Pale-headed or Blue-cheeked Rosellas
The Pale-headed Rosellas occur naturally along the northeastern and eastern seaboard of Australia, from Cape York throughout most of eastern Queensland to Southern New South Wales. They are mostly absent from the more arid (drier) interior regions. They are considered to be "resident" (non-migratory) and its population is reported to be abundant throughout much of its range (del Hoyo et al. 1997).
They mostly occur in open, savanna woodland and dry forest dominated by Eucalyptus and Callitris, Casuarina, Acacia and Melaleuca trees; often along water courses. However, they have adapted well to human-modified habitats, such as gardens, parks and farmland. They often visit local bird feeders, or feed in fruit and nut orchards and on agricultural lands.
The males of the genus are characterized by an ornamental plumage consisting of six-wired head plumes with black oval-shaped tips, a neck collar of black, decomposed feathers which can be spread into a skirt-like shape, and bright or iridescent head and throat markings.
Parrotlets are popular pets due to their compact size and playful personalities.
They are very intelligent and active and should have ample opportunities to play and exercise. Their personality is similar to that of the larger parrots and may be quite fearless of larger animals, including dogs, cats and larger parrots - which puts them at danger. They can be very territorial inside their cages and may attack those intruding in its personal space, even humans trying to feed them (this would be the case if they were not properly socialized to start with). Tamed parrotlets can be very affectionate.
The most commonly kept parrotlet species are:
Peacocks / Peafowl
Peafowl are best known for the male's extravagant tail, which it displays as part of courtship.
The male is called a peacock and the female a peahen, although it is common to hear the female also referred to as a "peacock" or "female peacock". The female peafowl is brown or toned grey and brown.
A pelican is a large water bird with a distinctive pouch under the beak, belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae, order Pelecaniformes.
Modern pelicans, of which there are eight species, are found on all continents except Antarctica.
They occur mostly in warm regions, though breeding ranges reach 45° south (Australian Pelican, P. conspicillatus) and 60° North (American White Pelicans, P. erythrorhynchos, in western Canada). Birds of inland and coastal waters, they are absent from polar regions, the deep ocean, oceanic islands, and inland South America.
Penguins (order Sphenisciformes, family Spheniscidae) are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere.
The number of penguin species is debated. Depending on which authority is followed, penguin biodiversity varies between 17 and 20 living species, all in the subfamily Spheniscinae. Some sources consider the White-flippered Penguin a separate Eudyptula species, while others treat it as a subspecies of the Little Penguin (e.g. Williams, 1995; Davis and Renner, 2003); the actual situation seems to be more complicated (Banks et al. 2002). Similarly, it is still unclear whether the Royal Penguin is merely a color morph (genetic mutation) of the Macaroni penguin. Also eligible to be a separate species is the Northern population of Rockhopper penguins (Davis and Renner, 2003). Although all penguin species are native to the southern hemisphere, they are not, contrary to popular belief, found only in cold climates, such as Antarctica. In fact, only a few species of penguin actually live so far south. At least ten species live in the temperate zone; one lives as far north as the Galápagos Islands: the Galápagos Penguin.
Petrels are tube-nosed seabirds in the bird order Procellariiformes.
The common name does not indicate relationship beyond that point, as "petrels" occur in three of the four families within that group (except the Albatross family, Diomedeidae).
Having a fossil record that was assumed to extend back at least 60 million years, the Procellariiformes was long considered to be among the older bird groupings, other than the ratites, with presumably distant ties to penguins and loons. However, recent research and fossil finds such as Vegavis show that the Galliformes (Pheasants, Grouse and relatives), and Anseriformes (ducks, geese) are still not fully resolved.
The Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens) is the most northerly representative of the mainly tropical Central American family Ptilogonatidae, the silky flycatchers.
The Phainopepla is a striking bird, 16-20 cm long with a noticeable crest and a long tail; it is slender, and has an upright posture when it perches. Its bill is short and slender.
The name Phalarope refers to any of three living species of slender-necked shorebirds in the genus Phalaropus of the bird family Scolopacidae. A Middle Pliocene (4-3 mya) fossil species, Phalaropus elenorae, is also known; a coracoid fragment from the Late Oligocene (c. 23 mya) near Créchy, France, was ascribed to a primitive phalarope (Hugueney et al., 2003); it could belong to an early species of the present genus but more likely does not.
