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Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus)

Distribution: Australia, Indonesia & Papua New Guinea

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Ecology } { Vocalizations } { eBird }

(Photo by Tom Tarrant // CC 2.0)

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Check out the awesomely long tails on these roosters! These regal specimens are Onagadori or “Long-tailed” chickens. They’re a breed of chicken from the Kōchi Prefecture of Japan who evolved from common domestic chickens who mated with Green Junglefowl. Also known as the ‘most honorable fowl’ in Japan, they’ve been carefully bred over the centuries to achieve their spectacular tails, which grow to lengths of 12 to 27 feet. It takes these chickens at least three years to molt. Onagadori breeders take tremendous pride in their chickens and provide special hutches with perches well above the ground, which helps keep their tails clean and in good condition.

If Rapunzel had been a chicken, she probably would’ve looked a lot like one of these awesome birds. These extraordinarily fancy fowl have Special Natural Monument status in Japan, which means they’re considered to be living monuments of Japanese culture and, as a protected breed, it’s illegal to take their eggs out of the country.

[via Lost At E Minor and Wikipedia]


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Sunbittern displaying his wings at Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa by KaliNow on Flickr.

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20 Vivid Hummingbird Close-ups Reveal Their Incredible Beauty

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Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda)

Distribution: Pelagic : breeds in the Indian and Pacific Oceans

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Ecology } { Vocalizations } { eBird }

(Photo by Peter Steward // CC 2.0)

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Beatrix does not approve of this thing we call “weather”.

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Loon by Thorbjørn Riise Haagensen on Flickr.

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U N L E A S H  T H E  B E E S

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Plate-billed Mountain Toucan (Andigena laminirostris)

Distribution: Andean forests in Ecuador and Columbia

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Ecology } { Vocalizations } { eBird }

(Photo by Ben Tavener // CC 2.0)

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An amethyst in bird-form, meet the Costa’s Hummingbird. A desert hummingbird, Costa’s Hummingbird breeds in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of California and Arizona.