maandag 7 januari 2013

Birds of Belarus

The mute swan is commonly associated with romance because of its stark white beauty, graceful swimming and the fact that it mates for life. Yet there are many things most people don’t know about this swan, including that it is not native to North America and it can be one of the most aggressive waterfowl.

Mute swans are native to Europe and Asia, and they have been heavily domesticated in Europe and introduced as domestic waterfowl for estates, parks and gardens in North America. Released birds have formed feral populations around the Great Lakes as well as the North Atlantic coast from Massachusetts south to Virginia. The occasional released bird may be found nearly anywhere, typically near large open areas of water including lakes, large ponds, sheltered bays, bogs and marshes. Mute swans in Europe may migrate east to the Middle East in winter, but North American birds typically do not migrate. [source:]

At first glance, the Eurasian tree sparrow is similar to the house sparrow, both in appearance and in the fact that both species are Old World sparrows introduced to North America. Unlike its cousin, however, the Eurasian tree sparrow has not spread across the continent and it lacks the aggressive behavior that characterizes the house sparrow.

Eurasian tree sparrows are common and widespread in agricultural habitats and suburban parks and gardens throughout Europe, Asia and Indonesia, including the British Isles and the Middle East. In North America, the species was introduce in Lafayette Park in St. Louis, Missouri in 1870 and an established population exists in the greater St. Louis area, extending into eastern central Missouri, western Illinois and southern Iowa. The North American population does not migrate, but northern populations in Siberia may migrate to the Mediterranean coast in winter. Small Eurasian tree sparrow populations have also been introduced in Australia. [source:]

White Storks are tall, long-necked wading birds with long red legs and a straight, pointed red bill. The white plumage of the head, neck and body contrasts with the black wing feathers highlighted with a sheen of purple and green iridescence. A small patch of bare black skin surrounds their brown eyes.
It is also very easy to recognize the sound a Stork makes – they have a very characteristic way of clattering their bills together, sounding like the clattering of two thick sticks. The easiest way to see a Stork is probably on its nest, but you can also easily find it on wet meadows and newly mown fields. Storks’ nests are very big and built in high places with good all-round views. You can see Storks in Europe from March till late August. [source:]

A strikingly beautiful bird, the small and secretive bluethroat takes its name from the bright blue bib of the male. Mostly brilliant blue, this conspicuous patch on the chin and throat often has a central bar or triangular patch which is white or reddish-brown, and is bordered underneath by a narrow black-and-white band and a second, broader, reddish-brown band. The upperparts of the male are greyish-brown, the underparts are whiter and there is a whitish streak above the eye. The female bluethroat usually has whitish stripes above the eye and along the cheeks, and its white throat has a ‘necklace’ of dark streaks and spots, highlighted by a dark throat-stripe, which may occasionally show traces of blue and reddish-brown. In both sexes, there is a rufous patch at the base of the outer tail feathers which can be seen in flight and when perched with the tail erect. The juvenile bluethroat is dark brown, with many buff streaks and spots on the upperparts, head and breast, and is buff with dark streaks underneath. There are 10 recognised subspecies of the bluethroat, each with slightly different throat patterns and plumage tones. [source:]

Thank you very much Pasha!

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