Hawk Headed Parrot!

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(Please click to enlarge).
Isn’t this guy gorgeous? It took me awhile to find out what he was. Thank you google. The unique Hawk-headed Parrot is the only member of it’s own genus, Deroptyus. It has unusual elongated feathers on it’s neck that it can raise in a frill or fan when threatened. It is, for this reason, also sometimes referred to as a Fan-headed Parrot. You can see these long red and blue feathers in the shot below.

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It is a fruitivore that lives in The Amazon Basin.

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Reportedly, HH Parrots are prone to be stubborn, ill-tempered, and even aggressive at times as pets.

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Maybe they prefer hanging out in the Amazon to being pets. Who can blame them? I’ve been to The Amazon, and if I were a parrot I would much rather be there than in a cage in someone’s house.

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This guy wasn’t threatened or ill-tempered at all however, and I couldn’t get him to raise so much as a feather for a shot. He probably likes the huge multi-level Owen’s Aviary at the San Diego Zoo and has never even been to the Amazon. If he ever saw it though, I bet he’d fly off in shot and never look back. There is nothing like seeing incredible birds like this in the wild!

To see what he looks like with his frill raised like a hawk, check out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-fan_Parrot

Cheers to you from the happy, well-tempered Hawk-head, at the Owen’s Aviary

Say Hi to the World’s Heaviest Eagle!

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Okay class. This is the last of your unsolicited tutorials on raptors of the world.
Meet the Stellar Sea Eagle.
Thought to be rarest raptor in the world.
It is considered by many to be the world’s most magnificent raptor, and is the heaviest eagle in the world, even larger than the Harpy. It wingspan can be over 8 feet. That’s three world records for only one birdie!
That’s kinda like being Lance Armstrong before we found out he was cheating.
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Anyhoo, little is known about the Stellar Sea Eagle due to their remote habitat. They live exclusively on the North East Coast of Russia, North Korea and select coastal areas of Japan. They catch fish, mainly salmon, while flying along the surface of the water. Check out the side view of this eagle’s eye in the photo below. You can see the retina and how it swivels, giving the Stellar his incredible prey spotting capabilities, and you can see through the transparent aqueous body of the eye.
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Here is an interesting factoid. The Stellar engages in a practice called “Kleptoparasitism.”
I’ve known a person or two in my life who seemed to engage in this practice as well. But I digress……
Anyhoo, the Stellar rips off other bird’s kills. I guess the other birds know enough not to object.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t!
“Want my salmon? Sure! Take it all….No problem. I wasn’t hungry anyway…..”
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Afterall, this is one big birdie, with one very big beak!
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If this eagle escaped from the zoo and flew to The Holler, I would catch a wind-draft to Arizona, along with the red-tails and every other raptor at The Holler!
Cheers to you from The Holler!

Crowned Eagle!

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The Crowned Eagle is the most powerful eagle in Africa. It can fly at up to 100 mph silently and kill prey that weigh up to 44 pounds. We saw these eagles hunting in Africa and it was an unbelieveably impressive sight. Mated eagle pairs often hunt together which is what we observed. They are monogamous unless their mate dies, and they return to the same nest for many years.
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Crowned Eagles are the only surviving members of their genus, the Madagascar Crowned Hawk Eagle which became extinct about a thousand years ago.
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The San Diego Zoo had the first Crowned Eagle hatched in captivity in 1996.
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I imagine this is how the eagle might look to it’s prey as it closed in. Rather intimidating no?
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If one of these eagles escaped from the zoo and flew over to The Holler, the red-tailed hawks would catch the next air draft to Arizona!