Critically Endangered Helmeted Hornbill is being tagged for its Ivory

Critically Endangered Helmeted Hornbill is being tagged for its Ivory

Critically Endangered Helmeted Hornbill is being tagged for its Ivory. Whereby its ivory is found on its huge beautiful beak that makes 10% of its body weight.

It’s a very large bird with a wrinkled throat patch.

Where do we find Helmeted Hornbill ?

They mostly feed on the fruits especially those from fig trees. Also, feed on insects, barks, among other creatures.

This birds used to be found in various places, whereby they are currently extinct.

They can currently be found in Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia as well as Myanmar. But now extinct in Singapore.

Where do we find the most sort for ivory in the Helmeted Hornbill

It is found on their beaks, a piece of their body known as casques. Which happens to be a solid keratin in this bird.

It runs from the beak’s base halfway to the tip.

When did they start to be a target for this ivory

These birds have a target for some time now. AAnd this explains why they are now considered critically endangered and extinct in some places.

Unlike other ivory from the huge animals like elephants and the like. Ivory from these birds, can easily be sneaked in by the poachers.

Being soft compared to other ivories , they have to be subjected to heat before being used in making ornaments.

So how do you support fight such ivory and these birds?

Read the full article here.

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Animals that need no passport for their travels : Birds

Animals that need no passport for their travels : Birds

Birds are animals that need no passport for their travels around the world. They just need enough strength and natural sources of direction/light to get to their destinations.

Birds

They belong to the kingdom, Animalia. Incuding all living organims that are not plants.

They come in different shapes and sizes, as well as colours.

I remember a song one of my business tutors taught us, and I can say it described the lives of birds. The song lyrics were; Early to bed, early to rise. Makes someone healthy, wealthy and wise.

Birds go to sleep early and wake us up very early. I must also add that , we can classify them as morning people. They will wake up very early and always with a song to start off their day.

Not caring what happened the previous day or that particular day problem. They have the best way of starting their days.

Unlike the other wildlife spoting, bird watching is a little bit different. But very interesting when you finally get your way around it.

Things that amaze me about birds

They have freedom of movement around the world. They travel across oceans, move from one continent to another, and enjoy freedom.

Before all the developments came along, I think birds were among the luckiest animals with huge freedom. They could be able to change locations when things got messy or unbearable.

They are also very intelligent. Understand that their journeys need energy . So they eat to a point of doubling their usual weight and use that energy for flying long distance.

What about their sense of fashion, they are the most beautiful and colorful animals on our planet.

African Hoopoe is my best birds, but hummingbird always amazes me. Let us explore more about them in our next blog post.

Threats facing birds

Continue reading here.

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are among the smallest migrating birds on our planet . A bird whose brains make up 4.2% of its body weight.

Hummingbirds

Their name was derived from the humming sound generated by the tiny wings when they fly. They are native to America’s and one of the smallest birds alive.

They are about 357 species of hummingbirds.

Males are smaller than the females in the small bodied species, while in large bodied species. The males are larger than the females.

They have no sense of taste but they can see colors. Mostly attracted to bright colors like red. Infact, they can see in UV light hence further than humans can. They also have a better sense of hearing.

They are nectarivores, meaning that they depend on nectar for their food.

By feeding on the nector, they are able to promote pollination in the flowers they get nector from.

After insects, hummingbird have the highest metabolism while in flight. This helps us understand how a migrating ruby-throated hummingbird is able to cross the Gulf of Mexico.

Continue reading here.

Let’s do some bird watching: African Fish Eagle

Let’s do some bird watching: African Fish Eagle

Let’s do some bird watching and explore more about the African Fish Eagle. Time to enjoy clarity through binoculars.

Bird-watching

Unlike the usual wildlife observation including the mammals, reptiles, and other ground wildlife. Bird watching allows us to observe birds and test our spoting/hearing/instincts towards birds.

Bird watching needs passion and determination hence not for jokers. Birdwatchers are keen, conscious to time, good hearing and sight, just to name afew.

It’s a technique one can learn without going to a school for it. All you need is passion, binoculars, guide books and a place to explore.

It’s best to start off by joining the bird watching gurus. You may feel intimidated or “stupid’. But you will learn a lot. And with a continuous association with them, you will become one of them or even better.

