Memaparkan catatan dengan label beautiful. Papar semua catatan
Memaparkan catatan dengan label beautiful. Papar semua catatan

Jumaat, 26 Januari 2018

Why Birds Have Different Feathers?

White peacock has totally white feathers.

Feathers play important roles for birds other than become their main characteristics for recognition. Even though their beautiful plumage act as part of the attractions for mates and camouflage, there are many other functions provide by their feathers. This article will looking to the special functions of birds feathers.

The main purposes of bird feathers are to provide insulation and to provide suitable functions for their living habits. All of birds have feathers weather it’s thick or thin. Their feathers not always colourful or look vibrant – but they always work to suite the birds need.

Ostrich feathers are coarse but still fluffy.

Ostrich has less feathers and much coarse compare to any other birds with smaller size especially the birds with ability to fly. This because, the ostrich need their feathers to protect them from the daily heat while provide them the warm of their own body temperature during the night.

Owl have good night vision and special silent flight.

Extra feature on owl's feather to make it's flight more silent.

The owl have special feathers to make their flight become silent during the night. These feathers dampened the sound when they flap their wings. This characteristic is so important to avoid their prey from noticing that the owl almost near them - second before they being zapped by the nocturnal owl.

For flying birds the feathers help to shapes their wings according to their flight styles. Most birds that flying low have their wing shapes and size just suitable for their frequent flapping styles. This types of flying is suitable for short to medium range of flight but allow high controllability.

For high altitude fliers such as condors, cranes, eagles and few other migratory birds has their wing tip feathers bend to reduce drag. By reducing drag, it will save the birds lots of energy to allow them to fly further to search for foods or during the long migration.

Compared to any other birds, penguin’s feathers are so important in order to avoid them from die freezing. Their feathers are so tight and also waterproof. These allow penguins to stay warm even when they’re diving into the frigid water. Their special feathers also aid their swimming to catch fish in the water.

Other than their structures, bird feathers also provide colouration that allow them to blend in with their surroundings. Other than to avoid detection by their predators it also help them to be detected by their prey – what a brilliant ideas! Ptarmigan in the other hand change their plumage according to the seasons so they don’t have to migrate to other places during winter.

Ptarmigan during summer - photo by Gary Kramer

Ptarmigan during winter - photo by Gary Kramer
Collections of bird feathers.

Stunning iridescent colours of hummingbird - photo by Jess Findlay

Then there’s the best part of all of the bird feathers – to make it looks stunning. Birds have beautiful colours of plumage mostly to attract their mates. Unfortunately it also attract human to keep them as pet. Their colours either produce by pigments or by light diffractions (for the iridescent colours). Besides colours their feathers shapes also play a big roles in their grand display.

Birds inspires human in many ways especially in flight technology. Even after the invention of an aeroplane, human still studying in order to improve the technology. By studying the wing tip of birds, nowadays we have most of the aeroplane wing tips come with bend at the end of it. We don’t have to tell more when the planes name itself come after birds such as – blackbird and nighthawk. This also encourage the Festo the robot inventor to produce robot fliers that truly assembled as bird.

High altitude fliers need to reduce the drag.

Robot flier resembled bird by Festo.

There are so many things to learn just by observing bird feathers telling how important for us to make sure they survival. By understanding their behaviour we can understand how to provide them with right environment. Human have the capabilities to provide development without causing other species to extinction.

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Rabu, 24 Januari 2018

Beautiful World of Birds

Peacock has magnificent feathers.

Since 2018 was announced as “Year of Bird” by world known organizations such as National Geographic, National Audubon Society, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, we are here going to share the same spirits to know more about the bird’s world. There are plenty of articles about birds in this blog but mostly written in Malay. Today we will see another special characters about this wonderful creature.

Birds are known for their colourful plumage, beautiful sounds and the most important ability to fly. Even though not all birds share the same capabilities as some of them have dull colouration nor the ability to flies. Birds same as any other species in the world plays important roles in the ecosystem and most of them are threaten to extinction.

Pigeon can adapt to live among human.

Flightless bird have ability to protect itself.

There are around 9,800 to 10,500 species of birds (well the numbers are varies caused by the classification of taxonomic viewpoint), but still showing large numbers of species. From that numbers only some of them can survive in modern day world to live among human such as pigeons, crows, house sparrow, starling, robin, falcon and few others. Unfortunately living in their unnatural habitats, most of these birds are considered as pest rather than how beautiful they are supposed to be.

