Categories
Wildlife

Baby Penguin: Everything You Need To Know

Remember that little penguin named Dindim who comes to see his human friend every summer in South America, swimming thousands of miles? What about Lala, the penguin in Japan who went shopping for fish? 

These are rare cases where an exotic creature formed a bond with humans. Raising these quirky semi-aquatic birds is an almost impossible task. 

So, when I had this sudden urge to adopt a baby penguin (like everybody else!), I went on to gather all the relevant information. And if you are in the same boat as me, here’s everything you need to know about baby penguins. They are such amazing creatures with so many interesting features about them. 

 

An Introduction to Baby Penguin

Fluffy baby penguins are called chicks or nestlings. Their size, shape, and appearance vary depending on the species. Emperor penguin babies, the largest species, are 4 inches and weigh 315 grams when they’re hatched. 

The smallest known species, the little penguin, weighs only 35 grams and is 3 inches tall when fully grown.

 

Types of Common Penguin Babies:

Penguin babies can be born with or without feathers. Most chicks take at least a year to grow their full plumage. Here are six commonly known species and how to identify them.

 

Emperor Penguin Chicks:

Baby emperor penguins are born without feathers and take a few weeks to grow the first layer which is light grey. The head feathers are black, and the color reaches their chins. Their face and throat remain white.

The second coat contains larger and thicker feathers and is light brownish on the chest. Juveniles have fewer black feathers on their head. Their eyes are diffused grey, and their neck is whitish brown.

 

King Penguin Babies:

King penguin babies are born naked and develop the first down coat in a few weeks. This layer is pale grey or brown. Their second coat is dark brown, and these chicks are fluffier than most other penguin babies. 

These juveniles’ crown feathers are greyish, and the back patch is pale yellow. They also get pretty pink markings under the lower half of their beaks.

 

Gentoo Penguin Babies

With a first down coat of grey or greyish brown, Gentoo babies have darker heads and white underparts. The second layer grows as dark greyish brown. Juveniles have low bright orange bills than adults do. 

 

Chinstrap Penguin Chicks

Chinstrap babies have an allover grey down coat with a lighter tone on the head. These beauties grow brownish-grey second coats with dull cream-white underparts. When they reach the juvenile phase, they develop little black streaks on the face, especially around the eyes. 

But their bills are smaller than those of adults. Also, the irises are a little less sparkly.

 

Adelie Penguin Babies:

Adelie penguin chicks get pale-grey first feathers with a darker head. And the second coat is dusty brown in color. The juvenile phase brings white color to the throat and chin. While the cheeks, ear covers, bills, and orbital rings are dark.

 

African Penguin Chicks 

African penguin babies have a dark brownish-grey color with paler throats and bellies. You can recognize them by the patches behind their eyes. The second coat grows blueish-grey. Underparts are brown with a short light stripe behind the eye.

African Penguins reach the juvenile phase with beautiful slate-colored upper coats. The head becomes paler on the sides. Their underparts turn white with black spots, and the bill takes a dark grey shade. African penguin babies’ legs vary from others. They would either be pale pinkish-grey or dark, dusky grey.

 

Macaroni Penguin Babies

Macaroni Penguin chicks have a similar second down, born with white plumage and the first coat of grey covering the head, chin, and throat. However, the dark areas turn greyish-brown.

In their juvenile stage, Macaroni Penguins have shorter crests and bills than adults. Sometimes they do not even have crests; the crown and the sides of the forecrown show yellow color. Their iris becomes dark brown, and the area covering the chin and throat appears dark grey.

 

Legal Matters You Need to Be Aware of

First of all, penguins are regarded as exotic birds in the US. So buying one is difficult by all means. 

There is a list of exotic animals in the US that’s strictly maintained. If I were to get an exotic pet, I would need to provide the right environment and follow through with the legal procedures.

 

Extinction Issues

Global warming has greatly affected penguin habitats. Humans cruelly hunting them for fat and food has also contributed to the drop in the penguin population. Ten out of 18 species of penguins discovered are currently endangered. 

Thus the World Conservation Union signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. 

So there are special laws to protect endangered animals now. This is why even if it’s legal, it is almost impossible to buy a penguin as a pet.

 

 

Terms And Conditions to Keep Penguins

 

  • Financial Stability

Penguins are incredibly high maintenance when raised in captivity. They require a lot of healthcare and attention. They are also difficult to control. A person must be financially prepared to provide a suitable environment and an on-site veterinarian. For zoo owners, the legal stages of buying penguins become less difficult.

The cost per bird is estimated to be between $1000 to $22000 depending on the species, age, sex, and also healthcare. But this is not enough; there is more to it. It will need a mate, so $2000 minimum plus the other expenses.

 

  • A Saltwater Swimming Pool

To align with their natural habitat, a large saltwater swimming pool is mandatory regardless of the number of birds. The pool size in international competitions is the minimum standard for penguins. 

