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Bird is the Word

You might be curious about the bird calls you hear while walking through the Aquarium’s Tropical Forest Gallery. Birds play important roles in their ecosystems, from being predators and prey, to acting as pollinators and seed dispersers, to providing magnificent sights and sounds we have come to expect from wild habitats. You will find three different colorful species of birds at the Aquarium. Crested wood-partridges are peculiar, ground-dwelling birds native to Indonesian rainforests. Be on the lookout for the showy red crest on the male’s head. What the female is lacking in head decorations, she makes up for with beautiful green body feathers, compared to the male’s dark blue variety. You might see these birds using their feet to move things around on the ground while foraging for edible treats.

Black-naped fruit doves are another pair of birds where a quick visual study easily distinguishes the male and the female. The male sports the black nape on his neck and head area, while the female is entirely green. Fruits and seeds make up the majority of the menu for these doves.  If you’re fortunate, you may hear and see the male making his vocalization from a perch.

If extremely active birds are your favorite to observe, look no further than the curl-crested aracaris. They’re a playful and curious pair, seemingly hopping and flying around endlessly, always searching for the next item to eat or interact with. They mainly accomplish these activities using their spectacular, large, multicolored bills. Stop by and see if you can spot any out–of-the- ordinary items in their exhibit; these are provided regularly to enrich the birds’ active brains.

Matt Debelak

No popsicles needed . . . a blue-tongued skink sticks out its naturally blue tongue to scare away predators. Learn more about reptiles and lizards at our daily animal encounters.

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