tailed Godwits have a uniform brown-grey breast and upperparts (in contrast to the Bar-tailed Godwit's streaked back). In flight, its bold black and white wingbar and white rump can be seen readily. The female is around 5 % larger than the male, with a bill 12-15% longer.
    Spotted Redshank
    It is an Arctic bird, breeding across northern Scandinavia and northern Asia. It is a migratory species, wintering around the Mediterranean, the southern British Isles, France, tropical Africa, and tropical Asia, usually on fresh or brackish water. It is black in breeding plumage, and very pale in winter. The Spotted Redshank is replaced as a breeding bird further south by the Common Redshank, which has a shorter bill and legs, and is brown and white above with some dark patterning below, becoming somewhat lighter-toned in winter.
    Black-crowned Night Heron
    Young birds are brown, flecked with white and grey.
    The North American population winters in Mexico, the southern United States, Central America, and the West Indies, and the Old World birds winter in tropical Africa and southern Asia.
    Comb Duck
    This common species is unmistakable. Adults have a white head freckled with dark spots, and a pure white neck and underparts. The male is larger than the female, and has a large black knob on the bill.
    2185670391160Siberian Crane
    The Siberian Crane, Grus leucogeranus, also known as the Siberian White Crane or the Snow Crane, is a bird of the family Gruidae, the cranes.
    This species breeds in arctic Russia in Yakutia and western Siberia. It is a long distance migrant. The eastern population winters on the Yangtze River and Lake Poyang in China, the central population at Keoladeo National Park, India (the last Siberian Crane in this population was observed in 2002), and the western population in Fereydoon Kenar in Iran. It breeds and winters in wetlands, where it feeds on the shoots, roots and tubers of aquatic plants.
    Description
    This is a large white crane, typically 4.9-8.6 kg (10.8-19 lbs), 140 cm (55 in), and 210-230 cm (83-91 in) across the wings. Large males can exceed 152 cm (60 inches) and weigh over 10 kg (22 lbs). Adults are all white, except for a dark red mask extending from the bill to behind the eye and black primary wing feathers. It has a yellow iris and reddish legs. The male is slightly larger than the female. Juveniles have a feathered mask and buff or cinnamon plumage. The voice is flute-like and musical.
    Status
    The status of this crane is critical, as it is expected to undergo a rapid population decline in the near future. The wintering site in China holding an estimated 98% of the population is threatened by hydrological changes caused by the Three Gorges Dam and other water development projects. The world population is estimated to be around 3,200.
    Satellite telemetry was used to track the migration of a flock that wintered in Iran. They were noted to rest on the eastern end of the Volga delta. Satellite telemetry was also used to track the migration of the eastern population in the mid 1990s, leading to the discovery of new resting areas along the species' flwyay in eastern Russia and China. Researchers are currently trackng two Siberian Cranes banded in Yakutia, Russia and northern Iran, to learn more about their migration routes and summering areas along the eastern and western flyways. The Siberian Crane is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies and is subject of the Memorandum of Understanding concerning Conservation Measures for the Siberian Crane concluded under the Bonn Convention.
    2238375360045Greater Flamingo
    The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is found in parts of Africa, southern Asia (coastal regions of Pakistan and India) and southern Europe (including Spain, Sardinia, Albania, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, and the Camargue region of France). Some populations are short distance migrants, and records north of the breeding range are relatively frequent; however, given the species' popularity in captivity whether these are truly wild individuals is a matter of some debate. A single bird was seen on North Keeling Island (Cocos (Keeling) Islands) in 1988. Greater flamingo is the state bird of Gujarat, India.
    This is the largest species of flamingo, averaging 110-150 cm (43-60 in) tall and weighing 2-4 kg (4.4-8.8 lbs). The largest male flamingoes have been recorded at up to 187 cm (74 in) tall and 4.5 kg (10 lbs).. It is closely related to the American Flamingo and Chilean Flamingo, with which it is has sometimes been considered conspecific, but that treatment is now widely seen (e.g. by the American and British Ornithologists' Union) as incorrect and based on a lack of evidence.
    Like all flamingos, this species lays a single chalky-white egg on a mud mound.
    Most of the plumage is pinkish-white, but the wing coverts are red and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black.The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. The call is a goose-like honking.