In this short article we are going to see how beautiful the birds can be. Since the birds has the ability to fly, some bird plumage are totally to attract mates rather than to avoid predators. These are true mostly for birds of paradise that lives millions of years isolated from predators. While some other lost their ability to fly such as kiwi, dodo, kakapo, penguins, ostrich, emu, and cassowary. Most of the flightless birds already extinct.

The most elaborate feathers in peacock.

Perhaps we all know the most elaborate plumage of peacock where the length of their tail’s feathers exceed their body’s length. The peacock also have iridescent colours of blue, green and mixture of yellow and brown. Peacock had inspired human in many ways, and their plumage been used for decorations in sacred rituals.

Scarlet Macaw have the brightest colours in parrot's family.

Then they are family of parrots. Another stunning colourful birds - mostly found in tropical forest. Not just their colourful feathers are so stunning, their beak shapes also make it looks cuter. Parrots of the tropics has more colourful plumage with iridescent colours. Here in the tropics their colours still blend in perfectly to the dense of forest canopy.

Flamingo live in large group.

Different with flamingo with shades of pink colours. Their colours actually come from their food source. They are born with white feathers, as their parents feed them – the parent’s colours will turn pales while theirs chicks will change to pink.

Greater Bird of Paradise showing their beautiful plumage.

The distribution of Birds of Paradise in Papua New Guinea.

As we mentioned above, far-far away in the East at Papua New Guinea there are groups of birds known as birds of paradise with different characters. These groups of birds not only have beautiful plumage, but most of them have special ways to attract mates - all species have their own unique courtship dance. Here in this island, these birds can concentrate their energy to attract mates than thinking about to avoid predators.

Since there are thousands of birds and most of them have colourful plumage, here are small examples that you can start with. The more we know about these beautiful creatures the more we understand how to help them to survive in the wild or perhaps in the urban areas too.

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Khamis, 13 Mac 2014

Most Beautiful Bird in the World, Hummingbird

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Hummingbird has more to offer more than how it’s look, even the smallest bird in the world coming from the family of hummingbird. There’re many species of hummingbird around the world. In the North and South America only there are more than hundreds of them. So what we’re looks up too? The Ruby-throated Hummingbird:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) easily recognize from its throat’s color of iridescent red, this type of color also possessed by Anna’s Hummingbird whilst the throat is more to purple-pink. They’re nectar’s eater and will travelling around the garden to find flowers to get its nectar. Peoples also feed them from a feeder made suitable for them by mixed some sugar ¼ with water. They always prefer their feeder to be in red.

female ruby-throated hummingbird
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird at man made feeder.

This small bird also a migrating species during the winter they will travel to South by crossing the Mexican Gulf in a single flight. In order to do this they must store their energy before the flight begins. The whole journey will take around 800 km (500 mi). So the hummingbird will stored this energy in the form of body fat.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird size is around 7 to 9 cm (2.8 – 3.5 in) long and has 8 to 11 cm (3.1 to 4.3 in) wingspan. Their weight can range from 2 to 6 g (0.071 to 0.212 oz.). With males averaging 3.4 g (0.12 oz.) and the females is average at 3.8 g (0.13 oz.). The males as me already know have beautiful iridescent ruby red in their throat with mostly greyish green vest and greyish white below. Their head also in iridescent color green. The females have simple color of green back, black mask with white behind and white underparts.

female ruby-throated hummingbird flower
Female feeding on nectar from flower.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about hummingbird is their ability to float in the air. Instead of moving forward they can stay in the same place or moving backward. During the courtship display they will perform a special talent of flying this wills includes dive and rise and also horizontal arcs. Meanwhile the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is polygynous soon after the mating the male will fly away and the females will take care all of the parental care.

Since the size is quite small so hummingbird can easily be a pray for another species of birds, cats, lizards, snakes, bullfrogs, green frogs and also many other animals that feed on small birds. Instead for hummingbird itself they don’t just consumed on nectars but sometimes also catch insects for protein.

Well, maybe I hope that’s good enough for you to get interested to know more about this hummingbird and will look after them during the summer. Remember the different between the Ruby-throated Hummingbird than Anna’s Hummingbird they’ll looked almost exactly the same.