So, if I were to get a penguin, I would need to afford the high-end cleaning system to maintain proper hygiene and hire staff for manual maintenance. Moreover, I’ll have to buy tiny slippers and other props for all their waddling and recreation.

 

  • Temperature Control

Unlike TV shows that show penguins only on the ice, actual penguins can survive in less cold areas too. They even travel to nearby regions and do not always require a freezing environment to stay alive and well. 

For penguins to thrive, a temperature of 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit is a must. Northern states have an advantage. However, a super strong cooling system will be needed to achieve this temperature in an enclosed pool in a southern state. The result is happy penguins but a huge electricity bill.   

 

  • Food And Hygiene

Penguins, on average, consume 4 to 11 lbs. of fish every day. The amount increases to 13 lbs. in the breeding season. So an average penguin will need 500 lbs of fish a year. To meet this demand, the pet owner needs to be a highly skilled fisherman or have the ability to buy this quantity.

Big appetite leads to huge defecation. Cleaning this mess is a hassle, but proper hygiene needs to be maintained. At times I think having penguins as pets is a massive feat.

 

  • Mate/Family for the Penguin

Penguins always stay in packs. Fun fact- a group of penguins in the water is called a raft, whereas it’s called a waddle if they are on land. Penguins huddle together during mating and breeding seasons, hunting time, or to protect themselves from predators. 

So, keeping only one penguin will make it very lonely. Adopting two or four together is a better idea. 

Also, I used even numbers because penguins are monogamous birds. If I raise two penguins, one needs to be male and the other female. Adopting them in pairs is encouraged so they can have a family and the owner can contribute to the multiplication. 

Penguins in a natural colony are happier and healthier. The least we could do is get them a small family. 

 

Can I Open A Penguin Petting Zoo?

Absolutely not!

Penguins are amongst the least sociable creatures when it comes to connecting with other species. So, I cannot imagine them being all friendly with kids who pet them and take selfies. 

In fact, if my penguins even decide to show up in front of people (chances are really low), they are more likely to chase them away by screaming in a group.

 

Adoption Or Sponsorship

Even if I am not a zoo owner or cannot afford the full cost, there is still a slight chance that I might come close to being a penguin parent. I can adopt or sponsor a penguin. All I need to do is prove that I can handle that bare minimum amount of $1000 for a penguin while it stays in a rescue center or a penguin sanctuary.

A wildlife preservation organization is responsible for getting people to help with the sponsorship and the legal documents. Some of them provide manuals, freebies, treats, and more frequent visits along with the adoption certificate. Even naming the penguin is sometimes approved.

 

Penguin Eggs-Appearance And Incubation

Penguins generally lay two eggs. The only exceptions are the emperor penguins and the king penguins. Most species lay white or grey eggs; some have a green or blue tint. Penguins use the ground as their nest. 

But king and emperor penguins use their feet to keep the eggs. Emperor penguin eggs are 10 – 13cm (4-5 inches) big and weigh 315 to 415 grams (11 and 15 ounces). Smaller birds like Adelie penguins lay eggs that are 5 and 8cm (2-3 inches) long and weigh between 56 and 140 grams (2-5 ounces).

Emperor penguin females lay their eggs, and the males incubate them. They stand upright and balance the eggs on top of their feet the whole time. The loose layer of featherless skin, called the brood patch, keeps the egg warm. This process takes 62 to 66 days. 

All the other penguin species take 30 to 66 days for the incubation period, sharing the responsibilities between both males and females. The duration also depends on the climate and the habitat. 

After this long period of incubation, the first crack appears. Orphaned penguin eggs hatched in shelters are put in incubators until they hatch.

 

Taking Care of Hatchlings

When it’s time to hatch, penguin chicks peep out of their eggs. On average, it takes them two to three days to chip out of their eggshells. Some of the species are born with feathers, some naked but grow the first down within a few weeks. 

This layer of feathers is not water resistant, and so newly hatched babies should never be allowed in the water. Depending on the species, it takes 7 to 13 months to grow waterproof feathers. When the baby birds reach the juvenile stage, they can make their own way into the water. Adult plumage grows within a year.

 

What Food Should I Feed My Penguins?

Penguins primarily eat fish, Krill, and squids. And Krill is a crustacean in the family Euphausiidae. It looks a lot like shrimp. Even though weather and quantity vary in every region with every season, every penguin species has a preference for food. It helps balance the food chain. 

In both the southern polar regions, smaller penguins survive on Krill and squids. Adélie penguins like small Krill, but chinstraps go for large Krill. Northern penguins, on the other hand, prefer fish. Emperor and king penguins like to have squids and fishes. 

Therefore, the species’ natural choices in food should be kept in mind while raising and feeding penguin babies.