Pheasants are one of the most endangered groups of birds in the world.
A total of 27 species appear on the most recent Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) list, with 17 of these classified as CITIES I (Appendix I species are either rare or endangered). In the past 150 years, several pheasant species and subspecies have virtually disappeared with few birds left in the wild and limited breeding stock in captivity. Accurate evolutionary and taxonomic information is therefore essential for developing appropriate CITES classifications and for the management of threatened species.
In many countries pheasant species are hunted as game, and several species are threatened by this and other human activities such as illegal logging and habitat loss.
Philippine Hanging Parrots
The Philippine Hanging Parrot averages 5.5 inches (14 cm) in length.
Its general plumage is green. The breast and abdomen are yellowish-green. They have a red forehead bordered by narrow yellow line. The forehead, front of the crown, throat patch, upper breast, the lower back and upper tail-coverts are red. The back of the crown and the head are suffused with gold-yellow. There is a narrow gold-orange band to the nape. The sides of the lower back are washed bright pale blue. The greater under wing-coverts are blue. The underside of the flight feathers and tail are greenish blue.
The bill is orange-red. Their irises are brown and the feet are brownish-flesh colored.
Hens look like males, except they lack the red throat and breast patch, which are replaced with a light yellowish tinge. The forward cheeks are tinged with blue.
Young birds look like females except that they have a paler bill and there is no or only little red to the forehead.
The genus Sayornis, or Phoebes consists of medium-sized insect-eating birds found in North and South America that inhabit semi-open or open areas. They mostly feed on insects, sometimes caught in flight and other times picked up from the ground. They lay their eggs in open cup nests or take advantage of man-made structures for nesting.
The males and females of most species are easily distinguished from each other. They are sexually dichromatic—the markings on the plumage differ. Males have a malar stripe—a little “moustache” or a patch of red feathers on the crown or gular (throat) area. In many of the species, the colors in the plumage are contrasting in their brightness, and many have black and white markings in their plumage.
Pileated Parrots, Red-capped Parrots
The Pileated Parrot or Red-capped Parrot (Pionopsitta pileata) is endemic to north-eastern Argentina, South-eastern Brazil and Paraguay, where it can be found in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest areas.
NOTE: The Australian Red-capped Parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius) is also called the Pileated Parakeet, which leads to an easy confusion with the South American Pionopsitta pileata featured on this page.
These parrots form noisy flocks of short-tailed parrots that are seen flying high overhead in their characteristically erratic manner.
They are difficult to spot when perching, as they are well camouflaged by their green plumage and they tend to be silent when foraging up in the canopy. Although, at various times, loud, babbling chatter can be heard from perched flocks.
Pionites - Caiques
The average length of an adult caique is 23 cm or 9 inches in length. They weight around 150 to 175 grams or 5.3 - 6.2 oz. Their average expected lifespan is 30 years.
The Caiques are very distinctive and beautiful in appearance. They are often referred to as the "Seven-Color Parrot" because of their highly defined black, green, yellow, orange, white and blue feathers.
Caique wing feathers produce a distinctive flapping sound in flight.
Pionus - Red-backed Parrots
Pionus is a medium-sized parrot with a chunky body, bare eye ring, (which can vary in color) and a short tail.
They are similar to Amazon parrots, but smaller.
Coloration is generally subdued yet complex; under bright lighting, their feathers shimmer with iridescent brilliance. All species share a bright red patch of feathers under the tail; the scientific name of one species, the Blue-headed Pionus, (P. menstruus), refers to this.
Males and females look alike, and surgical or DNA (blood) sexing is recommendef for all Pionus species if gender needs to be confirmed for breeding purposes.
The pipits are a cosmopolitan genus, Anthus, of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. Along with the wagtails and longclaws, the pipits make up the family Motacillidae. The genus is widespread, occurring across most of the world, except the driest deserts, rainforests and the mainland of Antarctica.
Pitohuis are generally about 23 centimetres long with strong legs and a powerful beak. They are brightly feathered in red and black warning colors, much the same as the frogs. The Hooded appears to be the most dangerous, with the Variable being of medium toxicity and the Brown Pitohui the least harmful.