Sabtu, 8 Mac 2014

Most Beautiful Bird in the World, Crowned Crane

Dancing crowned crane
Crowned Cranes performing their ritual dance.

Crowned Crane is too beautiful to be in crane species since the crane families usually play in mud for hunting their prey. Native to African land of Natal, Namibia, Kenya and Uganda they flourish in the grasslands, marshes and the flooded fields.

There are two sub-species of Crowned Cranes, the black-crowned crane (Balearica pavonina) and the grey-crown crane (Balearica regulorum) where the grey species are more vulnerable to extinction. The best feature for Crowned Crane is the crown on its head makes it looks totally different from any other crane species. Instead their plumage consists of various colors compared to many other crane species with one or two dominant colors.

Crowned crane flying
Flying Crowned Crane showing their beautiful plumage.

Crowned Cranes are omnivores and can eat almost anything they can found on the swamp or the grassland their hunting grounds. Their wide ranges of diet consist of plants, seeds, grains, insects, frogs, worms, snakes, small fish and even the eggs of aquatic animals. They also sometimes following the herds of antelopes or gazelles to take their chances on disturbed insects or any other small creatures.

The grey-crowned crane had been threatened to extinction by human activities such as drainage, overgrazing and pesticide pollution. In fact the crowned crane is one of the oldest species that flourished the earth since the Eocene period some 54 to 38 million years ago.

The size of adult grey-crowned crane is about 1 m (3.3 ft.) tall and weighs 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs.), with a wingspan of 2 m (6.5 ft.). They have the same plumage for both sexes while the males tend to be slightly larger.

Another best thing about the crowned crane is their dance ritual – in fact some other crane species have a quite similar dance ritual. Even though this dance used as part of the courtship, it also will be done at any other time of the year. During the dance they can jump for several feet in the air. Once they touch the ground they will run around each other and start all over again. Should it be nice event to see!

Jumaat, 7 Mac 2014

Most Beautiful Bird in the World, Blue Jay

Blue Jay
Blue Jay on the branch of tree.
Photo Credit: hoganphoto

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) can be easier to see for peoples who live in the eastern and central United States and southern Canada. With and adaptation to the live among peoples population this bird don’t have much problems to survive until today – they also choose to stay near residential areas sometimes.

Blue jay has a great blue in color with a remarkable blue crest with a white chest and underparts. With some black color that form U-shaped around its neck, on their wings and the bright white color in mixing. Both male and female have the same plumage – in this case usually the male will have shinier plumage than the female.

Their sizes can get to 22 – 30 cm (9 – 12 in) from bill to tail and weighs 70 – 100 grams (2.5 – 3.5 oz) and the wingspan of 34 – 43 cm (13 – 17 in) wide. That’s pretty big for a bird actually. So in the ecosystem they can be both the predator and the prey at the same time. They can be a predator for other small birds while they also become a prey for an eagle.

Blue Jay winter
Blue Jay during the winter.

They’re many types of Blue Jay across the United States and they’re also migrating between north and south. Anyway their migrating is not persistent each year. So they will migrating or not are up to them. Some of the types of Blue Jays are northern Blue Jay, coastal Blue Jay, interior Blue Jay and Florida Blue Jay. Most significant different between types is sizes.

Blue Jay’s diets are varies from fruits and nuts to insects and even other small birds. They also have different calls with loud sounds with capability to imitate other birds call such as hawk. This ability is used whether to check on if there’s another hawk around or scaring other birds for foods – pretty clever!

When it comes to parenting issues, Blue Jay will choose the same mate for their entire life, so both of them will work together for their nest. As many other birds that live among peoples population, Blue Jay also can make their nest almost anywhere they find safe – this can be in abandoned mailbox too. Even though Blue Jay is considered as a common bird they still looks attractive for most of peoples. 

Most Beautiful Bird in the World, The Blue Bird of Paradise

Blue Bird of Paradise
Blue Bird of Paradise hanging on the tree.
Photo Credit:
Bird-of-Paradise consists of many types of birds and all of them are stunningly beautiful.  The Blue Bird of Paradise is one of the species that have eyes catching properties in many ways. Perhaps one of the most profound factors is the tails.

Blue bird-of-paradise living in the same continent where all others bird-of-paradise can be found in the deep forest of Papua New Guinea. This remote island is the only home of these miraculous species where they can’t ever be found in somewhere else.

