Friday, 23 August 2013
Saturday, 17 August 2013
The only species of the crow family that Bristol currently has in its collection is a bird with (until recently) a rather mysterious distribution. The Azure-Winged Magpie is know from only two parts of the world, the Iberian peninsula in Europe, and eastern Asia, with no known populations in between. This was so confusing a picture that for a long time it was believed that the birds in Spain and Portugal originated very recently as escaped sailors pets, brought back by Spanish or Portugese navigators to the Far East in the 16th or 17th centuries, but it is now known that they are relicts of a much more widely spread population, which diverged from the Asian birds at least a million years ago. The European birds do look somewhat different, being rather smaller and lacking a white end to the tail, but otherwise look and behave the same as the Asian birds. The Bristol zoo birds are the Asian form, Cyanopica cyana. The European birds have been classed as a separate species, C.cooki, but this is not yet on the official lists.
|Asian Azure-Winged Magpie, Bristol|
Saturday, 10 August 2013
|White Rumped Shama, Bristol Zoo (male)|
Thursday, 1 August 2013
Unlike most starlings, which often feed on the ground, Bali Starlings feed by gleaning through the canopy, searching for fruit and insects. They nest in holes in trees, both those excavated by other birds and natural cavities. As with most starlings, male and female are identical, and the song of the male is a series of wheezes and crackles.