Rare and spectacular species of birds of the world -(catherine)
Rare and Spectacular Species of Birds
The art of bird-watching is one prized by many millions
across the globe. However, in order to see the most
spectacular species of birds, you will have to do a lot of
traveling! Here is a summary of 15 of the most beautiful
and rare species of birds that, unfortunately, are nearing
extinction. Take the ultimate bird watching tour right
from your seat!
1~A bird almost too beautiful to believe, these
colorful creatures reside in the Andes Mountains of
South America. They nest among the rocks in order
to hide their extraordinary appearance that attracts
preying eagles and jaguars. These birds have a
wonderful pompom-shaped crests atop their beaks
which are used during the mating season to attract
and impress females.
2 ~Another bird full of stunning colors, the Turquoise-
Browed Motmot can be found in the tropical areas of
South America, although the origins of the bird trace
back to Switzerland. They live in the thick rain forests
where they try to blend in with their bright colors to
hide from prey. Its plumage is extremely soft and it
has a tail that can move in any direction.
3 ~The kakapo or the owl parrot is one of the strangest
and rarest nocturnal parrots in the world. The bird also
does not fly, but happens to be one of the longest-living
birds. These parrots are also very heavy and large,
reaching a weight of about 7.7 pounds and a height of
nearly about 24 inches. Kakapos are common in New
Zealand, and they are known to be extremely smart
animals, getting attached to people who are kind to it.
Unfortunately, the Kakapo is nearly extinction and is
considered 'critically endangered' by many bird
4 ~The Hooded Pitohui is the famous songbird of New
Guinea with bright black and orange plumage. It is
considered to be the only poisonous bird in the world
with feathers that burn at human touch. The bird is
poisonous because it eats Melyrid beetles, which are
themselves poisonous. Their bright plumage is meant to
warn other birds and species not to eat them!
5 ~The Quetzal are shockingly colored birds common
to western Mexico and Guatemala. Historically, they
were sacred to the Mayan and Aztec people, who
believed that the Quetzal was the God of Air and
used their green tail feathers in spiritual ceremonies.
The bird inhabits the cold mountain woods, and
during the dry seasons, it perches at a height of nearly
6 ~The Great Curassow is a large, pheasant-like bird that
resides in the rainforests of Mexico and Central America.
This bird can reach an astounding length of 39 inches
and can weigh over 15 pounds! The Great Curassow
spends most of its time in tree tops and nests at altitudes
of up to 98 feet. The bird is very sensitive to human
presence and will leave the area at the slightest indication
7 ~This river kingfisher is distributed in Africa
throughout the southern Sahara. They have excellent
binocular eyesight and can distinguish between colors,
which is rare in all species of bird. The kingfisher feeds
by diving into the water to catch small fish and worms
and it can estimate the depths of water very accurately.
While underwater, the bird's eyes are covered with
special protective skin that allow it to see.
8 ~This very large and presuming bird is common in the
Malay peninsula, in the areas of Sumatra and Borneo
between Malaysia and Indonesia. They are the largest of
the 'rhino' birds in Asia, with beaks made of pure bone
that constitute up top 10 percent of their weight. The
helmet on their beaks are unfortunately collected as
material for handicrafts, despite the fact that they are
considered 'near threatened' by most major nature
authorities. They have a very unusual birdsong that
resembles musical laughter.
9 ~The Hoatzin is another pheasant-sized bird found in
the swamps, mangroves and forests of the Amazon in
South America. They are also known as 'stinkbirds'
because they spend most of their time lounging on
branches digesting their food. These birds have two claws
on each of their wings, which they use for climbing trees
and catching prey.
10 ~The Indian (or Sri Lankan) Frogmouth lives in
India and Sri Lanka in the depths of the tropical
forests. The bird is known for its ability to blend into
its surroundings and has remarkable camouflage
abilities. This kind of bird is called a 'frogmouth'
because it has a very wide mouth and feeds on small
insects, animals, and frogs.
11 ~Sometimes called the black bird of paradise, the
Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia's existence was discovered in
1939 when researchers spotted its unusually thin and long
tail feathers on the hat of an aborigine of New Guinea.
The length of their tail feathers can reach up to 39 inches
and are always white in males, posing a strong contrast
to their velvet black bodies and olive green/turquoise
frontal plumage. Because the species is hunted for its
feathers, it is considered 'near threatened' by the nature
12 ~The Umbrellabird can be found in very limited areas
of Western Columbia and Ecuador and reaches an
impressive size of about 20 inches, making it easy prey
for hunters. Males have an unusual 14-inch throat sack
covered in feathers that resemble scales. During the
mating period, the sack is inflated to attract females with
a low cry that sounds similar to a growl and bleat. They
are also considered a 'vulnerable' species by conservation
13 ~The Long-Tailed Widowbird is a common species in
the savannahs and plains of South Africa. Males have a
very long tail feathers that reach a length of about 20
inches (half a meter). During flight, they spread their
plumage to attract females. The birds are polygamous,
and on average there are about five females per family
14 ~Common to southwest New Guinea and the Aru
Islands of Indonesia, the Greater Bird of Paradise is an
extraordinary bird that is also known as the 'legless bird-
of-paradise'. This is because, in the 18th and 19th
centuries, their skin were set to Europe without legs,
leading to the misconception that the birds were visitors
from paradise that never touched the earth until their
death. Fortunately, the bird is protected today and is
ranked as 'least concern' by conservation agencies.
15 ~This fabulous bird can only be found in southwest
Asia, in Russia's Far East during the summer and China
and Japan in the winter. The bird is a fast, maneuverable
flyer that takes off almost vertically. This kind of duck
rarely dives, and usually these ducks perch on tree
branches or relax on rocks. This special bird is highly
respected and prized in Asia society.