    2185670370840Ruff
    The Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) is a medium-sized wader which breeds on marshes and wet meadows across northern Eurasia. The male is much larger than the female (the reeve), and has a breeding plumage which includes brightly coloured head tufts and the large collar of feathers which led to the species' current name. The head and neck ornaments are erected as part of an elaborate display at a lek in which three differently plumaged types of male utilise a variety of strategies, including female mimicry, to gain access to the reeves. The female lays four eggs in a well-hidden ground nest, incubating and rearing the chicks on her own. Predators of chicks and eggs include mammals such as foxes, feral cats and stoats, and birds including large gulls, corvids and skuas.
    This highly gregarious species is migratory, wintering, sometimes in huge flocks, in southern and western Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Australia. It forages in wet grassland and soft mud, probing or searching by sight for edible items. Insects are the main food, especially in the breeding season, but the Ruff will take plant material, including rice and maize, on migration and in winter.
    Distribution and habitat
    The Ruff breeds in extensive lowland freshwater marshes and damp grasslands. It avoids barren and areas badly affected by severe weather, preferring hummocky marshes and deltas with shallow water margins. The wetter areas provide a source of food, the mounds and slopes may be used for leks, and dry areas with sedge or low scrub offer nesting sites. Moderately intensive grazing of grassland, with more than one cow per hectare (2.5 acres), was found to attract more nesting pairs in one Hungarian study. When not breeding, a wider range of shallow wetlands is used, such as irrigation, flood lands, lake margins and mining subsidence. Dry grassland, tidal mudflats and the seashore are less frequently used.
    The Ruff breeds in Europe and Asia from Scandinavia and Great Britain almost to the Pacific. In Europe it is found in cool temperate areas, but over its Russian range it is an Arctic species, occurring mainly north of about 65N. The largest numbers breed in Russia (more than 1 million pairs), Sweden (61,000 pairs), Finland (39,000 pairs) and Norway (14,000 pairs). Although it also breeds from Britain east through the Low Countries to Poland, Germany and Denmark, there are fewer than 2,000 pairs in these more southerly areas.
    This species is migratory, with the bulk wintering in Africa. It is highly gregarious, travelling in large flocks which can contain hundreds or thousands of individuals. Huge dense groups also form on the wintering grounds; one flock in contained one million birds. A minority winter further east to Burma, south China, New Guinea and scattered parts of southern Australia, or on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Europe. Non-breeding birds may remain in the wintering quarters all year. The Ruff is a regular visitor to Alaska (where it has occasionally bred), Canada and the contiguous states of the US, and it has also wandered to Iceland, Central America, northern South America, Madagascar and New Zealand.
    The male, which plays no part in nesting or chick care, leaves the breeding grounds in late June or early July, followed later in July by the female and juveniles. Males typically winter further north than females; for example, virtually all wintering Ruff in Britain are males, whereas in Kenya most are females. Many migratory species use this differential wintering strategy, since it reduces feeding competition between the sexes and increases the chances of a successful early return to its breeding area by the male. In the case of the Ruff, the larger size of the male may assist its wintering in colder regions than its mate.
    Birds returning north in spring across the central Mediterranean appear to follow a well-defined flyway. Large concentrations of Ruff form every year at particular refuelling sites, and the same individuals, identifiable through or dyeing, reappear in subsequent years. The staging posts are closer together than the theoretical maximum travel distance calculated from the mean body mass, and provide evidence of a site-dependent refuelling strategy similar to that used by some other waders, such as the and. Ruff store fat as a fuel for the long migration flights, but unlike mammals, they also use as the main short-term energy supply for exercise and keeping warm.
    Black-winged Stilt
    19335758890
    The Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus, is a widely distibuted very long-legged wader in the avocet and stilt family (Recurvirostridae). Opinions differ as to whether the birds treated under the scientific name H. himantopus ought to be treated as a single species and if not, how many species to recognize. Most sources today accept 2-4 species.
    Description
    Adults are 33-36 cm long. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. Females' backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black. In the populations that have the top of the head normally white at least in winter, females tend to have less black on head and neck all year round, while males often have much black, particularly in summer. This difference is not clear-cut however, and males usually get all-white heads in winter.
    Immature birds are grey instead of black and have a markedly sandy hue on the wings, with light feather fringes appearing as a whitish line in flight.
    Taxonomy and systematics
    The of this bird is still somewhat contentious. Some believe that there are as many as five distinct; others consider some or all of these to be. In addition, two dubious subspecies are also sometimes listed, but not as independent species.
