Tawny Frogmouth


Though it resembles an owl, the tawny frogmouth belongs to an order of insect-eating, nocturnal birds that includes nightjars and nighthawks. It is difficult to spot in the wild thanks to its nocturnal lifestyle and excellent camouflage. When threatened, the frogmouth stretches and freezes to look like nothing more than a branch.

Southern Screamer

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Southern screamers spend their days foraging in groups for aquatic plants in marshes and lakes. Their long legs and long toes help them wade through the water with ease. At any sign of danger, the bird flies up into a tree and sounds an alarm call.

Buff-crested bustard

buff crested bustard

The buff-crested bustard is named for a crest of feathers along the back of the male’s neck that are erected when displaying. The male courts the female by flying straight up in the air, and then seems to fall and catch itself just before it hitting the ground.

Red-legged seriema


Walking through the grassland, the red-legged seriema hunts for insects, snakes and other small animals. It often smashes prey against a rock or beats it on the ground before proceeding to eat it. Small prey is swallowed whole while larger prey is first ripped to pieces with its bill.

Crested coua


A type of cuckoo bird, the crested coua lives in the forests and savannahs of Madagascar where it feeds on fruit, insects and other small animals.



As the world’s largest and heaviest living bird, the ostrich can’t fly to get away from predators, but it sure can run fast—up to 40 miles per hour! It can also deliver a powerful kick, if a predator gets too close.

Micronesian Kingfisher

GM Kingfisher_HeatherPaul

A forest-dwelling bird, the Micronesian kingfisher swoops down from its perch in a tree to snatch up insects, crustaceans and lizards in its large bill.

Lady Ross’ Turaco

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Turacos rarely come down from the forest canopy. They rapidly run along vines and branches squirrel-style. Their two outer toes rotate backwards for better gripping, and their long tails help with balance.


emu web

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.

Rhinoceros Hornbill

rhino hornbill web

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.