Monday, December 31, 2012

Bluebird (Sialia)



Photo: Eastern bluebird
Eastern bluebirds are known for their vibrant coloring and sweet songs.
Photograph by Richard Day/Animals Animals—Earth Scenes
There are three species of these colorful North American birds. Eastern and western bluebirds have a reddish brown breast, which contrasts with their predominately blue plumage. Their relative, the (male) mountain bluebird is entirely blue.
Eastern bluebirds are primarily found east of the Rockies, and range from Canada to Mexico and Honduras. They are much admired for their lovely coloring and for a distinctive song that many hear as "chur-lee, chur-lee." The eastern bluebird is the state bird of both New York and Missouri.
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rockhopper Penguin

Rockhopper Penguin

Eudyptes chrysocome

Photo: Close-up of a penguin.
These gregarious marine birds are among the world's smallest penguins, standing about 20 inches (50 centimeters) tall.
Photograph by Michel Gunther, Photolibrary
Rockhopper penguins are distinguished by the irreverent crest of spiky yellow and black feathers that adorns their head.
Biologists left little ambiguity about this species’ preferred habitat when assigning its name. Rockhoppers are found bounding—rather than waddling, as most other penguins do—among the craggy, windswept shorelines of the islands north of Antarctica, from Chile to New Zealand.
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

Bubo virginianus

Photo: A great horned owl thrashing its wings
The most common owl in North and South America, the great horned owl has adapted to a wide variety of habitats and climates.
Photograph by Joel Sartore
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