Usually, penguins feed their own cheeks. The parents hunt, swallow and/or digest the food, and regurgitate them into their mouths. Then they use their beaks like a spoon and feed their little ones. 

Penguins have special kind of enzymes that keeps the food inside them without rotting. Sometimes, the food is completely digested and turned into oil. It’s called penguin ‘milk.’ But Hatchlings born and raised in captivity are most of the time orphaned. 

So they are dependent on human caregivers for nutrition. The penguin shelters all have expert caregivers to feed and groom penguin babies.

 

Bottom Line

The adoption and breeding of penguins in captivity should not be encouraged. But, the people who share the love for penguins can always attempt this through possible legal means. 

Proper research and maintaining rules and regulations can help save orphaned and/or injured birds. In this article, I talked about pretty much everything you need to know about baby penguins. 

Of course, these are still just the basic stuff. A person needs to educate themselves in every way possible before adopting an exotic bird such as a penguin.

Read Also: https://birdmoy.com/baby-pigeon/

Categories
Wildlife

Baby Pigeon: Everything You Need To Know

Baby pigeons are a rare sight to behold. Very few people might have seen pigeons at their early stage. Due to their rare sightings, pigeons also have some conspiracies about them, like they are surveillance drones operated by the government. 

Today, the discussion will be on baby pigeon and everything you need to know about them so that you can learn all about their attributes. They are definitely not myths (or surveillance drones!). Baby pigeons are extremely cute, but there is much more to them. 

 

Newborn Baby Pigeon

A baby pigeon is also called a squab. Baby pigeons are born premature, so they need care and nourishment. Otherwise, they cannot survive for long. 

When they are born, the baby pigeons keep their eyes closed. They lie down in a horizontal position and keep their bills closed. It takes a few days before the baby pigeons can open their eyes, get up, or open their bills.

Baby pigeons take at least forty days to grow into a fledgling or a juvenile.

Baby Pigeon Appearance

A baby pigeon that hatched out of its egg has a pinkish hue on its dark skin. These baby birds have patches of fine yellow hair on their body which later turns into feathers.

You will find a pink to darker pink color beak on baby pigeons. When they are small, these birds have grey feet as opposed to burnt-orange feet when they are older. Baby pigeons come into this world with their eyes closed which they open around day five or six.

They have larger-sized beaks, feet, and wings compared to their body. However, as they get older, their body grows into these attributes.

 

Juvenile Pigeon Appearance

Juvenile pigeon or fledgling pigeon is one of the stages of baby pigeons. Pigeons take a long time to learn how to fly, so by the time they come out of their nest, the juvenile pigeons grow plumage similar to the adult bird. So, it can be difficult for people to differentiate between adult and young pigeons.

The juvenile or fledgling stage can be indicated by a greyish pink line on their neck, whereas the adult pigeon has a white line. This line around their neck is known as cere.

There is also the absence of glistening green and purple color on the plumage of the juvenile pigeons.

You will also find that young and adult pigeons have different eye colors. Juvenile pigeons have dark brown or grey eyes, but adult pigeons have red, orange, or sometimes yellow eyes.

 

Baby Pigeon Size

A baby pigeon that has just arrived into the world is typically about five to seven centimeters long. They weigh around fifteen to twenty grams and never more than that. 

But each day, their weight increases between five to ten grams. As a result, their weight reaches up to 300 to 370 grams in a month.

How Long It Takes for A Baby Pigeon to be Born

Pigeons generally lay a couple of eggs at a time. But in rare occurrences, pigeons can lay three eggs at a time. But never more than three eggs. 

Baby pigeons come out of a white egg laid by their mother. Both father and mother pigeons incubate the eggs. The father incubates from morning to evening and the mother from evening to morning.

Typically, it takes fifteen to twenty hours for the eggs to hatch. The egg can start to hatch at any time, and it takes a full day to complete its hatching. Pigeon breeds and lays eggs all the time, but it happens mainly during the summer and spring seasons. So, most of the hatchings occur during that time.

Both eggs of the pigeon start and end their hatchings at the same time. After the hatching, the parent pigeons throw away all the eggshells from their nest.

 

Baby Pigeon Food

Baby pigeons are born underdeveloped, so they need extra care and nourishment for survival.

They will not live for very long if they do not have good food with proper nutrition. So, both mama and papa pigeon contribute and take a turn in feeding their child.

The fledgling mainly eats crop milk that has been regurgitated until day four. From day five, baby pigeons eat various types of seeds along with their crop milk. On day nine, the parent pigeons add different fruits and insects to their little one’s diet.

The baby pigeons need more food day by day. After the parents add seeds to their diet, the child starts to want more food. 

In the beginning, it is quite tiresome for both parents to feed their babies. However, it becomes quite easy for them to feed a couple of baby pigeons as time passes.

If you raise a baby pigeon by yourself, you can buy bird pellets as they contain all the nutrition such a special bird needs.

