The Majestic Peacock

peacock

The Peacock

Peacocks are large, colorful pheasants (typically blue and green) known for their iridescent tails. These tail feathers, or coverts, spread out in a distinctive train that is more than 60 percent of the bird’s total body length and boast colorful “eye” markings of blue, gold, red, and other hues. The large train is used in mating rituals and courtship displays. It can be arched into a magnificent fan that reaches across the bird’s back and touches the ground on either side. Females are believed to choose their mates according to the size, color, and quality of these outrageous feather trains.

The term “peacock” is commonly used to refer to birds of both sexes. Technically, only males are peacocks. Females are peahens, and together, they are called peafowl.

Monkeying Around!

tan monkey hanging out

Gibbon

Monkey Species
There are more than 260 species of Monkeys found in the world today. They are derived from early primates that have been around for millions of years. There isn’t enough information about evolution to say with certainty how they came to be.  The gibbon monkey — or, more properly, gibbon ape — might not have a familiar name, but you’ve probably seen his funny walk and graceful style of swinging through the trees. Gibbons are so closely related to humans that they live in monogamous families and can walk upright on two legs. These slender, agile primates live in a small part of the world and are on the endangered species list.

What’s good for the goose?

The Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii) occurs in North America, where it is regionally common.

This species has adapted well to living in urban and suburban areas and are commonly found on lakes, ponds and rivers.  In the past, the Cackling Goose was considered to be a smaller subspecies of the Canada Goose.

However, in July 2004, the American Ornithologists’ Union’s Committee split them up into two separate species based on genetic studies and differences in:

  • voice
  • size (most races of Cackling Goose being smaller than the Canada Goose)
  • breeding habitat (Cackling Goose breeds farther northward and westward than the Canada Goose)

There are 5 subspecies of Cackling Goose, of varying sizes and plumage details. The smallest form of the Cackling Goose – the Lesser Canada Goose or Small Cackling Goose – is only about a quarter the size of the “Giant Canada Goose.”

This goose is easily recognized by its black head and neck, distinctive white patches on the face, light tan to cream chest and its otherwise brownish-grey plumage.

They are strong swimmers, divers and flyers. Cackling Geese are long-distance migrants and are well known for their V-shaped flight formation, during which the front position is rotated since flying in front consumes the most energy.  This species is protected in North America under the Migratory Bird Act of 1918, making it illegal to harm, take, or possess migratory birds, any parts of the bird, their nests or their eggs, except during the hunting season, or by special permit (MacGowan, Loven and Whitford).

Just Creeking

Sometimes, when I’m out walking I come across some nice sights and decide to take a shot.  Nature is a marvelous thing and when you get a chance to enjoy it you should take it in.

A tidal creek, tidal channel, or estuary is the portion of a stream that is affected by ebb and flow of ocean tides, in the case that the subject stream discharges to an ocean, sea or strait. Thus this portion of the stream has variable salinity and electrical conductivity over the tidal cycle. Due to the temporal variability of water quality parameters within the tidally influenced zone, there are unique biota associated with tidal creeks, which biota are often specialised to such zones.

Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon

I took this photo while visiting Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ.  The Komodo dragon, also known as the Komodo monitor, is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar.Wikipedia

Scientific name: Varanus komodoensis
Speed: 12 mph maximum (On Land, Sprint)
Mass: 170 – 200 lbs (Adult, Male)
Length: 8.5 ft. (Adult, Male)
Rank: Species
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