    In the most extensive circumscription, with one species and 5-7 subspecies, this bird is often called Common Stilt. The name Black-winged Stilt on the other hand can specifically refer to the . The commonly accepted are:
    Black-winged Stilt proper, Himantopus himantopus himantopus or H. himantopus Linnaeus, (1758) – including proposed subspecies meridionalis (S Africa) and ceylonensis (Sri Lanka)
    W Europe and Mediterranean region to Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, South and Southeast Asia; localized breeder in East Asia (e.g. Taiwan) but more widespread during winter; has become a regular migrant to the Marianas and Saipan and sometimes is seen on other islands in western Micronesia (e.g. Koror, Ngeriungs Islet and Peleliu of Palau) since the late 20th century. NW populations migrate south to Africa in winter.
    Head and neck vary from all-white to white with all-black cap and hindneck, usually with white band across upper back. Sometimes vestigial open black chest band.
    Black-necked Stilt, Himantopus himantopus mexicanus, Himantopus mexicanus mexicanus or H. mexicanus (P.L.S.Müller, 1776)
    Southern North America through Central America and Caribbean to N Peru and NE Brazil. Northernmost populations migrate south in winter. Intergrades with White-backed Stilt in C Brazil.
    Head and neck always white with black cap down to the eyeline, white spot above eye, black hindneck. Usually no white band across upper back. Often vestigial open black chest band.
    White-backed Stilt, Himantopus himantopus melanurus, Himantopus mexicanus melanurus or H. melanurus Vieillot, 1817
    South America from C Peru and N Chile to SE Brazil and south to SC Argentina. Intergrades with Black-necked Stilt in C Brazil.
    Head and neck usually white with black hindneck and a black line from the nape to the eye. Usually has open black chest band and a white band across upper back.
    Pied Stilt, White-headed Stilt or (New Zealand) poaka, Himantopus himantopus leucocephalus or H. leucocephalus Gould, 1837
    Java to New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. Southern population winter in the Philippines region.
    Head usually all-white, neck white, black behind and with open black chest band. Usually a white band across upper back.
    Hawaiian Stilt or āeʻo, Himantopus himantopus knudseni, Himantopus mexicanus knudseni or H. knudseni Stejneger, 1887
    Hawaiian Islands, where it is the only breeding shorebird
    Generally similar to Black-necked Stilt, but black on head and neck more extensive, usually extending below the eye.
    Northern Pintail
    211899522225
    The Pintail or Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) is a widely occurring duck which breeds in the northern areas of Europe, Asia and North America. It is strongly migratory and winters south of its breeding range to the equator. Unusually for a bird with such a large range, it has no geographical subspecies if the possibly conspecific Eaton's Pintail is considered to be a separate species.
    This is a fairly large duck, with a long pointed tail that gives rise to the species' English and scientific names. The male has a very distinctive brown, grey and white appearance, whereas the female has mainly light brown plumage and a shorter tail. The male's call is a mellow whistle, whereas the female quacks like a Mallard.
    The Northern Pintail is a bird of open wetlands which nests on the ground, often some distance from water. It feeds by dabbling for plant food and adds small invertebrates to its diet during the nesting season. It is highly gregarious when not breeding, forming large mixed flocks with other species of duck.
    Description
    Male
    The Northern Pintail is a fairly large duck with a wingspan of 23.6–28.2 centimetres (9.3–11.1 in). The male is 59–76 centimetres (23–30 in) in length and weighs 450–1360 grammes (1–3 lb), and therefore is considerably larger than the female, which is 51–64 centimetres (20–25 in) long and weighs 454–1135 grammes (1–2.5 lb). The male in breeding plumage has a chocolate-brown head and white breast with a white stripe extending up the side of the neck. Its upperparts and sides are grey, but elongated grey feathers with black central stripes are draped across the back from the shoulder area. The vent area is yellow, contrasting with the black underside of the tail, which has the central feathers elongated to as much as 10 centimetres (4 in). The bill is bluish and the legs are blue-grey.
    The adult female is mainly scalloped and mottled in light brown with a more uniformly grey-brown head, and its pointed tail is shorter than the male’s; it is still easily identified by its shape, long neck, and long grey bill.
