It’s amazing how nature constantly reveals new species of animals to us. Birds, in particular, have captured the attention of scientists, researchers, and bird enthusiasts due to their diverse and extraordinary features. These magnificent winged creatures never cease to impress us with their stunning appearances.
The planet we live on is home to a wide variety of birds that come in all different colors and patterns. From fluffy white birds to those with feathers in every color of the rainbow, it’s evident that nature loves to play around with their appearance. We can’t help but marvel at these stunning creatures, so we’ve put together a collection of 16 photos that are sure to leave you in awe. Get ready to feast your eyes on some truly mesmerizing birds!
Meet the Frill-necked Monarch, a member of the Monarchidae family of flycatchers found only in the rainforests of northern Cape York Peninsula. Previously believed to be a subspecies of the frilled monarch, this bird was reclassified as its own species in 1999. The male frill-necked monarch measures approximately 14 cm in length and boasts a black and white coloration with a small frill that can be raised on its neck feathers. Unlike the similar-looking pied monarch, the frill-necked monarch has an all-white breast without a black band. Its throat, nape, shoulders, and rump are also white while its head and wings are black.
The habitat of the range spans from the northern point of Cape York Peninsula down to Weipa, and extends southeastwards towards the Iron Range and Coen. This bird species is primarily found in subtropical and tropical moist lowland forests as well as subtropical and tropical moist montane forests. The breeding season occurs between November and February, with only one brood being raised during this time. The nest is constructed using spider webs, shredded plant material, and sticks woven together with vines, forming a shallow cup and decorated with lichen. Typically, it is situated on a hanging loop of vine, far away from the trunk or foliage of a large tree, and approximately 2 to 10 meters above the ground. A pair of pink-tinged oval white eggs with lavender and reddish-brown blotches are laid, measuring 19 mm x 14 mm.
The Sparkling Violetear is a hummingbird species known for its large size, territorial behavior, and loud vocalizations. It can commonly be found in semi-open habitats such as gardens and parks in major cities, with Quito in Ecuador being a popular location for sightings. This bird is the most widespread species of hummingbird in its range, which includes the highlands of northern and western South America, the Andes, the Venezuelan Coastal Range, and the tepuis. The Sparkling Violetear belongs to the Trochilidae family of hummingbirds, specifically the Colibri genus, which also includes the Brown Violetear, White-vented Violetear, and Green Violetear.
The European Starling, scientifically known as Sturnus vulgaris, is a common bird found in all but one of the world’s six biogeographical realms, excluding the Neotropics. Although mainly dispersed across its natural Palearctic region, which covers Central Siberia to the Azores and Norway to the Mediterranean, it was introduced to North America in 1890 with only fifteen pairs surviving out of the one hundred that were released in New York City. These birds were able to multiply rapidly, increasing a million-fold from the original fifteen over the next hundred years, due to their wide range of ecological tolerance. Today, the European Starling can be found across the United States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. They are mainly lowland birds that require holes for nesting during breeding season and fields of vegetation for feeding. However, they use a larger range of habitats during the rest of the year, from open moorlands to salt marshes. The European Starlings usually nest in holes and crevices in trees, buildings, and rooftops, but they also take over other birds’ nests.
The Tawny-flanked Prinia is a small bird that often goes unnoticed due to its unremarkable appearance and ability to blend in with its surroundings. However, its distinctive call is what usually catches people’s attention. These birds are fast and agile, making it difficult to observe them unless they are singing.
The Formosan laughingthrush or white-whiskered laughingthrush (Garrulax morrisonianus) is a type of bird that belongs to the Leiothrichidae family and can only be found in the mountain forests of Taiwan. These birds are relatively large, with a length of 26 to 28 cm (10 to 11 in), and they are known for their unique facial pattern. Their bills resemble that of a thrush and are yellowish to horn-colored, while their eyes are black. With strong brownish-pink legs, the average weight of this species is around 77 grams (2.7 oz). They are sociable creatures that typically gather in large groups and are not scared of humans. Despite the estimated population size being between 10,000 and 100,000 breeding pairs, their numbers are decreasing due to habitat destruction and fragmentation. However, they are not currently considered a vulnerable species.
The family Meropidae is home to a group of slender, brightly coloured birds known as bee-eaters. These graceful creatures feed on various winged insects like bees, wasps, and dragonflies. They can often be found perching on high and open spots like dead trees in areas with open countryside, riverine regions or forest edges. From their elevated lookout, they use their keen eyesight to spot their prey in mid-air, catching them on the wing. In Southeast Asia, bee-eaters prefer to nest in sandy cliff faces or bare ground, but they have also been known to build their homes in abandoned piles of sandy soil. Interestingly, the Red-bearded Bee-eater Nyctornis amictus has been observed nesting in termite mounds. Although Africa has the greatest diversity of bee-eaters, Southeast Asia is home to eight different species that either reside or migrate there.
The grey-rumped treeswift, scientifically known as Hemiprocne longipennis, belongs to the Hemiprocnidae family of birds. This particular family consists of four extant species. While closely related to true swifts, treeswifts are known for their arboreal nature and can often be spotted perched on trees, power transmission lines, or pylons. When perched, their wing tips cross over their tail. The grey-rumped treeswift is commonly found in peninsular Malaysia, but is known to have a very wide range with limited information about population trends.
