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National Birds, Part One

Posted by Jennifer Polat on

So many birds, so little time! Embark on a journey with us as we discover the beautiful and ethereal birds around the world. From proud peacocks to terrific toucans, magnificent magpies, and many more. Read on for a curation of some of the most interesting facts about these national birds from countries all around the world. What are you waiting for? Learning, creativity, and adventure await!

Estonia Barn Swallow

The barn swallow is the national bird of Estonia. This bird has a beautiful blue-black coat, impressively long forked tail feathers, and an off-white underbelly that is accentuated with a blue-black breast. They feed on small insects and situate their nests made of plant fiber, feathers, and mud in caves, chimneys, or barns. Fun fact: they mate for life!

South Korea Korean Magpie

The Korean magpie is the national bird of South Korea. This bird has a beautiful coat in a purplish-blue iridescence with some green hues that run from its head, back, and tail. When it expands its wings, a sea of breathtaking snow-white feathers emerge. Fun fact: it is considered to be the largest of all the magpies!

Singapore Crimson Sunbird

The crimson sunbird is the national bird of Singapore. It is a tiny little creature at only 11cm long with incredibly fast and direct movements. They primarily feed on nectar. In terms of appearance, the adult male has a bold maroon breast and back with a yellow rump and olive underbelly. The female has an olive back, pale yellow breast, and frosted white tips for the outer tail feathers. Fun fact: the sunbird makes a “chee-cheewee” sound!

Jamaican Doctor Bird

The doctor-bird (also known as the swallow-tail hummingbird, the steamer-tail or scissor tail hummingbird) is the national bird of Jamaica. It is coated with iridescent green and black feathers that shimmer spectacularly. The male doctor-bird has two long feathers that trail behind him impressively as he flies about. Fun fact: This beautifully unique bird can only be found in Jamaica!

Israel Hoopoe

The hoopoe is the national bird of Israel. The hoopoe is very distinguished and distinctive-looking. It has a dramatic appearance with an explosion of feathers at its crest. The hoopoe boasts a light tan color with black flecks and wings that are recognizable from the sky. Foraging for insects, seeds, and berries is how this creature feeds. Fun fact: this funny bird loves to sunbathe!

Papua New Guinea Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise

The Raggiana bird-of-paradis is the national bird of Papua New Guinea. This bird is generally maroon and brown in color with a blue bill and yellow iris. The male has a yellow crown, an emerald colored throat, and a yellow collar between its throat and breast while the female does not. Additionally, the male has a pair of long black tail feathers, but the female does not. These birds primarily feed on insects. Fun fact: this bird is important in spreading the seeds of nutmeg and mahogany!

Honduras Scarlet Macaw

The stunningly beautiful scarlet macaw is the national bird of Honduras. This bird is breathtakingly beautiful and because of its beauty is oftentimes, unfortunately, the subject of poaching. The macaw is a large bird boasting bold colors of blue, red, and yellow. It is a member of the parrot family and it feeds on fruits, nuts, and seeds. Fun fact: the macaw can live to up to 90 years!

Bahrain White-Eared Bulbul

The white-eared bulbul (also known as the white-cheeked bulbul) is the national bird of Bahrain. It is commonly said that these birds have a very pleasant sound. They are small in size and both the male and females look the same in appearance. They both have large white patches at their ears, a pale eye-ring, and a burnished yellow tail. Fun fact: these are sociable birds and are usually seen in pairs or small flocks!

Iceland Gyrfalcon

The gyrfalcon is the national bird of Iceland. The gyrfalcon is the largest of the falcon species. The coloring of the gyrfalcon varies based on its habitat. Some birds are solid white while others are dark brown and some a mixture of both. This bird feeds on waterfowl, fish, and other small mammals and is considered a bird of prey. Fun fact: the female is larger than the male!

El Salvador Turquoise-Browed Motmot

The turquoise-browed motmot is the national bird of El Salvador. This beautifully petite bird feeds on insects and small reptiles. The motmot has a distinct look that both males and females possess. It boasts a brownish-green body, with a beautiful white brow, and bold, blue tail feathers. Fun fact: it wags its tail in a swinging motion, like a pendulum!

Iran Common Nightingale

The common nightingale is the national bird of Iran. This bird is a drab and simple-looking creature with its pale tan feathers. The nightingale nests on the ground in densely vegetated areas. The nightingale is known for its beautiful song and is described as one of the most beautiful sounds in nature! Fun fact: the common nightingale sings both at night and during the day!

Guatemala Resplendent Quetzal

The mesmerizing resplendent quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala. This bird is incredibly distinct looking with bright feathers that are anything but subtle. The quetzal is primarily green with a red breast. In the sunlight, the feathers appear iridescent and shine in an array of colors, ranging from green to lime to yellow to ultramarine. Although very beautiful, they do not have a very pleasant song. Fun fact: the resplendent quetzal can be seen on Guatemala’s flag and coat of arms!

Pakistan Chuckar Partridge

The chuckar partridge is the national bird of Pakistan. The chuckar is an interesting creature whose appearance is quite beautifully unusual. The partridge has black and white stripes on its wings and a black band that is situated on its forehead and across its eyes and forms a necklace on its breast. These birds are fairly large with a pronounced belly. Fun fact: they prefer to live in coveys, which is a group of 5-40 members!

Kenya Lilac-Breasted Roller

The splendidly alluring lilac-breasted roller is the national bird of Kenya. The lilac-breasted roller lives up to its name with a beautifully hued lilac breast, an olive crown, and a greenish-blue underbelly. This bird nests in trees and will fiercely defend their nest from predators. They feed off of insects, small lizards, scorpions, and more. Fun fact: during flight, they make quite the ruckus with their “rak rak rak” call!

USA Bald Eagle

The bald eagle is the national bird of the United States of America. Males and females look alike in their appearance with a rich brown body paired with a white head and tail-feathers. However, the females are almost 25% larger than males. They both have a large, yellow-hooked beak that is perfect for preying on fish, which makes up most of its diet. These birds have the ability to fly at speeds of up to 43 mph. Fun fact: bald eagles are actually not bald, instead, the name was derived from an older meaning of the word, “white-headed”!

Cuba Cuban Trogon

The cuban trogon is the national bird of Cuba. This bird makes its home in lush forests. The trogon is a vibrant bird with a bluish-green back, white breast, red belly, and black crown. They travel in pairs, although not gracefully and are known to create a lot of ruckus. In Spanish, the trogon is referred to as the tocororo, which was derived from its repeated call of "toco-toco-tocoro-tocoro”. Fun fact: unlike most other birds, the Cuban trogon is capable of hovering while eating!

Belgium Common Kestrel

The common kestrel is the national bird of Belgium. The common kestrel is considered to be the smallest bird of prey. These birds have long wings and a long tail that are flecked with stately tan and brown hues. Common kestrels primarily eat mouse-sized mammals. Fun fact: the common kestrel can see ultraviolet light, which helps it track its prey!

Trinidad and Tobago Scarlet Ibis

The stunning scarlet ibis is the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago. The scarlet ibis boasts a beautiful scarlet color entirely, while only occasionally flocked in varying shades of red or black at the tips of its wings. The scarlet ibis has a very long, pronounced, and curved bill. This bird prefers marshy areas and swamps, but for protection will build its nests in trees above the water. Fun fact: the scarlet ibis is very social and lives in flocks of thirty or more!




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