Bird Families

Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

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Heron, or night heron (Nycticorax nyctieorax) It differs from other herons in a compressed figure, a short, thick, bent beak, strong, medium-length legs, wide wings and dense plumage that does not have elongated feathers, with the exception of three threadlike feathers on the neck. In the old bird, the upper part of the neck, nape, upper back and shoulders are greenish-black, the rest of the upper parts of the body and sides of the neck are ash-gray, the lower parts of the body are pale straw-yellow, three filiform feathers on the neck are white, rarely black. The eyes are magnificent purple, the beak is black, yellow at the base, the bare spot on the head is green, the legs are green-yellow. Length 60 cm, wingspan 108, wing length 30, tail length 11 cm.

Lifestyle and behavior

If in winter you stop at one of the Egyptian lakes, then here and there you see thick trees covered with numerous herons. Here they sit throughout the day with their necks drawn in, eyes closed, not moving, only when evening approaches, some begin to move. evening twilight falls. Then the sleepy birds liven up, deftly jump from branch to branch higher and higher to the top, and suddenly the whole society rises up and flies to the first swamp that comes across the croaking call-cry of one heron to begin their daily or rather nighttime activities here. Its movements differ in many respects from those of other herons. Gait - in short steps, flight - relatively fast, but completely silent, often repeated blows of the wings. Heron catches fish in much the same way as day herons.

Reproduction

Reproduction takes place from May to July. Heron prefers tall trees to short ones, but is not always picky. The nest is not neatly built, on the outside it is woven of dry twigs, like a crow's nest, and on the inside it is sparsely lined with dry reed and reed leaves. There are 4-5 eggs in a clutch, both parents incubate it, but the participation of the female is greater. It is remarkable that the night heron is engaged in fishing during breeding and during the day. Of course, she is forced to do this by the insatiable hunger of the chicks, inevitably she is forced to change her usual way of life. For a change, young herons climb on branches to the tops of trees on which there are nests, from where they have a wider view and can notice their parents from afar, but they are often mistaken. Young herons walk on the ground, collecting fish dropped from the nests by voracious chicks, if the old people refuse to feed them.

To watch online, click on the video & cudarrr,

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Birds' voices How the Night Heron (Nycticorax) sings Read more

Common Heron Nycticorax nycticorax in Crimea: Meganom, sea at sunset Read more

Common heron, or night heron (lat.Nycticorax nycticorax) Read more

Young Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax). More details

Nycticorax (night heron). Common night heron Read more

Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) Black-crowned Night Heron More details

Black-crowned Night Heron - Νυχτοκόρακας - Common Night Heron Read more

Nycticorax nycticorax. Black-crowned night heron (UK) Heron (UA) Night Heron (RU) More

Have a drink. Russian Birds' Voices Read more

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Why do some birds fly in flocks and others one by one?

Birds are interesting and intelligent creatures. Observing their behavior allows researchers to learn a lot of new facts. However, even an ordinary phenomenon, such as the flight of birds, is of great interest to scientists. Why do some species always flock while others prefer a lonely lifestyle?

Flights during migration

A flock is a group of birds that gather together. If we are talking about the period of seasonal migration, then it is much more convenient and safer for birds to cross long distances as part of a flock. First of all, this is due precisely to security. If a bird flies alone, a predator that appears on the way will certainly pay attention to it. When an entire group migrates, the chance of surviving a dangerous situation is much greater.

Also, in a lonely flight, the bird can easily go astray. And if there are feathered relatives nearby, the flock will surely get to the right place. If you look closely at the shape of the flock, you will notice that most often birds fly in a wedge. Sometimes there are other forms - a line, an arc and others, but a wedge is the most common option.

The wedge-shaped bird is chosen for several reasons. First, there is a leader in every pack. Unlike other animals, this "position" is constantly transferred from one bird to another right in the process of flight. In other words, they just swap places. Leaders are usually the strongest and most enduring representatives of the pack. They serve several important functions. First, the leader sets the direction of flight. Young birds that are migrating for the first time definitely need the help and protection of more experienced brethren.

Secondly, flying in the front row is the most difficult. It's about air resistance. The leader flying in front creates air currents that help the next birds save energy. They don't have to work so hard with their wings. As a result, the flight lasts longer without forced stops, everyone moves evenly and no one lags behind.

All members of the pack try to take lateral places in the wedge in order to feel air resistance on themselves as little as possible. However, sooner or later, the leader gets tired too. In this case, another bird takes its place. Thus, changes in formation occur many times during the entire migration flight.

Bird behavior outside the migration season

Outside the migration season, joint flights are convenient for some birds. In this case, the same safety rule works - it's easier to survive in a flock. However, a new reason is added - the search for food. All birds that eat the same type of food prefer to get together. It's easier and more convenient for them. For example, cereals, fruits and berries, fish are feed that is concentrated in one place and in large quantities. The birds do not have to compete with each other, there is enough food for the whole flock.

