Birds are creatures that have feathers and can fly. Wait, scratch that, most of them can fly, but there are such things as flightless birds. Flightless birds may either have wings that are too small to fly with, or have no wings at all. The aerodynamics of the avian species may also play an important role.
There are many different species and sub-species of birds the whole world over. Each more colorful than the last. Some birds however are not colorful at all, like a crow or a raven. Yet every bird is beautiful, in its own unique way. Usually the more colorful of the birds is the male while the females coloring helps it to blend in with its environment to better avoid detection of predators. Only by sight alone of course.
Now some birds look far more interesting than others and get the attention of ones eye. It's hard not to stare at them and be amazed by what nature can come up with.
It doesn't matter which came first, the chicken or the egg and whether or not that first bird was the offspring of a pterodactyl or some other flying dinosaur. Birds are just amazing creatures and they, especially the males, know how to flaunt their plumage.
Five Feathered Wonders of Nature
1. Yellow-knobbed Curassow
Credit: Wikimedia Commons The Yellow-knobbed Currasow is an interesting looking bird with its crest, which happens to be its most striking feature. The bird has black plumage with a white crissum. The only thing which the female does not sport, that the male does, is a fleshy yellow knob. Thus making it rather easy upon spotting one to determine which gender it might be.
These birds are very small, but large. They're about 33-37 inches (84-91.5 cm) and weigh in anywhere between 4.4 to 4.6 pounds (2-3 kg). Their crest reminds some people of curly hair, rather than feathers. These birds can be found in the forest and woodlands of Columbia and Venezuela.
Whistling Male Yellow-knobbed Currasow
2. Southern Cassowary
Credit: Wikimedia Commons A rather interesting looking bird, is the southern cassowary. A bird which can be found in the tropical rainforests of Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia. It happens to be a flightless bird. A rather large, black flightless bird which is related to the Emu and Ostrich. It is a ratite after all.
Although the Southern Cassowary is not all black for it has an interesting feature. It has a casque on its head, which is brown. Then its face is pretty shade of blue. It also has a waddle, which is red. However the most interesting thing about the Southern Cassowary might not even be its looks, though their looks are interesting as it is!
What's so fascinating about them, is that it is the male which raises the hatchlings instead of the mother. In fact, he raises them alone. Chalk one up for single fathers. Even mother nature herself approves. It also happens to be the second heaviest bird on Earth with its largest member being 190 lbs (85 kg) and 75 in (190 cm).
Bird that is Important to Seed Dispersal in Rainforests
3. Vulturine Guineafowl
Credit: Wikimedia Commons Another interesting looking bird, is the Vulturine Guineafowl. One reason for its so interesting to behold, is its creepy red eyes. Plus it has a featherless head and the way its curved makes this guineafowl look something like a vulture. Although it is not a vulture. The color of its breast, which is a cobalt blue, draws attention to the bird.
Were it not for its featherless head, the Vulturine Gunieafowl would be even more beautiful and outstanding than it already is. It also happens to be another large bird, though it is not a ratite.
However, while this bird can fly, it is terrestrial and would rather run than fly when startled.
This attention getting bird, can be found in northeast Africa from southern Ethiopia through Kenya and even into the beginning of northern Tanzania.
Vulture Guineafowl as seen in a Zoo
The Malleefowl too, is an interesting looking bird. It may not be as colorful as the Southern Cassowary or the Vulturine Guneafowl, but that doesn't make it any less interesting to view. Nor is it as large as the Yellow-knobbed Currasow, Southern Carrowary or Vulturine Guneafowl either. Instead, the Malleefowl is “about the size of a domestic chicken.” It's interesting to gaze upon, because of the spiky look it sports atop its head.
This bird prefers to remain firmly on land, but can take to flight. Although the Malleefowl will usually only resort to flying if its surprised or chased. The reason it does have such interesting plumage despite not being vivid in color, is that it can blend in easily with its surroundings. In fact, it is a large reason why it prefers the ground rather than the sky. It can disappear from view and become invisible to its predators as its plumage offers it such wonderful camouflage.
The Malleefowl, for those interested in trying to spot one in the undergrowth can be found only in parts of southern Australia.
Hatching Behavior of the Male Malleefowl Bird
5. Golden Pheasant
Credit: Wikimedia Commons Yet another eye catching bird is the Golden Pheasant, which can also be referred to as the Chinese Pheasant. This bird is quite the colorful one with its golden crest and rump as well as its bright red body. The bright orange cape it sports, can be splayed out and displayed, which makes for an even more remarkable view of the bird. It also has a bit of black as well as blue upon itself. One would have to see it up close and personal to really understand just how gorgeous the Golden Pheasant really is.
Although as with many other birds, the female is far less showy in appearance than the male. She is, instead darker and more slender than her male counterpart. Her plumage is duller and mottled brown, which appears to be similar to that of the Common Pheasant.
There are however been within zoos and other captive strains of the Golden Pheasant some strange color mutations as well as descendants that are not pure Golden Pheasant. Instead, some of their offspring appear to have a Lady Amherst's Pheasant in their lineage.
Note, that while these Golden Phesants found in the wild are bright and beautiful, they however are difficult to see due to their habitat. It can be found in its native habitat of western China's forests and mountainous areas. Feral populations however have been established in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world too, but their true native habitat is that of parts of Western China.