Hyacinth Macaw

Two toes point forward and two toes points backward, allowing the hyacinth macaw to maintain a secure grip on a tree branch. The hyacinth macaw’s strong, hooked beak is designed for cracking open nuts, a favorite of which is the oil palm nut.

Boat-billed Heron

Roosting in the trees during the day, the boat-billed heron comes down at dusk to hunt.  Standing still in shallow water, the heron waits for small aquatic creatures to pass by and scoops them up with its wide bill.

Red-tailed Hawk

Preferring open country, the red-tailed hawk is often spotted atop telephone poles and tree branches alongside roads. From there, it can scan the ground below for small rodents or other prey. It also searches for prey as it soars high above on broad wings. A hawk’s eyesight is eight times better than our own.

Emu

Large and heavy with shaggy, fur-like feathers, the emu cannot fly. Instead it walks, sometimes over great distances, in search of seeds and berries. When threatened, perhaps by a pack of dingoes, the emu runs at a surprising speed of up to 30 miles per hour.

Bald Eagle

In the 1960’s, populations of our national symbol, the bald eagle, fell drastically.  Pesticides such as DDT accumulated in their prey and thus bald eagles, leading to infertile eggs or eggshells that were too thin.  Protection of the bald eagle and its habitat, banning of some pollutants and breeding and reintroduction are helping populations recover.

Eurasian Eagle Owl

With wings that can span up to six feet, the Eurasian eagle owl is one of the largest owls in the world. Its powerful yet silent wings enable this night hunter to stealthily swoop down and scoop up prey. They can even catch other birds in mid-air.

Rhinoceros Hornbill

The rhinoceros hornbill is named for the rhino horn-shaped casque on its beak, which may be used in fighting, to amplify its calls, for courtship displays, or just to knock down fruit for eating. Hornbills have very interesting nesting habits.

Red and Yellow Barbet

All members of a small family group of red and yellow barbets help feed and raise the young. To defend their territory, the dominant breeding pair sings a synchronized duet, which sounds like a repeating “red’n yell-ow”. They will also mob hawks or other intruders.

Raggiana Bird-of-paradise

The bird-of-paradise is famous for the male’s spectacular tail feathers, which grow up to three feet long. Generally solitary birds, males and females only come together to mate. Males gather in a common area called a lek to impress the ladies with an elaborate dance and display.

Kookaburra

The largest bird in the kingfisher family, the kookaburra is famous for its loud, boisterous call. It sounds a lot like a hearty human laugh, koo-koo-hoo-hoo-hoo-haa-haa-haa-haa. The kookaburra calls to let others know to stay out of its territory.