Several of my friends are one of the best birdwatchers and exploring nature with them, is one of the best outdoor activities. They have taught me to understand how birds and other animals communicate. Hence able to spot such wildlife just by identifying the message signalled by certain birds. It’s an incredible experience.

Am still learning to a be a good birdwatcher. So for now, am sticking with the huge birds than I can easily spot.

African Fish Eagle

It’s a very large bird. whereby the female is larger than males.

From their name, it’s clear that they feed on fish. They do feed on other marine creatures such as water birds, turtles, terrapins, little reptiles & amphibians, etc. Hence found around freshwater waterbodies.

They are natively distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. They just need an open fresh waterbody with plenty of fish and a good perch.

It’s a bully bird

This bird is knowned to snatch prey from other predators. As well as from fishermen.

They have also been observed to hunt for prey many times bigger than themselves. Hence forced to drag the prey on the water surface to the shores. Since they are unable to fly with such huge prey.

The female African Fish Eagle can lay up to three eggs, and if all eggs hatch. The strongest eagles end up killing the weaker siblings to eliminate competition.

Did You Know?

Get the full article here.

My Marabou Stork Story

My Marabou Stork Story

My Marabou Stork Story that made me stop seeing them as the ugliest birds in our planet.

It was a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon. I was with company of one of my very best friends. Who happen to be one of the best birder.

As usual, we would always explore birds and other species in the surroundings we found ourselves in. We were both wildlife students and always had something to discuss regarding nature and human impact.

Here is my Marabou stork story

So this Sunday, we passed by a muster of storks and I commented about their ugliness. And my birder friend had a perfect humbling answer for me. He took deep breaths and asked me a question, “Do you know what comes to the mind of those marabou storks when they look at you? ‘.

I remained silent and looked at him with a grin, so he offered an answer. “They are wondering, why is she that short. She is a very small human being ‘ I laughed and tried to defend myself . I didn’t win that argument so i had to apologize to the “‘beautiful’ Marabou Stork.

Tip

When in company of a birder, be very careful how you describe birds.

It happened again

Few years later, I had another encounter with these amazing birds.

I was parctipating in a game count for the Nairobi National Park. The block assigned to us had a huge muster of storks. They were all over that place, both on the ground and up the trees within that point.

One of the people whom we were taking part with in the exercise, did exactly what I did. Commented about their appearance.

He is birder too and he seems not to care much on the comment. He easily described it as many people do. By stating that, God made all birds beautiful and all their ugliness, He gave it to the Marabou stork.

I remained silent for a minute and refreshed my memory. Tried to support the other qualities of these storms. But instead, they laughed at me and agreed that for sure, Marabou stork are the ugliest birds.

Marabou stork

Continue reading here.

Exploring the beautiful Flamingos

Exploring the beautiful Flamingos at the shores of the Lakes.

Exploring the beautiful Flamingos at the shores of the Lakes. The pink line that steals our heart many miles away. Did you know that that line was a colony of flamboyance. Is it that amazing?

Lets know a little bit of these flamingos

Flamingoes are wading birds distributed throughout America Africa, Asia, and Europe. They are known to standing on one of their leg while the one is tucked beneath their bodies.

Did you know that their colour would reveal how healthy they are?

Their pink or reddish color comes from carotenoids of animal and plants plankton in their diet.

Flamingos

A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored, thus a more desirable mate. It can be white or pale if unhealthy or malnourished. Captive flamingos are a notable exception, they may turn a pale pink if they are not fed carotene at levels comparable to the wild.

Flamingos are filter feeders and mostly feed on the blue-green algae and other creatures found in the water bodies.

They are filter feeders
They are filter feeders

We have greater and lesser flamingos

Greater flamingos

They are the tallest and heaviest

Lesser flamingos

Shorter and weigh less than their counter parts.

Something interesting to learn about Flamingos in Kenya

In Kenya, they can be found in Lake Nakuru, Lake Elmentaita, Lake Bogoria as well as Lake Magadi.

Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park

They prefer to breed at the Lake Natron in Tanzania. Hence known as their breeding site.

They migrate in huge colonies forming a beautiful V shape in the skies.

Their movements and migration are dictated by need for food or breeding. If the lake lacks enough food, they will gladly migrate to the greener pasture.


Conservation status

Read the full article here.