 

How Parent Pigeons Feed Baby Pigeons

Both father and mother pigeons take part in feeding their babies. They go out every morning to look for seeds, fruits, or insects. Baby pigeons need to be fed four to five times a time.

After the baby pigeons grow and reach their youngster stage, they can open their beaks to make sounds and lift their heads. So, they squeak relentlessly at their parent to give them food when they get hungry. After a week, the feeding time decreases from four to two times a day.

 

When Does Baby Pigeon Take Flight

Baby pigeons take five to seven weeks to learn how to fly. From week three to four, the babies flail their wings and try to fly. 

During the early stage, they jump from low heights. But as time passes, they increase their jump height and become more advanced. The parents help their babies to fly by nudging the babies around the nest.

 

Time Spent in Nest by Baby Pigeon

The time a baby pigeon spends on its nest depends on the season and the weather. If it is during spring or summer and the weather is warm, a baby pigeon will spend 30 to 35 days in the nest. 

However, a baby pigeon will be in the nest for 44 to 50 days if it is the rainy season or winter and the weather is cold.

After the wings of pigeons are fully formed, and they start to fly, they lose a little bit of their weight. After that, the pigeons go and explore for their food. Sometimes, the pigeons fly and forget their way back to their nest. So, they might need to build a nest for themselves.

 

Pigeon Habitat Site

Pigeons’ nesting locations differ from other birds. We can see the nests of local birds around us. But pigeons follow a different path. 

Pigeons build their nest at the peak of tall trees, on the roof of skyscrapers, and on the edges of towering cliffs. They also build their nests in abandoned buildings, churches, and under bridges.

This peculiarity of their nesting habit is due to their need to save their babies. Baby pigeons are born premature and quite weak during their early life stages. These make them an easy target for hunting birds or animals. So, the parent pigeons take all these extra measures to keep their babies safe.

Pigeons also reuse their old nest. They build the new nest above the previous one by changing its site if needed. The reason behind reusing old nests is their heavy weight. Pigeons do not clean up the excretion from their nest. As a result, the nest becomes heavy and can weigh up to 3kg, which is very difficult for a pigeon to carry.

 

How Can You Feed A Baby Pigeon

If you have a baby pigeon, you need to be very careful regarding its food and environment because they are quite sensitive.

You need to keep your baby pigeon in a warm place with 40 watts to 45 watts of power because baby pigeons cannot digest food if they are in a cold environment.

If you cannot arrange for 40 watts to 45 watts of power, you can use heating pads or hot water and wrap them with a cloth for the baby’s comfort.

Use a syringe or mini spatula to feed the baby pigeon. Make sure their size matches the size of the baby pigeon’s mouth. You can find feeding bottles with long thin straws in the market. Use them to feed your baby pigeon anything liquid. 

If you or the baby spills anything, clean them immediately with a soft cloth. Be sure not to overfeed the baby, as it can result in death.

 

How to Care for A Malnourished Baby Pigeon

Unless you have complete knowledge about feeding and caring for a baby pigeon, you should hand them over to a professional. This is because they have the best knowledge of caring for a baby pigeon. But if you really want to take care of a baby pigeon, you need to know a few things.


  • Crop Milk

Since you do not have a parent pigeon, you cannot get your hands on crop milk. So, you need to buy pigeon formula for your baby pigeon. A couple of popular bay pigeon formulas are Nutribird A21 and Kaytee Extract. 

So, you could go for either of these two. If you cannot find any of these two near you, look for non-dairy substitutes like milk or macadamia nuts.

On the first and second days, mix the formula and lukewarm water to get the consistency of skimmed milk. After two days have passed, mix the formula and water to get the consistency of jam or ketchup. If you can find it, add digestive enzymes to their milk.

 

  • Fruits, Seeds, And Pellets

After two weeks have passed, arrange for fruits, seeds, and bird pellets for your baby pigeon. If you need food in an emergency, try cereal without dairy products. Try soaking dog biscuits and giving them to your baby pigeons as an alternative. But these two should not become a regular diet.

You need to keep the baby pigeon in a warm area because cold weather is not suitable for them, and without proper care, this weather can be the cause of their death.

 

Why You Do Not See Baby Pigeons

The reason why you do not see baby pigeons usually is that they build their nests on sky-high trees. A baby pigeon is quite weak, so its parents want to keep it safe from other birds, animals, or even humans. So, they choose to build their nests on tall trees or skyscrapers. 

Pigeons also build their nests in abandoned places like chimneys, old buildings, and churches, under old and broken bridges, to keep themselves and their child away from prying eyes.

This nesting habit of pigeons comes from their ancestor, the rock dove. The rock doves used to build their nests on cliffs or tall trees, which has now become a habit of the pigeons we can see.

Another reason baby pigeons are so rare to be seen is that they grow up quite fast but take a long time to fly. So, when a pigeon flies out of its nest, it looks almost like a fully grown pigeon.