How birds got their names

Why do you think the cuckoo got its name? Of course, for the fact that she kukuet, she shouts: “Ku-ku! ku-ku! " You probably already guessed that the cuckoo itself told people what to call it. And it was not only the Russians who heard it. In many countries, the name "cuckoo" sounds similar to Russian. The Czechs, for example, call this bird “kukachka”, Bulgarians - “kukuvitsa”, Germans - “kukuk”, French - “kuku”, Italians - “kukuko”.

If you had to walk on a meadow, then you saw how birds soared out of the grass and seemed to ask you: “Whose are you? whose are you? " This is a lapwing, it also got its name from a cry.

But a long-billed bird flies over the swamp, and what an interesting beak is bent down. Attention: the bird screamed. Kuulik. Kuulik! " And everyone understands her name. Waders are different, large and small, darker and lighter, some have longer beaks, others shorter, and they all have different names. There are other names that reflect the features of bird voices, for example: seagull, siskin, goldfinch, thrush, loon, hoopoe, starling.

The appearance of a bird (the color of the "suit", unusual beak, tail) can also become an important feature when choosing a name. This is how the hazel grouse, greenfinch, redstart, crossbill were named. Plumage coloring helps birds hide from enemies. ...

The redstart is so named for its interesting tail. Red in color, it trembles all the time. Therefore, it seems that the tail flares up like a flame, as if it were on fire.

The name of the bird crossbill comes from the old Russian word crossbill, which means “to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze”. The beak of this bird is bent crosswise, as if it is compressed, squeezed. From the word to cross came the word ticks. Their front part is also compressed, compressed.

Some birds are named after what they eat. It is clear that the flycatcher feeds on flies, and does not just peck them on the ground, but catches them, that's why it is a flycatcher. A small speckled crow (it is smaller than gray) in Siberia is called nutcracker, and in central Russia, where there are no pine nuts, but there are many other nuts, this same bird is called walnut. And it is also clear why.

There are birds that are named for their behavior. The pinwheel (it is also called in another way: the pinwheel, the pinwheel) makes a nest in the hollow. And if someone wants to feast on her little chicks? Oh, this bird will be able to protect its offspring in case of danger. She stretches her neck and hisses like a snake.

The name wagtail also speaks of the behavior of the bird, which constantly wags its tail. These birds live near water. Waves are running, a bird shakes its tail. Try to notice it if everything sways in front of your eyes.

Can the place of their residence serve as the basis for the name of the birds? Yes maybe. The warbler (or warbler) spends all its life in the reeds and it comes to us only when the water near the coast is overgrown with reeds. The coastal swallow does not know how to sculpt nests, as her orca sisters do. The shores are digging nests in the high bank of the river. And their "suit" to match the places where they arrange nests - brown.

Not only the place, but also the time can be important for choosing a bird name. So, the bullfinch comes to us with the snow and lives all winter, and in the spring it goes north.

Zoryanka. This name is very suitable for a bird that meets the morning and evening dawns with a song, when the sun has already set or has not yet risen.

Or here's another name - finch. Why is this bird so called?
It turns out that the finch is not a finch at all, it is not afraid of the cold and arrives in early spring, when there is still snow in the fields. Yes, and flies away in late autumn, in a cold, "chilly", as the people say, time. Because this bird arrives and flies away in cold weather, and they called it a finch.

As you can see, the names of the birds did not appear by chance. People paid attention to some sign and based on this they gave a name.

A small gray bird, a pika, is rapidly moving along the tree trunk. On the way, she rummages through every crack, every crack, pulling out insects and their larvae from there. At the same time, she squeaks quietly all the time.

A black bird, a coot, emerges from the reeds. Slow, lazy. She is as tall as a duck. A light leathery plate shines on her forehead, so from a distance the bird seems bald.

Why did people offend the bird so much, calling it a capercaillie? When the wood grouse sings, or, as they say, tokens, he really does not hear extraneous noise. At this time, hunters sneak up on him. But as soon as the song of the wood grouse has ceased, stop, freeze: the bird listens sensitively. Everything is quiet. Again the wood grouse goes, the hunter hurries to the current again.

But people did not always come up with new names for birds. It could have been different. If a bird with its appearance, its behavior resembled some familiar object, then it could be called the same as this object. This gave the word a new meaning.

The crested tit is called the grenadier (grenadier). For the crest, it got its name. It looks like the decoration of the headdress of the grenadier soldiers. There was a special kind of troops in the tsarist army - grenadiers, selected military units, in which it was considered honorable to serve.

The little sandpiper is called the carrier, although it does not carry anyone. This bird lives along the banks of rivers and loves to fly from one bank to another. For this habit, the bird is called the carrier.

There are also names that are mistakes. A small grayish-brown bird was called a nightjar. Does she know how to milk goats? Well no! The bird hides during the day, and after dark it flies out to hunt. The herd returns to the village in the evening, scared insects fly out from under the animals' feet, and the bird is right there. Her mouth is as huge as a butterfly net. A lot of midges get there. And horseflies, flies, mosquitoes, which so disturb the livestock, will not escape this trap. People thought that a bird comes to milk the goats. Because of these stupid inventions, a useful bird was driven away. But the nightjar does not need milk, give him insects. But still he remained a nightjar.

