Ostrich

Africa Bird 5

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

lady ross

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

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.

Blue-breasted Kingfisher

kingfisher web

The strikingly colored blue-breasted kingfisher inhabits the tropical forests of Africa. It perches in the shade, keeping an eye out for unwary prey such as large insects, fish, and frogs. Like all kingfishers, it has a thick and strong beak adapted for its carnivorous lifestyle.

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.

Red and Yellow Barbet

Red and Yellow Barbet - 03 web

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

raggiana_bird_of_paradise web

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

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.

Guira Cuckoo

Guira Cuckoo - 03 web

Cuckoos are an unusual family, well adapted to take full advantage of their surroundings. They are able to eat insects such as hairy caterpillars which other birds avoid. These cuckoos also practice communal breeding, living in large flocks with one generation of offspring helping their parents to raise the next generation.