 

Final Words

That’s all about the baby pigeon you need to know. If you ever decide to keep a baby pigeon as a pet, remember that they are very delicate and need extra care for their proper growth and stability. 

Pigeons’ habitat practice differs from other local birds, making the baby pigeon a rare sight. And finally, look around your surroundings, see if you can find a pigeon nest with baby pigeons, and appease your curiosity.

Read Also: Baby penguin

Categories
Wildlife

What Do Sparrows Eat – The Sparrow Diet Explained

When I started research on the diet of sparrows, I didn’t know what to expect honestly. But after a week of going through books and articles, I have a good idea now.

Now, what do sparrows eat? Their most common food is seed, but they have a diverse diet that ranges from insects to fruits.

I’ve tried to compile everything about their food preferences in an organized manner to make the topic easier to digest.

Diet of Sparrows

Sparrows are omnivore birds meaning their diet is both plant and animal-based. However, the majority of their diet consists of different types of seeds, grains, and fruits. So, they are also classified as the granivore bird. Here’s a list of the most common foods for sparrows:

  • Seeds

Seeds are one of the major components of sparrows’ diet as they are easy to find. Sparrows look for dispersed seeds on the field to eat. Sunflower seeds, canary seeds, milo, safflower seeds, corn seeds, Nyjer seeds, millet seeds, and flax seeds are some of the most common seeds that sparrows eat.

Since seeds are full of nutrition and energy, they can live almost their whole lives by only eating these.

  • Grains

Grains are the main food for sparrows. Sparrows eat almost all kinds of grains which include rice, wheat, barley, red and white millet, proso milo, oats, soybean, corn, and many more. Grains are easy to find and abundant. So, they do not have to go through that much hardship to look for their food.

  • Insects

Sparrows eat many types of small insects, but they mainly find them to feed these insects to their offspring as well. Aphid, ant, worm, caterpillar, bee, cricket, beetle, housefly, small butterfly, mantis, hermetia, etc. However, when babies of sparrows grow up, their diet then mostly consists of seeds and grains.

  • Human Food

If they are offered to or can find, they also eat bits and pieces of human foods such as soaked bread crumbs, cookies, stale cheese, cooked pasta, boiled eggs and their shells, cooked rice, and many more. Younger sparrows can eat any type of stale human food, but in the case of older sparrows, it is better not to serve them anything stale as it might cause them stomach problems.

  • Plants

Even though sparrows mostly eat seeds and grains, from time to time, they also include plants in their diet. But they mainly eat plants when they cannot find enough grains and seeds to fulfill their hunger. They might feed on leaves, grass, buckwheat, crabgrass, ragweed, and flowers and their buds.

  • Fruits

Fruits are the main food of sparrows when they migrate. Apple, plums, bananas, peaches, mango, papaya, cantaloupe, loquats, grapes, cherries, watermelon, and nectarines are some of the most common fruits that sparrows eat.

They also eat dried fruits like dates, almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts, pistachio, hazelnut, apricot, walnut, raisins, and figs.

Berries are also on the list of fruits that sparrows eat such as blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, elderberry, baneberry, salmonberry, chokeberry, buffalo berry, bearberry, and many more.

  • Vegetables

Every now and then, sparrows include different types of vegetables in their diet. Some of the vegetables that sparrows eat are spinach, bell pepper, potato, sweet potato, beet, romaine lettuce, Bok choy, kale, squash, beet, green papaya, and many more.

Almost all of these vegetables carry vitamin A which is very much essential for a sparrow’s diet.

 

 

Different Diet For Different Sparrows

Like every other living creature, the diet of sparrows also differs from type to type. There are many different types of sparrows such as:

  • House sparrow
  • True sparrow
  • Rock sparrow
  • Eurasian tree sparrow
  • Fox sparrow
  • Song sparrow
  • Lark sparrow
  • Golden sparrow
  • Vesper sparrow
  • Henslow’s sparrow
  • Great sparrow

 

These different types of sparrows eat different types of food but there are some common elements as well.

  • House Sparrow

House sparrows can be found in suburban, urban, and agricultural areas. They mainly eat seeds, grains, insects, scraps of human foods, and food for livestock.

  • Eurasian Sparrow

These sparrows live in Eurasia, cultivating land, suburban areas, and the countryside. Eurasian sparrows mainly live on insects, grass, grain, seed, and weeds.

  • Song Sparrow

Song sparrows consume seeds and mainly insects such as ants, beetles, grasshoppers, wasps, and caterpillars as part of their diet. They also prefer different foods in different seasons.

During the summer and spring, they generally eat different types of insects. However, in winter, their diet becomes plant-based which mainly consist of grass and weed.

