ostrich

You would have seen many birds in your lifetime, e.g. sparrow, crow, and a parrot. The ostrich is also the bird like them, but larger than all the birds found on the Earth. Ostriches can’t fly despite having wings. They are mostly known for their speed; they can reach a speed of 40 miles/hour (40 km/h). At such high speed, they use their wings to balance themselves during jumps and turns. They lay eggs that have the weight of about 3 pounds which makes them largest egg than any other bird.

What Do They Look Like?

ostrich
Ostriches are tallest birds reaching a height of about 9 feet and weigh as much as 135 kg (300 pounds). Their body is covered with feathers, males have black feathers and females have grayish colored feathers. They have a long neck, two long and slim legs, and a long beak. Ostriches have two eyes, each having a 2-inch diameter which is larger than every land animal. An ostrich can kick forcefully enough that, it can kill a human or a lion.

Diet

Ostriches can eat a wide variety of food in its diet. They can eat grass, seeds, fruits, small insects, and lizards. They even eat pebbles for helping their digestive system. Ostriches can live without drinking water for several days.

ostrich-eating-herbs
Ostrich eating herbs

Habitat

Ostriches are found in the Africa. They mostly prefer open lands, but they are also found in desert areas of Sahara. Also, People around the world domesticate the ostriches for meat.
ostriches-family

Conservation Status

Ostriches are placed in the least concern category, but their number has also decreased. Since ostriches are domesticated around the world, which helps to maintain their population.

Interesting Facts

  • It is the famous belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sands when they have fear of danger. But, in reality, they lay their heads on grounds to avoid being spotted by predators.
    ostrich-hiding-head
  • Ostriches can run for hours while maintaining its speed to 30 miles per hours (48 km/h).
  • They make their nests on the ground. The size of their nest can reach 3 meters in width.
mallard-duck

Mallard is a common duck, which is very famous bird around the world. They especially known for their sound “quack”. You have probably seen ducks is Disney cartoons, in which the duck is shown as a funny character. Mallard are loved by people around the world. Many people domesticate the ducks in their farms.

What do they look like?

Mallards have brownish colored body. The males have green color head with a ring of white color on their neck. The females are smaller in size and have white and brown color. A mallard can grow about 2 feet in length and can weigh as much as 2.5 pounds.
mallard-duck

Diet

Mallards can eat both plants and animals, so they are called omnivores. They mostly eat seeds, human crops, fish eggs, and small fishes. They can easily catch the small fish in the water, because they are excellent swimmers.
mallard-duck-swimming

Habitat

Mallard is a common duck, which is found in Asia, Europe, Africa, and United States. They prefer to live near ponds, lakes, and rivers. These birds also migrate in some areas when temperature of the area changes. They usually live to together in flocks, called as “sords”.

mallard-duck-with-its-chicks
Mallard duck swimming with its chicks.

Conservation Status

Mallard is not an endangered species, but their population is decreasing. Their population in the wild in affected by human activities. But, they are also domesticated across the world. So, the risk of being endangered species is less.

Interesting Facts

  • Not every species of ducks sound as “quack”.
  • The quacking sound is made by females to call their babies.
  • Many cartoons series characterize ducks as full yellow colored birds. But, it is not true.
  • Mallard spends larger amount of time in water.
grasshopper

Grasshoppers are the insects which are famous for their long jumps and making a chirping sound. They have adapted themselves very well for their survival. They have an excellent camouflage, that can blend them almost completely in the surroundings of their habitats. There are about 11,000 different species of grasshoppers that are living around the world.
grasshopper

What do they look like?

Grasshoppers have a long body with six legs. Their back legs are large which help them to jump very high. Their body is divided into 3 parts; a head, a thorax, and an abdomen. They have a strong exoskeleton which protects their soft body. They have a pair of large wings at their back and a pair of smaller wings on the front. Grasshoppers have a wide range of colors that change from species to species.

Diet

Grasshoppers can eat both plants and small insects. It depends on their location what they will eat. Grasshoppers are very good hunters, their camouflage helps them a lot to succeed in the hunt. Many species of grasshoppers love to eat human-produced crops, e.g. wheat. They cause serious damage to the crops and sometimes eating all the crops.

