The Eurasian Sparrowhawk - Accipiter nisus, is a small bird of prey found throughout the temperate and subtropical parts of the Old World.
Photo by Otto Ganss.
May 5, 2014 - Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)
Requested by: serotina
Found in cloud forests of Central America, from southern Mexico to parts of Panama, this bird is the largest of the trogons. Although they also eat insects, lizards, and frogs, they are primarily fruit eaters. They are able to swallow many relatively large fruits whole, later regurgitating the pits. Resplendent Quetzals are mostly solitary outside of the breeding season. When nesting they share nest building, incubation, and feeding duties. They are the national bird of Guatemala, seen on the flag and coat of arms.
This is the first born quail chick. She hatched a lot sooner than the rest. In fact, she was all alone for several hours before the other eggs began to hatch! After she dried off in the incubator I stayed with her and eventually it soothed her. She’s still following me around now and likes to stay warm in my hand. I had a little quail buddy for a few hours before her siblings hatched. :) Now she’s with the group.
MIT researchers have unraveled exactly how water birds like ducks and cormorants keep dry when diving in up to 100 feet of water. The secret is a combination of water-repelling oil the birds spread on their feathers during preening and the tightly interlocking structure of the feather’s barbs and barbules.
By testing and modeling the action of water on a feather, they were able to see that the bird’s plumage doesn’t totally repel the liquid and can actually get wet when immersed. But the bird’s preening oil increases the energy needed for water to wet the feather. When the animal leaves the water, the wetting is reversed and the water is ejected off the feather.
"If a feather gets wet, there is no need for it to dry out, in the traditional sense of evaporation,” says Robert Cohen, a chemical engineering professor on the research team. “It can dry by directly ejecting the water from its structure, as the pressure is reduced as it comes back up from its dive.”