  • Henslow’s Sparrow

Henslow’s sparrows mainly live on different types of insects including moths, cricket, fly, ant, beetles, and grasshoppers. The baby Henslows’ are fed insect larvae and the soft gut of bigger insects.

  • Great Sparrow

Great sparrows live in the Southern regions of Africa. These sparrows’ diets mainly consist of three things: seeds, grains, and insects. For seeds, they eat sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and safflower seeds.

In the case of insects, they prefer mealworms, grasshoppers, and beetle. Lastly, rye, wheat, quinoa, corn, barley, and oats are some of the grains that the great sparrows eat.

  • Italian Sparrow

Italian sparrows can mainly be found in European countries such as Italy, Greece, Switzerland, France, and Austria. They build their nests in urban, forest, rural, and rocky areas.

Italian sparrows eat different types of seeds, insects, gravel, and shell of seeds and eggs. They also eat various kinds of arthropods, such as crustaceans, spiders, centipedes, scorpions, and butterflies.

  • American Tree Sparrow

American tree sparrows have different seasons. In spring and summer, they feast on insects and seeds. However, in winter, when there is no insect or seed can be found, they depend on different types of fruits for their sustenance.

 

Different Food in Different Seasons

Sparrows eat different types of food in different seasons. This is mainly due to the unavailability of certain foods in a certain season. So, to save themselves from death, sparrows eat what is available to them at that time.

 

Summer and Spring

In summer and spring, insects, seeds, and grains are abundant. So, sparrows can eat these foods all they want. In the case of insects, they like to feast on the fly, caterpillar, beetle, ant, grasshopper, mantis, aphid, and bee.

For seeds; sunflower seed, black seed, safflower seed, milo, and canary seeds. And as for grains, some of their favorites are; buckwheat, rice, corn, barley, soybean, oats, corn, and many others.

Sparrows also eat different types of arthropods in summer and spring such as centipedes, spiders, weevils, crustaceans, mollusk, scorpions, and butterflies. If they can find it, sparrows also eat smaller vertebrates like baby frogs and snakes, snails, and lizards.

 

Winter

During winter, sparrows mainly live on seeds, grains, and fruits. Since there is a scarcity of insects in winter, they have to go on with their days without eating any insects.

Sparrows also look for human foods in residential areas. Some people leave food in the bird feeder as well. For their fruit, sparrows mainly eat different types of berries such as blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, and elderberry.

There are some migrating sparrows that fly to African regions where the coldness is very tender or non-existent in winter. So, the sparrows can eat whatever they usually eat in summer and spring.

If their food supply is short, the priority is given to the more dominant sparrow. To create this dominance, each of the sparrows shows their throat patch to their opponent.

 

Sparrow Feeders

There are different types of sparrow feeders. If you have a sparrow and if you want to get a feeder, or maybe you do not have a sparrow but still want to set up a feeder for the sparrows that live in nature, you should find the one that is most convenient for you and the sparrow.

You can find different types of sparrow feeders in the market. Or if you want to you can make one all by yourself.

Here’s a list of different types of sparrow feeder and their benefits.

 

Caged Tube Feeder

Sparrow prefers to consume their grains and seeds from tube feeders. However, normal tube feeder rest at a low height, which becomes inconvenient for the sparrows. If you get a caged tube feeder, you can set it at the best height for the sparrows.

 

Window Feeder

Window feeders are the best feeders for bird watchers. You need to just set it up with your window and fill it up with different types of foods such as grains, seeds, fruits, and food crumbs. Then you will find sparrows flocking around your window all day long.

 

Dome Feeder

Dome feeders are usually set up in the backyard or the front yard of the house. You can add various types of foods for sparrows to the dome feature. And the best thing is, the dome will protect the sparrow foods from rain.

 

Hopper Feeder

Hopper feeders have a roof that protects the food from bad weather. They also have a wide ledge which increases the surface area for the foods to disperse. Hopper feeders also save food from rats and squirrels. You can only add different types of grain and seed to this bird feeder and not any insect or fruit.

 

Foraging and Hunting of Sparrows

Sparrows forage for foods from bird feeders, fields, grounds, and industrial grains. They always find out which options are easy for them to get their food and go forward with that route. Sparrows do not have the tendency to be picky eaters. Sparrows always eat whatever they can find.

Sometimes sparrows rummage the fields and grounds to find seeds, insects, and grains to eat. However, sometimes the sparrows follow other birds for food or join them in their feast.

Sparrows also hunt insects from the air but they do not give much effort when hunting for insects. They save this energy to forage for seeds and grains.

 

Foods of Baby Sparrows

Baby sparrows’ diets mostly consist of insects that their parents provide for them. They live on these insects for up to three weeks. After three weeks, parent sparrows give baby sparrows solid foods like grain, seed, and such. As six to seven weeks pass, baby sparrows leave the nest and start to look for their food by themselves.

 

How to Care for a Baby Sparrow?