    Non-breeding males wintering in India
    In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake Pintail looks similar to the female, but retains the male upperwing pattern and long grey shoulder feathers. Juvenile birds resemble the female, but are less neatly scalloped and have a duller brown speculum with a narrower trailing edge.
    The Pintail walks well on land, and swims buoyantly. It has a very fast flight, with its wings slightly swept-back, rather than straight out from the body like other ducks. In flight, the male shows a black speculum bordered white at the rear and pale rufous at the front, whereas the female's speculum is dark brown bordered with white, narrowly at the front edge but very prominently at the rear, being visible at a distance of 1600 metres (1 mi).
    The male's call is a soft proop-proop whistle, similar to that of the Common Teal, whereas the female has a Mallard-like descending quack, and a low croak when flushed.
    Yellow Wagtail
    209296068580
    Vagrant individuals occur around the winter quarters at migration time. For example, on Palau in Micronesia migrant flocks of this species – apparently of the Bering Sea Yellow Wagtail, and including many adult males – are regularly seen, while further north on the Marianas, only the occasional stray individual – usually females or immatures as it seems – is encountered.
    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.
    White Wagtail
    210566081915
    The White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small passerine bird in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. This species breeds in much of Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa. It is resident in the mildest parts of its range, but otherwise migrates to Africa. It has a toehold in Alaska as a scarce breeder. In some areas, notably the United Kingdom, the sub-species Pied Wagtail (M. a. yarrellii) predominates.
    This is an insectivorous bird of open country, often near habitation and water. It prefers bare areas for feeding, where it can see and pursue its prey. In urban areas it has adapted to foraging on paved areas such as car parks.It nests in crevices in stone walls and similar natural and man-made structures.
    Taxonomy and systematics
    Breeding ranges of the major races
    The White Wagtail was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae, and it still bears its original name of Motacilla alba.[2] The Latin genus name originally meant " little mover" , but certain medieval writers thought it meant " wag-tail" , giving rise to a new Latin word cilla for " tail" .The specific epithet alba is Latin for " white" .
    Within the wagtail genus Motacilla, the White Wagtail's closest relatives appear to be other black-and-white wagtails such as the Japanese Wagtail, Motacilla grandis, and the White-browed Wagtail, Motacilla madaraspatensis, (and possibly the Mekong Wagtail, Motacilla samveasnae, the phylogenetic position of which is mysterious) with which it appears to form a superspecies. However mtDNA cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 sequence data suggests that the White Wagtail is itself polyphyletic or paraphyletic (i.e. The species is not itself a single coherent grouping). Other phylogenetic studies using mtDNA however suggest that there is considerable gene flow within the races and the resulting closeness makes Motacilla alba a single species.Some studies have suggested the existence of only two groups : the alboides group, with M. a. alboides, M. a. leucopsis and M. a. personata; and the alba group, with M. a. alba, M. a. yarrellii, M. a. baicalensis, M. a. ocularis, M. a. lugens, and M. a. subpersonata.
    Willy Wagtail was a colloquial name used in the Isle of Man, replacing the older name ushag vreck,as well as a common name used in Northern Ireland.
    Description
    This is a slender bird, 16.5–19 cm (6½–7½ in) in length (East Asian subspecies are longer, to 21 cm (8¼ in), with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. The nominate subspecies Motacilla alba alba is basically grey above and white below, with a white face, black cap and black throat.
    There are a number of other subspecies, some of which may have arisen because of partial geographical isolation, such as the resident British form, the Pied Wagtail M. a. yarrellii, which now also breeds in adjacent areas of the neighbouring European mainland. Pied Wagtail, named for naturalist William Yarrell, exchanges the grey colour of the nominate form with black (or very dark grey in females), but is otherwise identical in its behaviour. Other subspecies, the validity of some of which is questionable, differ in the colour of the wings, back, and head, or other features. Some races show sexual dimorphism during the breeding season. As many as six subspecies may be present in the wintering ground in India or Southeast Asia and here they can be difficult to distinguish.Phylogenetic studies using mtDNA suggest that some morphological features have evolved more than once including the back and chin colour. Breeding M. a. yarrellii look much like the nominate race except for the black back, and M. a. alboides of the Himalayas differs from the Central Asian M. a. personata only by its black back. It has also been noted that both back and chin change colour during the pre-basic moult; all black-throated subspecies develop white chins and throats in winter and some black-backed birds are grey-backed in winter.