The Hooded Pitohui is brightly colored, with a brick red belly and a jet black head. The Variable Pitohui, as its name implies, exists in many different forms, and twenty subspecies with different plumage patterns have been named. Two of them, however, closely resemble the Hooded Pitohui.
It has been suggested that the birds' bright colours are an example of aposematism (warning colouration), and the similarity of the Hooded Pitohui and some forms of the Variable Pitohui might then be an example of Müllerian mimicry, in which dangerous species gain a mutual advantage by sharing colouration, so that an encounter with either species trains a predator to avoid both. (Dumbacher and Fleischer, 2001)
Pittas are medium-sized and stocky birds that measure 15–25 cm (5.9–9.8 in) in length (including the very short tail). They have longish strong legs and long feet; and stout, slightly down-curved bills.
Many of the subspecies have vividly colored plumages.
The Plain Parakeets (Brotogeris tirica) are endemic to, and common in, southern and eastern Brazil; its range stretching from southern Bahia to Sao Paulo west across southern Minas Gerais to southern Goias. They appear to be restricted to that area of South East Brazil that used to be covered in Atlantic Rain Forest.
Their natural habitats include open country with trees and bushes, lowland evergreen forest areas, second-growth forests, degraded former forest areas, partially cultivated land, woodlands, parks and urban areas.
They can be found at elevations up to 1,200 to 1,300 meters (~4,000 to 4,265 feet).
They occur in pairs, groups or small flocks. These noisy parakeets are often seen flying between trees or buildings.
Plovers are wading birds that are found throughout the world. They belong to the subfamily Charadriinae. Most of the members of this species are referred to as "plover" or "dotterel".
These birds are characterised by relatively short bills.
Their diet consists of insects, worms or other invertebrates.
This parrot is native to La Paz and Cochabamba in northern Bolivia, northeast to eastern Cajamarca and southwest Amazonas, northwest Peru. The populations are fragmented in their range and groups of them can be found in South Colombia, Northwest Venezuela and Ecuador, as well as Northwest and East Peru and Cochabamba.
The prefer forest areas in temperate zones and adjoining cultivated areas with trees at altitudes ranging between 6,700 ft (2,000 m) and 9,300 ft (2,800 m). These parrots can occasionally be seen foraging in cultivated areas and banana plantations.
Seasonal migration patterns have been observed.
Their numbers have been declining in some areas due to deforestation and loss of habitat, and they are now generally rare.
Plum-headed Parakeets aka Plum Head
This is a green parrot, averaging 13 - 14 ins (33 - 35 cm) in length, with the tail accounting for about two thirds of the length.
The male's head is red, becoming purple-blue on the back of the crown, nape and cheeks. There is a narrow black neck collar and a black chin stripe. There is a red shoulder patch and the rump and tail are bluish-green, the latter tipped white. The upper beak is orangish-yellow, and the lower beak is dark.
The female has a grey head, corn-yellow upper beak and lacks the black neck collar, chin stripe and red shoulder patch. Immature birds have a green head and both upper and lower beaks are yellowish.
The different head color and the white tip to the tail distinguish this species from the similar Blossom-headed Parakeet (Psittacula roseata).
Females attain the adult plumage at 15 months; young males attain full adult male plumage at about 30 months.
Similar Species ID: This species if often confused with the Blossom-headed Parakeet. The male Plum-headed Parakeet has a darker red head, while the male Blossom-headed Parakeet's head is pink. The Blossom-headed Parakeets have yellow tail tips, while the Plum-headed Parakeet has white tail tips.
The Greater Prairie-Chicken, Tympanuchus cupido, is a large bird in the grouse family.
This North American species was once abundant, but has become extremely rare or extinct over much of its range due to habitat loss. There are current efforts to help this species gain the numbers that it once had.
One of the most famous aspects of these creatures is the mating ritual called booming.
The Pratincoles or Greywaders are found in the warmer parts of the Old World - from southern Europe and Africa east through Asia to Australia. Those breeding in temperate regions are long distance migrants.
Greywaders have short legs, very long pointed wings and long forked tails.