If you are caring for a baby sparrow you should be very careful with it as they do not have their parent for proper care. The best food for that bay sparrow would be soaked dog or cat food, both alive and dried small insects, and boiled eggs. Remember, under no circumstances should you feed them earthworms.

You should feed the baby sparrow every two to three hours. Keep it out of any potential harm and build a warm shelter for the baby sparrow. Do not feed the baby sparrow raw water.

Add a bit of water to their food but do not give it to the sparrow directly. try to find bugs around you or buy them from a shop. You can also get high-quality food in a shop to feed your baby sparrow. Always clean the bird and its surroundings after feeding it.

As they grow up, add sunflower seed, rasp seed, safflower seed, canary seed, flax seed, sorghum, Nyjer, milo, thistle, millet, and peanut to the sparrow’s diet.

If you can, give them soft fruits and vegetables such as squash, banana, mango, cantaloupe, various types of berries, potato, beet, grape, and cherries. You can also add household food items to their diets, such as bread, crackers, cheese, and cookies.

 

That’s All Folks

This is all about the foods of sparrows. If you want to attract them around you, set up a bird feeder near your home, and add different types of grains and seeds.

You can always find out more about their behavior by following them and keeping notes. There are also books on the diet and habits of sparrows if you want to learn more.

 

Links

Categories
Blog Wildlife

Ducks Vs Geese Differences Explained

Ducks and geese are the same Anatidae species, but there are some major differences in these birds. They differ in size, weight, color, food preference, behaviors, and many more. 

Having that said, both of these birds have some things in common as well.

Whatever it is, this article is all about ducks vs geese comparison. Check it out to find some interesting facts about these birds. 

 

Take A Quick Look at The Differences between Ducks & Geese

Duck Geese
Ducks have a small & compact body Geese are bulkier than ducks
They have a short neck They have long necks
Compared to the geese, ducks have shorter legs Geese have long, thick legs
They have shorter wings Geese have longer wings than ducks
Male ducks usually have bright plumage They are black, grey, and white plumage
Ducks do not have a migrating mindset Geese are migratory birds
They are omnivores; hence they eat insects, small fishes, snails, and aquatic plants They are herbivorous and eat small grass, algae, etc.
Duck’s bill is long and wide Geese bills are pointy and short
Wild ducks look for new breeding partners each season They tend to stick to a single partner for a long time
Depending on the breed, ducks lay around 5 – 18 eggs in a month Wild geese lay anywhere between 2 – 7 eggs during the laying season
Duck eggs are small Geese eggs are bigger than duck eggs
Most ducks have a lifespan of 10 – 15 years. Wild geese can live up to 20 years
Ducks weigh around 2 – 5 pounds Geese are usually heavier than ducks and weigh around 15 – 20 pounds
Ducks have a friendly nature Geese are very aggressive, especially in mating or nesting season

 

Ducks Vs Geese – All The Differences Explained

In this section, we have discussed every difference between geese and ducks in detail. 

 

Appearance 

The easiest way to differentiate geese from ducks is by checking the color and appearance. Generally, ducks are very colorful. Their feathers are usually bright and have intricate patterns. Both the male and female ducks come with different color patterns.

Generally, male duck heads are brightly colored with either dark blue or green color. Most of the male ducks have jewel-tone colors on their head, which not only make them look attractive but also helps distract the predators. 

The head color also plays a crucial role in reproductive matters since female ducks are attracted to those colors. That being said, female ducks have dull colors on their heads.  

Geese, on the contrary, don’t have many variations of colors. They are usually in dull colors, which are definitely not as attractive as ducks. Both the male and female geese are in the same color.

Geese are often found in either black, grey, or white colors. Having that said, their feet come in different colors. Some geese have pink feet, some brown, and some even have orange-colored feet. 

 

Eating Habit

Geese are herbivores which means they are vegetarian. They are not very picky when it comes down to food. They eat almost all aquatic plants, small grass foliage, shrubs, etc. Some wild geese like to eat small insects as well. 

Ducks, on the other hand, are Omnivores meaning they eat everything. They enjoy plants, grass, snails, worms, fish, and insects; whatever they can fit in their bills. Snails and insects seem to be their favorite food.

There are 3 types of ducks that eat differently –

 

  • Dabbling ducks keep their tail and feet up in the water while putting their bills under the water, looking for food, and eating.
  • Sea ducks generally stay on the shores and look for fish in the shallow water.
  • Diving ducks dive into the water and catch their prey.

 

Mating & Breeding 

Duck and geese both are monogamous birds. The only difference is one is less monogamous, and another is more. Monogamy means sticking to one partner for a lifetime. 

And geese do stick to one mating partner for life. They are more like humans. They have attachments to their mating partners and don’t want to mate with another as long as the former partner is there.

Geese often suffer depression and loneliness when their partners die, and some get aggressive. That being said, once they have grieved the loss and got stable, they may find another partner and mate. 