    The call of the White Wagtail is a sharp chisick, slightly softer than the version given by Pied Wagtail. The song is a pleasant twittering, more regular in White than Pied, but with little territorial significance, since the male uses a series of contact calls to attract the female.
    Northern Shoveler
    194056022225
    The Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), sometimes known simply as the Shoveler is a common and widespread duck. It breeds in northern areas of Europe and Asia and across most of North America, and is a rare vagrant to Australia. In North America, it breeds along the southern edge of Hudson Bay and west of this body of water, and as far south as the Great Lakes west to Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name. Usually placed in Anas like most dabbling ducks, it stands well apart from such species as the Mallard and together with the other shovelers and their relatives forms a " blue-winged" group that may warrant separation as genus Spatula.
    The Northern Shoveler is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. The conservation status of this bird is Least Concern.
    Appearance
    Female stretching after bathing in Kolkata.
    This species is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill. The breeding male has a green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In flight, pale blue forewing feathers are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female.
    The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female Mallard, but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge and lower mandible. The female's forewing is grey.
    They are 19 inches long and have a wingspan of 30 inches with a weight of 1.3 pounds[3].
    Behaviour
    Northern Shovelers feed by dabbling for plant food, often by swinging its bill from side to side and using the bill to strain food from the water. It also eats mollusks and insects in the nesting season.
    The nest is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with plant material and down, usually close to water.
    This is a fairly quiet species. The male has a clunking call, whereas the female has a Mallard-like quack.
    Habitat and range
    This is a bird of open wetlands, such as wet grassland or marshes with some emergent vegetation.
    This bird winters in southern Europe, Africa, northern South America, and the Malay Archipelago. In North America it winters south of a line from Washington to Idaho and from New Mexico east to Kentucky, also along the Eastern Seaboard as far north as Massachusetts. In the British Isles, home to more than 20% of the North Western European population, it is best known as a winter visitor, although it is more frequently seen in southern and eastern England, especially around the Ouse Washes, the Humber and the North Kent Marshes, and in much smaller numbers in Scotland and western parts of England. In winter, breeding birds move south, and are replaced by an influx of continental birds from further north.
    This dabbling duck is strongly migratory and winters further south than its breeding range (so far so that there have been four reports in Australia). It is not as gregarious as some dabbling ducks outside the breeding season and tends to form only small flocks.
    Rosy Pelican
    1860550209550
    You just have to see it to believe it…the way this bird fishes. It is a cooperative effort, swimming in semi-circles, the flock drives the fish towards the shallow portion of the pond...and then, with a sudden flash of lightening, the fish is in its bill. The pouch in the bill acts somewhat like a landing net, the bird devours the catch with a vigorous splashing of its great wings. EasilyTraceable This bird is found in great congregations on jheels and lagoons, it is white or rose tinged with a tuft of yellow feathers on the breast, has a slight crest and the feathers of the forehead end in a point above the bill. Sexes are alike but females are somewhat smaller.The bird can be branded as partly resident and partly a winter visitor. It is found all over northern India from Punjab to Assam. It can be sighted occasionally in the southern part of the country also. One of the interesting things about it is that it nests in the old nests of flamingoes in the Rann of Kutch. It lays two ivory white eggs, surprisingly the juveniles are sooty black in colour. The bird breeds limitedly in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
    Gadwall
    184086515875
    The Gadwall, Anas strepera is a common and widespread duck of the family Anatidae. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name.Its conservation status is Least Concern.
    Description
    The Gadwall is 46–56 cm (18–22 in) long with a 78–90 cm (31–35 in) wingspan. The male is slightly larger than the female, weighing on average 990 g (35 oz) against her 850 g (30 oz). The breeding male is patterned grey, with a black rear end, light chestnut wings, and a brilliant white speculum, obvious in flight or at rest. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the female, but retains the male wing pattern, and is usually greyer above and has less orange on the bill.
    The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female Mallard. It can be distinguished from that species by the dark orange-edged bill, smaller size, the white speculum, and white belly. Both sexes go through two moults annually, following a a juvenile moult.