There’re rumors in surrounding islands about these birds. Taking them as mythical creatures with superstitious power of healing or story such as, they even didn't ever touch the ground. While some travelers might had caught them and bring it home, but they never told their folks of the original stories. In fact they use it to gain something from the peoples. Well, I hope the myths should be gone now.

Back to our blue bird plumage are pretty much likes the peacock with the properties of ‘optical interference Bragg reflection. You can see the color changes depend on the light hit the feathers, but the main color is still looks blue. There also black color that dominant in their features and yellowish brown fluffy feathers in its tails. These characteristics are rare in other species that we can find in any other places that make it really ‘out of this world’. They also not a migrating type – so we can only see it in their homeland (don’t let the birds’ trafficker get the ideas).

Blue Bird Display
Blue bird of paradise getting ready for the mating calls.

The beautiful plumage used in spectacular dance for the mating calls. All types of bird-of-paradise have their own specials dance ritual for their mating calls. While for the blue bird they are not going just to show their plumage but also dance and sings – yes, they’re irresistible unless there’s other competence males around.

We should take a look at more of bird-of- paradise in later articles. To see more of them is only by conserve their territories from human invasion. Sure beautiful things are better let untouched.

Most Beautiful Bird in the World, Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw pair
Pair of beautiful Scarlet Macaws.

Scarlet Macaw not just beautiful in colors but they also have more interesting things to offer for human to love them. With the size slightly bigger than ordinary birds they can be great companion as pet. They often caught in videos playing with others domestic pets such as cats and dogs.

Pet macaw can be as gentle as any other pets. More surprising some of them even can say simple words such as “hello”, “good morning” and even any other words trained to them. Everything they do will be nice to watch. Most of the time they have the happy expression in their face that making you want to touch it and give pat at their back.

Macaws are native to tropical forest of South America deep in the jungle from south-eastern Mexico to Amazonian Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil. They usually found at gathering spot for a claylicks in a large group, while actually scarlet macaw mate for life and making their nest in the tree cavity. They often fly in pair looking for fruits in the dense jungle canopy.

With a size up to 81 centimeters (32 in) long that included with their tail and the average weight is about 1 kilogram (2.2 lb.). The main color for the plumage is scarlet where it’s got its name from, but there also shades of blue for its tail and wings with mixing of yellow. These bright colors combination make the scarlet macaw the most stunning in the macaw’s family.

Scarlet Macaw feed
Macaw feeding on jungle fruits.

Macaws prefer fruits in their diet. Most jungle fruits, nuts and seeds even large hard seeds as you can see that macaw’s beak are built to crack even the hardest shell of nuts. This also will remind you to avoid from touching this birds in shock or you’ll need to bear the price of their powerful beak or claws. Anyway they always look lovely and beautiful – so keep it that way.

The populations of macaws are getting smaller caused by the illegal birds trafficking. Even though they can easily keep in captivity that doesn't mean that we should let their home being destroyed. There’re many things that we can’t provide them as what their natural home can.

So if you really want to know how beautiful and gentle is the scarlet macaw is? Maybe you can pay them a visit at the local zoo or somewhere that keep this birds in live. By knowing them, maybe you’ll understand how important is for us to ensure that they’ll never get extinct. 

Khamis, 6 Mac 2014

Most Beautiful Bird in the World, Peacock

Peacock display
The amazing display of peacock's feathers.
Photo Credit: pravin indrekar

For most of the peoples will agree to say that peacock will be among the most beautiful bird in the world. Despite of their natural glimmering colorful feathers they also can turn into stunning showcase of huge beautiful fan. You’ll find them more beautiful when you meet them during this showcase.

Beautiful colors of peacock consist of many colors but most of the time we will see them in blue/green in mixing. There also have brown in color feathers under their wings and under their body. Their colors turn with the direction of light hitting it so you can see more colors in between. This type of coloration also exists for some other birds and insects.

Peacock's feather
Up-close of peacock's feather.

The beauty colorful feathers only for the male and the female have natural ordinary colors. The female also little bit smaller in size. It always the male who has the beautiful colors in order to attract female in nature, only in some species of birds where the females has the brighter colors than the males. So the showcase is all about for attracting purpose too.

Since peacock has very heavy feathers they also can’t fly as high as any other birds. Perhaps their little leap helps them to get away a little bit further from their predators. In most of the places where they live peoples always admires for their beauties and use their feathers for decoration purposes. They also often rose for their feathers.

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