Even though they are classed as waders (shorebirds), they often hunt insect prey in flight.on the wing, like swallows, however, they also feed on the ground. Their short bills are adapted for aerial feeding.
Their flight is fast, with many twists and turns to pursue their prey. They are most active at dawn and dusk, and the warmest part of the day, they typically spend roosting.
The average clutch consists of two to four eggs that are typically laid on the ground in a bare scrape.
The Rock Ptarmigan, Lagopus muta, is also known as Snow Chicken or Partridge in North America, where it is the official bird for the territory of Nunavut, Canada, and the official game bird for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Puffins are any of three auk species (or alcids) in the bird genus Fratercula with a brightly colored beak in the breeding season. These are pelagic (open sea) seabirds that feed primarily by diving in the water. They breed in large colonies on coastal cliffs or offshore islands, nesting in crevices among rocks or in burrows in the soil. The Tufted Puffin was formerly placed in the genus Lunda.
The Purple Martin averages 20 cm in length (including tail).
Adults have a forked tail. Adult males are a glossy dark purple, and adult females are dark on top with some purple on the back, and lighter underparts.
Juveniles are greyish-brown above and whitish below, gaining some purple feathers by their first winter.
Purple-bellied Parrots aka Blue-bellied Parrots
he Purple-bellied Parrots average 11.2 inches (28 cm) in length.
Their general plumage is green - although the head, breast, abdomen and under tail-coverts are yellow cast. The chin and thighs have a faint bluish tinge. The lower breast and middle area of the abdomen are purple, as are the outermost primaries (= longest wing feathers). The remainder is green with a bluish tinge to the tips. The upperside of the middle tail-feathers and the outer tail feathers have faint bluish tips and a blue edging to the outer webs. The underside of the tail and the flight feathers are bluish-green.
These parrots have horn-colored bills and grey feet. They have a grey periophthalmic ring around their eyes and brown irises.
Hens look like males, but lack the purple patch to her breast and abdomen.
Young birds look like adults, but young males have much smaller purple patches that are restricted to the center of their abdomen. Some males (especially captive-bred birds) may not have any purple to their breast or abdomen. Their irises are dark.
The purple-bellied parrots are available in aviculture, but in the United States they are rather expensive (between $4,500 and $5,000).
The Pygmy Parrots of the subfamily Micropsittinae all belong to the genus Micropsitta. They are native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and nearby islands.They are the smallest members of the parrot family.
Pygmy Parrots are the smallest parrots in the world; followed by the Asian Hanging Parrots, the Fig Parrots (from Australia and New Guinea) and, last - but not the least - the well-known and popular African lovebirds and Australian Budgerigars.
Pygmy parrots have never been successfully kept in captivity. All attempts to do so have resulted in the quick deaths of these little parrots. It is assumed that stress and dietary deficiencies are to blame. Little is known about their precise dietary needs.
Desert Cardinals measure 8 - 9 inches (21 and 23 cm) in length, including the tail, and have a wingspan of 10 -12 inches (25 - 31 cm). They weigh between 1.5 - 1.7 oz (42 - 48 g).
Males and females have distinct plumages, with the males having more red markings and the females being mostly greyish-brownish in color.
Both the male and the female have an orangey / reddish beak and a prominent raised crest.
Juveniles look like females. Young males will grow in bright red feathers as he matures.
Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds in the pheasant family Phasianidae, or in the family Odontophoridae. The below address the Old World species (Europe, Africa, Asia) . The New World quails (endemic to the Americas) are not closely related, but are named for their similar appearance and behaviour.
Quaker Parrots are small parrots. They are about the length of a cockatiel, but with bulkier bodies. They measure 11 to 12 inches (28 - 30 cm) in length, including the long tail. Their wingspan is 19 - 20 inches (~48 - 53 cm). They weigh between 3 - 4.9 oz (90 - 139 g).
The upper plumage is green. The face, throat, chest and legs are pale grey. The chest is brownish-grey, each feather edged with pale grey. The upper abdomen is olive-yellow and the lower abdomen, rump, thighs and upper tail-coverts are yellowish-green. The outer webs of flight feathers are blue. The tail upperside is green with a blue down center. The underside is pale green with a greyish-blue base..