    Behaviour and habitat
    The Gadwall is a bird of open wetlands, such as prairie or steppe lakes, wet grassland or marshes with dense fringing vegetation, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food with head submerged. It nests on the ground, often some distance from water. It is not as gregarious as some dabbling ducks outside the breeding season and tends to form only small flocks. This is a fairly quiet species; the male has a hoarse whistling call, and the female has a Mallard-like quack. The young birds are fed insects at first; adults also eat some molluscs and insects during the nesting season. The Gadwall is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
    Spotted Sandpiper
    193357541910
    The Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia) is a small shorebird, 18-20 cm long. Together with its sister species, the Common Sandpiper (A. hypoleucos) they make up the genus Actitis. They replace each other geographically; stray birds may settle down with breeders of the other species and hybridize.
    Their breeding habitat is near fresh water across most of Canada and the United States. They migrate to the southern United States and South America, and are very rare vagrants to western Europe. These are not gregarious birds and are seldom seen in flocks.
    Adults have short yellowish legs and an orange bill with a dark tip. The body is brown on top and white underneath with black spots. Non-breeding birds, depicted below, do not have the spotted underparts, and are very similar to the Common Sandpiper of Eurasia; the main difference is the more washed-out wing pattern visible in flight and the normally light yellow legs and feet of the Spotted Sandpiper. The Acititis species have a distinctive stiff-winged flight low over the water. Spotted Sandpipers nest on the ground. Females may mate with more than one male, leaving incubation to them.
    These birds forage on ground or water, picking up food by sight. They may also catch insects in flight. They eat insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates. As they forage, they can be recognized by their constant nodding and teetering.
    Eurasian Wigeon
    203327015875
    The Wigeon or Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope, previously Mareca penelope) is one of three species of wigeon in the dabbling duck genus Anas. It is common and widespread within its range. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name.
    Description
    This dabbling duck is 42-50 cm (20 inches) long with a 71-80 cm (32 inch) wingspan, and a weight of 1.5 pounds. The breeding male has grey flanks and back, with a black rear end and a dark green speculum and a brilliant white patch on upper wings, obvious in flight or at rest. It has a pink breast, white belly, and a chestnut head with a creamy crown. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the female. The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female American Wigeon. It can be distinguished from most other ducks, apart from American Wigeon, on shape. However, that species has a paler head and white axillaries on its underwing. The female can be a rufous morph with a redder head, and a gray morph with a more gray head.
    Distribution
    It breeds in the northernmost areas of Europe and Asia. It is the Old World counterpart of North America's American Wigeon. It is strongly migratory and winters further south than its breeding range. It migrates to southern Asia and Africa. In Great Britain and Ireland the Wigeon is common as a winter visitor, but scarce as a breeding bird in Scotland, the Lake District, the Pennines and occasionally further south. It can be found as an uncommon winter visitor in the United States on the mid-Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It is a rare visitor to the rest of the United States except for the Four Corners and the southern Appalachians
    Black-tailed Godwit
    203327015875
    The Black-tailed Godwit, Limosa limosa, is a large, long-legged, long-billed shorebird first described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1758. It is a member of the Limosa genus, the godwits. There are three subspecies, all with orange head, neck and chest in breeding plumage and dull grey-brown winter coloration, and distinctive black and white wingbar at all times.
    Its breeding range stretches from Iceland through Europe and areas of central Asia. Black-tailed Godwits spend winter in areas as diverse as Australia, western Europe and west Africa. The species breeds in fens, lake edges, damp meadows, moorlands and bogs and uses estuaries, swamps and floods in winter; it is more likely to be found inland and on freshwater than the similar Bar-tailed Godwit. The world population is estimated to be 634,000 to 805,000 birds and is classified as Near Threatened.
    Description
    The Black-tailed Godwit is a large wader with long bill (7.5 to 12 cm long), neck and legs. During the breeding season, the bill has a yellowish or orange-pink base and dark tip; the base is pink in winter. The legs are dark grey, brown or black. The sexes are similar, but in breeding plumage, they can be separated by the male's brighter, more extensive orange breast, neck and head. In winter, adult Black-tailed Godwits have a uniform brown-grey breast and upperparts (in contrast to the Bar-tailed Godwit's streaked back). Juveniles have a pale orange wash to the neck and breast.[3]
    In flight, its bold black and white wingbar and white rump can be seen readily. When on the ground it can be difficult to separate from the similar Bar-tailed Godwit, but the Black-tailed Godwit's longer, straighter bill and longer legs are diagnostic.Black-tailed Godwits are similar in body size and shape to Bar-tailed, but stand taller.