But there are few such error names. For example, the needle beak owes its name to a crooked, upwardly bent beak, similar to a boot awl. A grayish river duck is called pintail. As you may have guessed, she got this nickname for her long, medium tail feathers. For this sharp tail, in different places of our country, it is called differently: awl, pointed tail, pintail. Although the names are different, they are all given according to one feature - a sharp tail.

And it so happens that the same bird is given different names for different reasons. We have mentioned the Zoryanka bird, the name of which was given for the fact that it meets and sees off the dawn with a song. So this same bird for a yellowish-red, crimson bib is also called a robin.

Perhaps you have heard that the lapwing is sometimes called the meadow, because this bird lives most often in the meadow. The wagtail is also called Pliska for her unpretentious song: "Drank, drank, drank." The coot bird in the Astrakhan region is called by an official. The plumage of the coot is black. In the old days, officials wore a black suit, and a cap badge. The coot walks slowly, lazily, like an important official in black clothes, and the plaque (leathery growth on the head), for which the bird received its first name, completely replaces the cockade. An official, and nothing more!

The smallest bird in our forests is called the king. She has yellow feathers on her head, like a golden crown. Small - that's the king, if it were bigger, it would be a king. And the people call it a carnation. A very apt name! Truly a carnation: in every crack, wherever midges and spiders hide, its sharp little nose will crawl through. And as tall as a carnation.

There are not two, but three or four names, and each characterizes the bird from one side. Among the scree, rocks and just in heaps of stones, or even in stone fences or cracks in stone walls, a small gray bird - a stove - makes its nest. The bird was named so by its "place of residence." For the alarming cry “check-check, check-check, check-check” the bird got a different name - coinage. Kamenka-chasing is a cautious bird. It is worth passing by the place where she made a nest, the stove is right there. Restlessly "checks", flies from place to place along the road along which the person walks, as if seeing him off. For this, the heater received another name - a fellow traveler. And all this can be explained very simply: the bird worries about its nest and sees the person off until it sees that its offspring are safe.

I ask you to add those who are interested in what other birds got their names by external signs and what exactly. Waxwing, sparrow, nuthatch - that's all clear. And here is a partridge, magpie, oriole,
woodpecker, kite, bluethroat, kestrel, sorokaput? There is something to think about.

Right now, there are two articles in the ru.birds news feed about the birdie. We have already agreed with the author that the name is given in appearance - a long tail and a round body, similar to a ladle (as my grandmother used to say).

All about birds

The prevalence of birds is due to their evolutionary achievements. This is the second group of vertebrates after flying lizards that have mastered active flight.

Feathered intermediate forms between ancient reptiles and modern birds appeared about 150 million years ago. This is evidenced by the finds of the fossilized skeletons of Archeopteryx. In the process of evolution, birds have become excellent flyers. To do this, they got rid of the excess mass. Have lost your bladder. Their teeth disappeared and their jaws became much lighter. The work of the jaws began to be performed by the gizzard, the strong walls of which can grind swallowed food. Digestion in birds occurs in a special section - the glandular stomach. The bones of the birds have become porous and thin. In place of the long tail, a compact coccyx emerged, composed of several merged vertebrae. The ribs are thin and flat. At the same time, they developed lateral processes necessary for mutual engagement.

The bird's ribcage is like a woven basket - light and very strong. A keel is attached to the ribcage - the bone necessary to attach the powerful pectoral flight muscles. Some of the thoracic and sacral vertebrae of birds grow together. Together with the chest, they form, as it were, a strong and inactive body of an air liner. The bird's neck provides excellent head mobility. For example, in owls, it can rotate 270 degrees.

The flight muscles require a lot of energy to work. Therefore, birds have a very high metabolic rate. For example, a thrush digests and completely assimilates the berries it swallows in just 45 minutes. It is no coincidence that birds usually feed on fish, insects, berries, grain, worms - that is, food that is very rich in nutrients. There are no completely herbivorous birds. Increased metabolism causes warm-blooded birds. Their body temperature is constant and independent of environmental conditions. It is often much higher than a person's body temperature. For example, in a sparrow it averages 41.7 ° C. The heart of birds works in a frantic rhythm. For example, in a canary, it contracts more than 500 times per minute. As a result, the life of many birds is short. Small singing species live no more than two years, although they can survive in cages even longer.

The faster a bird flaps its wings in flight, the more often it breathes. The work of the wings is associated with the movements of the chest. As the wings rise, it actively contracts and pushes air out of the lungs and air sacs. When the wings are lowered, air passively enters the lungs. In humans, the act of breathing occurs differently - air is actively sucked in on inhalation and passively out on exhalation. As a result of these features, birds are amazing flying vertebrates, often superior in a number of indicators to human aircraft. For example, during flights over the ocean, brown-winged plovers cover up to 400 km without a single landing, losing about 60 g of their mass. If the planes had such abilities, they could fly up to 30 km using less than half a liter of fuel. Real fuel consumption is eight times higher.

There are no fly-sized dwarfs among the birds. There can be no flying giants comparable to rhinos and elephants. Only species that have lost the ability to fly reach the largest sizes. Paws, feathers and beak are, perhaps, the main body parts of birds, which can change slightly. Each species of birds is perfectly adapted to its habitat.

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