Habitat

Grasshoppers are one of the insects that are found all across the world. They are found in forests, grasslands, swamps, deserts, and mountains.
grasshopper-sitting-on-grass

Conservation Status

Grasshoppers population is stable. They are not endangered.

Interesting Facts

  • In many countries, people eat some species of grasshoppers.
  • They can jump 20 times as high as their body length.
  • Locusts are the species of grasshopper that cause 1.5 billion dollars of damage in the US alone by destroying crops.
  • Some species of grasshopper make singing noise by rubbing their back leg with one of the hard front wings.
clownfish

Have you watched the Disney’s famous movie “Finding Nemo”, in which an orange fish called Nemo gets lost and his dad goes its search? Both of these fishes are the clownfish. They are orange and yellow in color and are sometimes called anemonefish. There are 28 species of clownfish, each having different colors.
clownfish

Relationship with Anemone

They are called anemonefish because they have an amazing relationship with anemones in the sea. Anemones are the predatory sea animals which look like a plant and have a lot of poisonous tentacles. Clownfish are immune to the poison of anemone and live within them to get protection from predators. They, in turn, eat the parasites of anemone and make them clean.

clownfish-with-anemone
Clownfish with anemone

What do they look like?

Clownfish are small fishes; they grow about 4 inches in length. They have a bright yellow colored body with 3 white stripes and black outlines on the body. However, some species have orange and maroon colored bodies.

Diet

Clownfish can eat both sea plants and small sea animals (they are omnivorous). They can eat the undigested or residual food from their partner anemone. But, their primary food source is zooplankton.

Habitat

Clownfish prefer to live in warm water. They are found in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Great coral reef, and Red sea. They live near the shallow waters of lagoons, and under the shelter of reefs with anemones. Clownfish are not observed in the Atlantic.

clownfish-habitat

Conservation Status

Clownfish live under the shelter of reefs. These reefs have been destroyed by humans from many years. The destruction of reefs has affected the population and growth of clownfish. The movie “Finding Nemo” has increased the demand of clownfish to be kept as a pet. Many children have flushed their pet clownfish in the toilets, thinking that they are giving them freedom as they have seen in the Finding Nemo movie.

Obviously, these stupid activities are causing the damage to the life of clownfish. Parents should aware their children about the reality of the clownfish.

Interesting Facts

  • Clownfish sometimes eat the tentacles of its partner anemone.
  • Female clownfish is dominant in the group.
  • When the dominant female dies, a strong male takes its charge and becomes a female.
  • Females clownfish can lay more than 1000 eggs. These eggs are guarded by the males.
cardinal-bird

Cardinals are the small sized birds with the red colored body. The most famous species of cardinal is the northern cardinal. Cardinals are named after the Catholic leader, who wears bright red clothes. Cardinals communicate with each other by singing songs. Also, the males of one nest warn other males by singing a song. Male cardinals are very defensive for their nests; they readily fight with other males. Sometimes they start fighting with their own reflections.

What do they look like?

Northern cardinals are covered with red colored feathers, but their face is black colored. They have a strong beak and a long tail. They can grow to a height of 9 inches and can weigh as much as 48 grams. They have the wingspan about 30 cm.
cardinal-bird

Diet

Cardinals mostly go for searching food during dawn and dusk. They like to eat insects, fruits, and the seeds. They use their strong beak to dig out the insects from the bushes of the trees.

cardinal-eating-sunflower-seed
Cardinal eating sunflower seed.

Habitat

Cardinals prefer to live in forests and build their nests in the thick and dense bushes. They usually build nests in the middle of bushes to avoid its predators, e.g. owls, dogs, cats, and snakes. When a predator tries to come closer to their nest, both male and female try to scare it. Cardinals are the common birds of US.

cardinal-nest-with-eggs
Nest of Northern cardinals with their eggs.

Conservation Status

The population of cardinals is stable. But human caused activities are harming their habitat e.g. destruction of forests for the need of land.

Fun Facts

  • Cardinals have the ability to sing 24 different songs.
  • Both male and female cardinal take care of their babies together.
  • Female and baby cardinal often sing a song to tell the males that they need food.