Monday, April 10, 2006 

Vulture

Vulture Large bird of prey of the old world vultures are related to hawks and eagles, they are mainly found in tropical temperate regions of the world . The American vultures and condors come from a different family (Cathartidae) which also includes distant links to the storks and Cormorants.
The American vulture has no syrinx thus voiceless, emitting only weak hisses. They feed indiscriminately and chiefly on carrion, this could be because they have a weak beak and lack the strength of other birds of prey, so they rarely attack other animals only if they are helpless.
There plumage is mostly dark and have small, naked heads. And the adult turkey vulture or turkey buzzard has a wings spread of 6 ft. the head is red. The black vulture is smaller and is black . The tropical king vulture has a orange crimson, and purple colour, with a neck ruff of gray down. Vultures can fly effortlessly and are skillful at riding thermal updrafts of the mountains where it habitats, they also have keen sight. Most of the time vultures are solitary animals, but will gather in crowds to feed.They are valuable scavengers and are protected by law.
During the (Pleistocene epoch) period a vulture was the largest birds that ever existed, having a wingspan of

 

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
The bluebird may be Minnesota's most popular songbird. Although bluebirds aren't as common as robins or red-winged blackbirds, their sweet song and beautiful colors leave a lasting impression. They may be seen in the country as well as in suburban areas and city parks.
Identification
General description:
A blue and rusty songbird found throughout Minnesota.
Length:
Seven inches.
Weight:
1 1/4 ounces.
Color:
Blue back, rusty breast, and white belly.
Sounds:
A warbling song and various call notes.
Reproduction
Bluebirds nest from late March through early August. They build cup-like nests of grass or pine needles in a nest box or some other cavity. The eggs, usually three to five, are pale blue (sometimes white). Typically, two broods are raised during the nesting season.
Food
Bluebirds eat a wide range of insects and wild fruit.
Predators
Birds of prey, snakes, and various mammals--especially cats and raccoons--are the main predators of bluebirds.
Habitat and range
Bluebirds live in open woodlands, roadsides, farmlands, orchards and occasionally suburbs and city parks. The are found in every county in Minnesota.
Population and management
Bluebird populations declined greatly from the 1930s to the 1960s. The cause was habitat loss and competition from other cavity-nesting birds, especially starlings and house sparrows. The Bluebird Recovery Program of the Audubon Society of Minneapolis partnered with the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program to sponsor workshops, publish education materials and promote the placement of bluebird houses to bring back this wonderful songbird. Minnesota now has one of the most successful bluebird recovery projects in the nation.
Fun facts
Bluebirds are a symbol of happiness. They like to eat meal worms at bird feeders. Male bluebirds are much more brightly colored than females. Although sighting a bluebird is considered an early sign of spring, a few usually linger until late December and some return as early as February.

 

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