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Rex Graham
13,525 followers -
Founder of TopBirdingTours.com
Founder of TopBirdingTours.com

13,525 followers
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Rex's posts

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According to sailing lore, Captain Bligh’s crew boasted about the stupid seabirds they easily captured on the deck of the Bounty. They jokingly called them “boobies.”

https://goo.gl/KobhY0

The name stuck. Booby is part of ornithology taxonomy, next to the fellow plunge-diving Gannets. However, Boobies aren’t stupid. Researchers have discovered that Masked Boobies use a highly flexible and complex algorithm-like approach to survival and feeding their young.

Read more – https://goo.gl/KobhY0

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The Anacostia River was a 9-mile-long trash sluice near the U.S. Capital, but inner-city residents have transformed it into a haven for Ospreys and Bald Eagles. goo.gl/Pwf5l8

National Public Radio reported on May 20, 2017, that what was good for fish, turtles, raptors and water quality has been a godsend to people who live nearby.

“The river became infamous in the second half of the 20th century as one of the most neglected, trash-choked waterways in the United States – a blighted river amid blighted neighborhoods,” Block said.

Read more -- goo.gl/Pwf5l8

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International border walls are meaningless to birds. Attendees of spring birding festivals in Arizona saw several colorful Mexican songbirds they’ve never seen before. Warmer temperatures have led the birds to forage farther north.

https://goo.gl/kBF29a

Experienced bird experts at annual birding festivals in Arizona, California and Texas have confirmed increasing reports of birds that are usually endemic to Mexico.

The Tufted Flycatcher was a new species for many attendees of the May 2017 Southwest Wings Birding Spring Festival in Sierra Vista, AZ. “It is a Mexican bird that hasn’t been reported here in about 20 years – if ever,” said Gorgon Lewis, head of the Southwest Wings Festival.

“It’s the same with the Blue Mockingbird, Rufous-capped Sparrow and Flame-colored Tanager," Lewis said. “They are usually 100 to 150 miles south of us, but those birds are coming up here, staying and breeding."

Another beautiful Mexican songbird, the Slate-throated Redstart, was sighted in southern Arizona in May.

Read more -- https://goo.gl/kBF29a
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With 10,400 species of birds worldwide, you might expect diverse opinions on which continent or country has the most beautiful ones.

South America has stunning birds. Of course, you knew that. Here's a list of the top-13 beautiful birds of Peru: https://goo.gl/CQ3kg6

The ranking is based on surveys compiled by scientists.

While the analysis was objective, we can’t say that about the survey respondents.

The stunning bird pictured here topped the list in Peru, one of the most biodiverse countries on earth.

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The Atlantic Puffin – a face that launched 1,000 bird photo tours– has even more amazing features – high-performance wings. https://goo.gl/tJD1Xq

Andean Condors have perfected the biggest, Bee Hummingbirds the smallest, but puffins have a marvelously efficient in-between-sized wingspan of 550 mm (21 in).

It is one of the bird world’s most ingenious marvels of bioengineering.

Most lenses are focused on the hatchet of a bill ribbed in blues, yellows and orange stripes. Puffins are indeed gorgeous. Their performance engineering is evident when they become airborne.

Read more – https://goo.gl/tJD1Xq

(There is 1 spot remaining on an August wildlife photography expedition to photograph the bird, Polar Bears and other Arctic animals. https://goo.gl/mCWtTZ)

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The Great Hornbill is a noisy example of conservation success in Asia. https://goo.gl/8sTfqf

The birds and duckbill dinosaurs have sound-amplifying casques, and who knows, the hornbills' RROH call may be similar to a Hadrosaurid's.

To keep the croaking sound of the Great Hornbill echoing through some of the world’s most primeval forests, researchers are using a wide range of tactics, including nest boxes the size of refrigerators.

However, while all hornbills will use nest-boxes in zoos, but in the wild they prefer the real thing.

In Thailand, scientists are renovating unwanted natural cavities as “fixer uppers.” The scientists fill holes and cracks in the trees, and reduce the entry of rainwater into the cavities in hopes of attracting picky parents.

The most innovative approach is a $120 payment to local residents in India who look after a hornbill family and its nest site for 1 year. Even former hornbill poachers have been recruited as part of the “Hornbill Family Adoption Program.” Local residents have increased their incomes from guiding visitors, including the bird lovers who had donated the money to the adoption program.

Read more – https://goo.gl/8sTfqf

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Q: What’s worse for migratory songbirds – hurricanes or deer? https://goo.gl/0OthR2

A: Scarlet Tanagers and other migratory songbirds moving north from South America into Canada face far greater ecological threats from deer than hurricanes.

Herds of White-tailed deer can denude a North American forests if left unchecked. Deer eat anything edible, including plants, fruit, and crops such as corn. They particularly like acorns in the fall. They even eat poison ivy, and prickly pear cactus. There's nothing left for Scarlet Tanagers.

You might guess that hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast coastal forests are just as inhospitable to tanagers and other songbirds. Ornithologists had assumed the same thing.

Read more -- https://goo.gl/0OthR2
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Rats on Alaska’s “Rat Island” have been eliminated and the American Black Oystercatcher (and other birds) are rebounding. https://goo.gl/gozyD4

Rodents can be as deadly to nesting oystercatchers as foxes or misguided oil tankers. Hawadax Island is part of the Rat Islands Group in the Aleutians, named for obvious reasons. Half way between Alaska and Russia, its rats were eatng every bird egg and chick they could find. Arctic foxes introduced to the island ate the birds as well as rats.

The foxes were eliminated in 1984.

In 2008, it was the rats’ turn. In the fall, after the avian breeding seasons concluded, and the rats had little else to eat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dispersed grain laced with rat poison. All the rats died, but the rebound of birds surprised researchers.

Read more -- https://goo.gl/gozyD4


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Don’t let their beauty distract you. Lilac-breasted Rollers are tough predators of Africa’s wooded savannahs. https://goo.gl/rlM9oO

Lions and other top carnivores get the glamour, but these colorful birds are hard to miss. They’re favorites of birders from the Red Sea on the north to as far south as the Atlantic Coast of South Africa.

“Lilac-breasted Rollers are bold, garrulous birds, and it is virtually impossible to overlook their presence,” said Australian ornithologist Joseph Forshaw.

Male Rollers have mastered an unusual aerial maneuver called "the roll."

Read more - https://goo.gl/rlM9oO

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The unique Shoebill is one of 1,000 species of birds you can see on a 19-day, hotspot-hopping birding tour in East Africa. https://goo.gl/BJ2xnn

The top birding tour available (April 11-29, 2018) visits the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, chimpanzee and Mountain Gorilla sanctuaries in Uganda, and Victoria Falls in Zambia. A sundown cruise on the Zambezi River is part of the package included in this bucket-list Africa birding and wildlife tour, which accommodates only 6 people plus 2 guides (1 Rockjumper Birding Tours guide and 1 local guide).

The tour price is $9,950 per person (US Dollars), but a $500-per-person discount is available through Top Birding Tours. Read more – https://goo.gl/BJ2xnn

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