ADVENTURES IN NATURE – part 7
In my continuing series of a photographic tour through nature, the main thrust of this piece will be some of the recent exotic birds that I have encountered and photographed. At the end, I will deviate from the theme with a few extra shots.
Probably the most colorful bird I have ever encountered is the purple-crested turaco, which is the national bird of Swaziland. When I first spied this bird, it was perched in the shade and did not appear to be very spectacular. Suddenly, it emerged into the sun, and I took the following, incredibly colorful shot of this fascinating bird:
On the subject of colorful birds, another very colorful one is the Nicobar pigeon, a bird indigenous to the South Pacific:
Another colorful bird, is the East Asian Mandarin duck which is closely related to the North American wood duck:
I find hornbill birds to be quite fascinating and I have three examples to share with you. The first is Von der Decken’s Hornbill. It is an East African bird, which has an interesting relationship with the mongoose. While the mongoose ferrets out insects, the Von der Decken’s hornbill stands watch looking out for predators and warns the mongoose of any approaching threats.
Another African hornbill species is the red-billed hornbill:
A very colorful hornbill species is the Sulawesi Tarictic hornbill, which is a bird indigenous to Indonesia. The female of the species, unlike the male depicted below, is not a very colorful bird sporting a black plumage.
A fascinating bird is the Silkie Chicken, which is indigenous to Asia. When I came upon this one, he was digging in and rolling in the dirt. Their plumage is quite silky to the feel and their skin is black. They apparently make great pets and are often used as show chickens.
Another fascinating bird, which has a call that replicates the sound of human laughter, is the Kookaburra bird, a kingfisher type of bird indigenous to Australia and New Guinea.
The Southern Bald Ibis is a fascinating looking bird indigenous to Southern Africa:
Another interesting bird from the ibis family is the black-headed ibis, also known as the Oriental white ibis – they are indigenous to Asia:
And finally one more bird in the ibis family, the scarlet ibis which is indigenous to South America:
A couple of birds with rather fascinating coloration to their plumage are the Richenow Guinea Fowl (pictured first) and the Kenya Crested Guinea Fowl. Both are indigenous to Africa:
Most of us are quite familiar with penguins, but the African Penguin, unlike its brethren, live in the warm climate of Africa:
And here is one enjoying doing what they love most – swimming:
And one totally waterlogged from a long swim:
Cranes are spectacular birds and most of us are familiar with Sandhill Cranes such as this one:
One that I had never encountered until recently however is the Demoiselle Crane – a handsome bird with long tufts of feathers jutting out from both sides of its head:
Here is a full body shot of one:
And finally the last feathered creature for today, the bar-headed goose. Here is a shot of one swimming along with its family:
Here is what they look like out of the water. This one is having a bit of an argument with a lemur:
Finally a bit of cute and you can’t beat the Meerkat for that. The Meerkat is a mammal, which belongs to the Mongoose family and is indigenous to the deserts of Africa. Here is a portrait of one:
They live in and dig holes and here is one peering out of one of them:
And finally, they are known for standing on their haunches – here is the obligatory shot of one doing that:
And last but not least, here is a shot of an Orangutan a species that never stops amusing us. This particular shot lends itself to multiple captions, but the one I used is, “I said no photos until my hair is done!”