Saturday Surprise — For The Birds!

Well, folks, it’s Saturday and time to give our brains a brief respite, to relax and find something enjoyable to focus on.  In that vein, I have discovered a wildlife photographer, Tim Flach, who has done some truly amazing work.  He has photographed endangered species, does commissions to photograph family pets, but the collection I want to share with you today is … birds!  Not just any ol’ birds, mind you, but some very unique birds that Flach has captured to perfection. 

For more about Tim and his other works, including his two books, Endangered and More Than Human, visit his website

Meanwhile … take a look at these gorgeous birds!

The Himalayan Monal is the national bird of Nepal.

Blue Tits are a common sight at bird tables in the U.K. Researchers found that the British put double the food in bird feeders than our European neighbours, which they believe is contributing to some bird species developing longer beaks.

This for me, is the Salvador Dali of the bird world. When it comes to the length of the Peruvian Inca tern’s moustache, longer is healthier. A longer moustache indicates a stronger immune system and therefore a more attractive proposition for courtship.

The Gouldian finch from Australia for me is one of the most colourful of all finches. I was fortunate to have a model on the day that permitted me to come so close, sometimes times too close, as it decided to land on my head a number of times rather than to stay on his perch.

Silver Laced Polish Chicken

Northern red cardinals are adept songsters, with individuals being able to produce more than a dozen song variations. This particular cardinal had a fair bit of attitude, as though he could have flown straight out of Angry Birds.

The beautiful crest on the heads of cockatoos is one of the things that sets them apart from other parrots. However, they share the longevity of many members of the parrot family, and have a very similar life span to humans.

I spend days travelling through the Mountains on the Philippine islands looking for this eagle, and in the end I photographed it at a rescue sanctuary. The Philippine Eagle has one of the largest wing spans of any eagle, at 2 metres, and is only found on the Philippine islands, where it is the national bird. IUCN: Critically Endangered

The Jacobins are one of the oldest domestic pigeon breeds in the world, originating from India. Their arrival in Europe during the 16th Century is what sparked their evolution into the fashionable exhibition birds we see today.

This long-tailed broadbill can be found from the Himalayas to South East Asia. He reminds me of a fighter pilot – but a lot of you seem to think he looks like Elvis – with his helmet-like black cap and sleek blue patch on their crown.

The Jacobin received its European name because it’s hood of feathers resembles the garments worn by the Jacobin order of monks. For others it resembles a lady in feathery clothing.

The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is considered the largest of the living pigeon species, and can be found on mainland New Guinea. The only larger member of the pigeon family would have been the Dodo.

The Toco Toucan’s bill is the largest relative to body size of any bird and it can be used to regulate heat distribution similar to elephants ears. While sleeping, heat loss can be reduced by placing their bill under their wing.

The Jacobin’s probably the most regal pigeon, having been kept by the likes of Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria. It gets its name because of the hood of feathers enveloping it’s head.

During breeding male Cock-of-the-rock take part in “confrontation displays” which is rather like a dance battle with other males which gets more and more frenzied as the female approaches.

The Grey Crowned Crane, from Southern and Eastern Africa, has a reputation for being rather short tempered and can potentially take ones eye out with a single peck. When he started pecking at my camera and seemed intent to start on me, I didn’t hang around!

Shoebill

The Mayans once believed that the King vulture was the messenger between gods and people. Contrary to the common association between vultures and deserts, the King vulture inhabits the dense forests found in South America up to Mexico!

Vultrurine Guineafowl hens can lay up to 40 eggs per season – this might be one of the reasons that this bird is not a threatened species! They are found in the bushy half-deserts of Eastern Africa and spend most of their time running rather than flying.

This domestic duck is a Crested Miniature. Comb-like structures around the edge of their beak allow them to strain through the mud for food such as insects.

The Nicobar Pigeon is the closest living relative to the Dodo. They are a threatened species hunted for food and their gizzard stones are extracted for jewellery. They are a nomadic species moving from places like the Nicobar islands in India to other coastal regions in Southeast Asia.

Bearded tits are the only British songbird to stay and breed in reed beds all year round. There are less than 600 breeding pairs of bearded tits found in Britain, most likely because they are limited by habitat, building their nests low down in the reeds. A group of bearded tits is called a ‘banditry’.

This Silver-Laced rooster has come to symbolise, in Polish literature and art, a country gentleman from medieval Poland. I took this photograph at the Federation Championship Poultry Show last week.

Hooded Vulture

32 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — For The Birds!

  1. Pingback: Saturday Surprise — For The Birds! — Filosofa’s Word – Ninnys Nest

  2. Pingback: Anarchist news from 300+ collectives 🏴 AnarchistFederation.net

  3. Spectacular find Jill. These are just 24 species, what other amazing birds are we not seeing? If birds are truly descended from dinosaurs, what variety there must have been! But I am glad to hear that a close relative to the dodo is still around, for now. I would never have guessed the dodo was a pigeon, though maybe I have heard that before, many lost memories ago. I still mourn the loss of such a peaceful, trusting bird.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Saturday Surprise — For The Birds! — Filosofa’s Word – ° BLOG ° Gabriele Romano

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