The Superb Fairy-wren is a striking bird with blue-and-black plumage that easily distinguishes the male. They are often seen with a group of brown ‘jenny wrens’, which are mistakenly assumed to be a harem of females, but some are actually immature males. Their untidy nests contain three or four eggs, but not all of them are fathered by the ‘coloured’ male due to infidelity among female fairy-wrens. These birds are found in eastern Australia and Tasmania, south of the Tropic of Capricorn, and can be seen in various habitats, including urban parks and gardens. They usually travel in small groups consisting of one male, several females and young birds.
The small-sized multicoloured tanager is a passerine bird that measures approximately 12 cm in length. The males have a vibrant yellow crown, face, mantle, and throat, with chestnut and black ear coverts, bright green nape and wings, blue rump, breast, and belly, and a central black patch on the underparts. The females are less striking and lack the yellow mantle and black patch on the underparts. Both immature males and females resemble the duller females. This species is endemic to the interior of wet montane forests in Colombia’s Occidental and Central Cordillera, primarily found between altitudes of 1300 to 2200 meters above sea level. However, it may also be spotted as low as 900 meters, especially in the Department of Cauca. The multicoloured tanager prefers mature forests but can also be found in mature secondary forests and forest edges. It is relatively common in small forest fragments in the Valle del Cauca Department, where it resides throughout the year.
The Western Emerald is a type of hummingbird native to the subtropical and tropical moist forests of western Colombia and Ecuador. This bird species has a wide geographic range, estimated to cover around 153,000 km globally, and is considered to be moderately common in some areas. The Western Emerald Hummingbird is most commonly spotted in subtropical and tropical moist forest environments, as well as in mountainous regions. Check out this video to see the Western Emerald in action: [insert video link].
The Horned Sungem is a type of bird that has a widespread distribution, so it is not in danger of being classified as Vulnerable according to the criteria for range size. Additionally, while we don’t know the exact size of the population, it doesn’t seem to be decreasing at a significant rate that would make it Vulnerable under the population size criterion. As a result, the Horned Sungem is currently categorized as of Least Concern.
The Long-tailed Tit is a bird found in the temperate regions of Eurasia. Due to the white plumage on its belly, it is also known as the silver-throated tit. This avian species has a small, plump body that measures about 13-15 centimeters long, including its tail of about seven-nine centimeters, and a short beak. Its primary diet consists of eggs and larvae of insects like moths and butterflies. Although there were some population declines due to harsh cold weather, the IUCN currently lists the Long-tailed Tit as a species of least concern, indicating little or no threat to its survival. Let’s appreciate the beauty of this charming bird.
The Bare-throated Tiger-Heron is a medium-sized heron that can be found in coastal regions of Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. This bird has a cryptic coloration, with a green face and throat, black crown and nape, and grey side of the head. Its upper bill is black with a blue horn cutting edge, while the lower bill is a dull yellow color. The irises range from yellow to silver, and the lores, skin around the eye, and featherless throat are a yellow-green color that runs onto the lower bill. The front of its neck is tawny and white striped, while the hind neck is finely barred in brown and buff. The back is dark olive brown with fine buff vermiculation, and its flight feathers are black. The underparts are cinnamon, and its thighs are grey, while its legs are dark grey olive to slate green. During nesting, the bare throat may become bright yellow to orange. While little is known about the population size or trends of this species, it is widespread throughout its range and is reported to be common in Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, rare to uncommon and possibly declining in Panama, and at risk in some areas of north Colombia.
The Steller’s Jay is a magnificent bird that boasts a beautiful blend of deep blue and black feathers, along with a shaggy crest that runs down its back. Its body is black at the front and deep blue at the rear, with faint dark barring on its wings. Adult Steller’s Jays have blue vertical ‘eyebrows’ above each eye, while juveniles look similar to adult birds but have a slightly browner head and lack the blue eyebrows. The inland form of this species features a small white patch over the eye. Interestingly, Steller’s and Blue Jays are the only jays in North America that have crests, and they occasionally mate to produce hybrids. To build their nests, Steller’s Jays use mud, and they are known to come to bird feeders and take peanuts, which they store in their crops before flying away. They also cache nuts in the ground as a winter food source, using leaves or other materials to mark the location. Although they often forget where they store their food, this forgetfulness results in germination and the growth of new trees.
The Whiskered Treeswift, scientifically known as Hemiprocne comata, belongs to the Hemiprocnidae family and is a unique bird species. It can be found in various countries including Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Thailand. The adult male has a striking appearance with a dark bronze-brown body, white belly, flanks, and under tail-coverts, and a long wingspan with a deep blue forked tail. It also has white tertial flight feathers, blue coverts, and a slightly crested head that ranges from blue to glossy black. This bird species thrives in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. The Whiskered Treeswift is predominantly found in forest areas and is often seen around small cover breaks such as tracks or streams. It follows the vegetation up around the highest emergent crowns in evergreen forest and locally in tall mangroves. Although it can occur from plains up to 1000 to 1100 meters on slopes, it is more commonly observed below 800 meters in N Malay Peninsula.
The black-throated loon, also known as the Arctic loon and black-throated diver, is a migratory bird found in the northern hemisphere. These birds breed primarily in freshwater lakes in northern Europe and Asia and can be found wintering along sheltered, ice-free coasts of the north-east Atlantic Ocean and the eastern and western Pacific Ocean. This loon was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 and has two subspecies. Although previously thought to be the same species as the Pacific loon, recent studies have shown that the black-throated loon is actually sister to a clade consisting of the Pacific loon, common loon and yellow-billed loon. While the population is declining, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) rates this loon as least concern due to the decline not being rapid enough. The black-throated loon is protected under both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and the Agreement on the Conservation of African.