    It measures 42 cm from bill to tail with a wingspan of 70-82 cm. Males weigh around 280 g and females 340 g. The female is around 5 % larger than the male, with a bill 12-15% longer. The most common call is a strident weeka weeka weeka. A study of Black-tailed Godwits in the Netherlands found a mortality rate of 37.6 % in the first year of life, 32 % in the second year, and 36.9 % thereafter.
    2238375490220Spotted Redshank
    The Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus is a wader in the large bird family Scolopacidae, the typical waders. It is an Arctic bird, breeding across northern Scandinavia and northern Asia. It is a migratory species, wintering around the Mediterranean, the southern British Isles, France, tropical Africa, and tropical Asia, usually on fresh or brackish water. It is an occasional vagrant in Australia and North America.
    In Non-breeding plumage at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.
    It is 29-33 cm long. It is black in breeding plumage, and very pale in winter. It has a red legs and bill, and shows a white oval on the back in flight. Juveniles are grey-brown finely speckled white above, and have pale, finely barred underparts. It nests on open boggy taiga, laying four eggs in a ground scrape. The call is a creaking whistle teu-it (somewhat similar to the call of a Roseate Tern), the alarm call a kyip-kyip-kyip. Like most waders, it feeds on small invertebrates.
    The Spotted Redshank is replaced as a breeding bird further south by the Common Redshank, which has a shorter bill and legs, and is brown and white above with some dark patterning below, becoming somewhat lighter-toned in winter.
    Taxonomically, it forms a close-knit group with the Greater Yellowlegs and the Greenshank, which among them show all the basic leg and foot colours of the shanks, demonstrating that this character is paraphyletic (Pereira & Baker, 2005). These three species are the largest shanks apart from the Willet, which is altogether more robustly built.
    The Spotted Redshank is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
    Black-crowned Night Heron
    227838041910
    The Black-crowned Night Heron (or just Night Heron in Eurasia), (Nycticorax nycticorax) is a medium-sized heron.
    Description
    Adults are 64 cm long and weigh 800 g. They have a black crown and back with the remainder of the body white or grey, red eyes, and short yellow legs. Young birds are brown, flecked with white and grey. These are short-necked and stout herons.
    Distribution
    The breeding habitat is fresh and salt-water wetlands throughout much of the world. The subspecies N. n. hoactli breeds in North and South America from Canada as far south as Patagonia, and the nominate race N. n. nycticorax in Europe, Asia and Africa. Black-crowned Night Herons nest in colonies on platforms of sticks in a group of trees, or on the ground in protected locations such as islands or reedbeds. Three to eight eggs are laid.
    This heron is migratory outside the tropical parts of its extensive range, where it is a permanent resident. The North American population winters in Mexico, the southern United States, Central America, and the West Indies, and the Old World birds winter in tropical Africa and southern Asia.
    Comb Duck
    229171568580
    The Comb Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos), formerly known as the Knob-billed Duck, is an unusual, pan-tropical duck, found in tropical wetlands in sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and south Asia from Pakistan to Laos and extreme southern China. It also occurs in continental South America south to the Paraguay River region in eastern Paraguay, southeastern Brazil and the extreme northeast of Argentina, and as a vagrant on Trinidad.
    It is the only known species of the genus Sarkidiornis. The supposed extinct " Mauritian Comb Duck" is based on misidentified remains of the Mauritian Shelduck (Alopochen mauritianus); this was realized as early as 1897 but the mistaken identity can still occasionally be found in recent sources.
    Description and systematics
    This common species is unmistakable. Adults have a white head freckled with dark spots, and a pure white neck and underparts. The upperparts are glossy blue-black upperparts, with bluish and greenish iridescence especially prominent on the secondaries (lower arm feathers). The male is larger than the female, and has a large black knob on the bill. Young birds are dull buff below and on the face and neck, with dull brown upperparts, top of the head and eyestripe.
    The adults are unmistakeable. Immature Comb Ducks look like a large greyish female of the Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelicus) and may be difficult to tell apart if no other birds are around to compare size and hue. If seen at a distance, they can also be mistaken for a Fulvous Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) or a female Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata). The former is more vividly colored, with yellowish and reddish brown hues; the latter has a largely dark brown head with white stripes above and below the eye. However, Comb Ducks in immature plumage are rarely seen without adults nearby and thus they are usually easily identified too.The Comb Duck is silent except for a low croak when flushed.