On the other side, ducks aren’t like that! Compared to geese, ducks have very low attachments to their mating partners, which is why they keep changing their partners every season. 

Furthermore, after mating, the male duck doesn’t take any responsibility for the eggs or the ducklings. The female duck has to take care of everything. But that’s not the case with geese. 

Both male and female geese share equal responsibility. They take turns sitting on the eggs and taking care of the babies together. 

 

Weight 

Since geese are bulkier and longer than ducks, they weigh more. A wild duck weighs anywhere between 2 – 4 pounds, whereas wild geese can weigh up to 8 pounds. 

 

Size

The biggest difference between these two birds is their size. Ducks have compact and small bodies compared to geese. Their necks, as well as legs, are small and short. The average length of ducks is 15 – 20 inches. That is because they have fewer bones, less than 16 bones on the neck. 

On the other hand, geese’ necks have anywhere between 17 – 23 vertebrae, which is why they have longer necks and are heavier than ducks. Their legs are long and thick. And the average length of geese is 30 – 50 inches. However, the size of these birds varies from breed to breed. 

Both of these birds have webbed-type feet, which helps them swim better. 

 

Bill Shape

Even though geese are bigger in size, they have a smaller bill than ducks. Geese’s bill is short, slightly narrowed, and pointy. Probably that is why geese are vegetarians. And as mentioned before, ducks have a wider, flat, and long bill. 

Moreover, different duck breeds have slightly different bills. For example, Dabbling ducks’ bill is a little rounded, and the size is the same as their head. On the other hand, the canvas ducks bill is a little narrower.

Duck bills have a soft sensory edge, which enables them to feel the food by touch, exactly how we use our fingertips to feel things. Their bills have nails that help them move food. 

Another interesting thing is that duck bill has a thing called lamellate, which kind of works like a filter. They expel inedible foods using it.

There are variations of bills in geese as well, just like ducks. For example, Canada geese have a straight bill, whereas snow geese bills are slightly curved.

 

Vocal 

Geese and ducks make different sounds. While ducks make a “Quack” sound to communicate with others, geese make more like a “honk” sound. 

When migrating in groups and any of the geese fall behind the pack, others make honk sounds to motivate the lonely one to keep up. 

Compared to the geese, ducks are way too vocal. And unlike geese, they make noises very often. When they are nesting, they quack to let others know. Ducks make noise to let others know about their locations and to scare humans or other predators. 

They even make noise when they are lonely. In other words, ducks are more expressive than geese. 

 

Egg Production 

Ducks lay more eggs than geese. Even they lay more eggs than chickens. Moreover, they are year-round layers and very regular at producing eggs. Duck eggs are decent-sized and have a higher nutritional value. 

On the flip side, geese’ eggs are almost twice as big as ducks and three times bigger than chickens. Not only are they big, but their eggs also have higher nutritional value than ducks. And they are expensive as well. 

However, the only downside of geese is that they are not year-round layers like ducks or chickens. They are seasonal layers that start laying around May and stop before September. 

 

Lifespan

Compared to ducks, geese have a longer lifespan. They can live anywhere between 8 to 12 years, and ducks have a maximum lifespan of 3 – 8 years. However, captive ducks tend to live a little longer than that. 

One big reason why geese last longer than ducks is their size and aggressive behavior. Even goslings have a fighting nature! But ducks are small, and they end up getting caught by predators. Half of the ducklings don’t even live a year due to predators and other natural conditions. 

 

Behavior 

Ducks can be called social birds because they are friendly and grow with humans. On the other hand, geese are the complete opposite. Geese aren’t as friendly as ducks or chickens. They are always cautious of humans and keep an attacking mindset. 

Geese are called territorial birds, which means they like to stay uninterrupted in an area. In other words, they don’t like to share the space with anyone. And if any animal or human reaches their territory, they get aggressive. 

Apart from that, geese tend to attack humans more in the mating or nesting season. As you know, geese are protective about their mating partners, eggs, and babies. And during the mating seasons, they allow nothing to interrupt them. This aggressiveness is something that keeps wild geese alive for longer. 

 

Taste

Ducks eat both plants and meat, so their flesh is tender, which gives you a taste similar to any other poultry. And geese are herbivores, meaning they don’t eat meat. As a result, their meat contains high fat and is slightly darker. Geese meat gives a sweet taste and has a good flavor.

Geese vs duck meat, which one tastes the best? Well, it’s a never-ending debate. It is very hard to tell which meat is tastier since people have different tastes and different people cook differently.  

 

Is A Goose Or Duck A Better Pet?

Actually, both are good choices as a pet, depending on people’s preferences. If you’re someone who is fond of beauty, then probably duck is your thing as they come with colorful feathers compared to geese. 

Even though geese come in dull colors, still some people find them beautiful enough for their yards. 

And those who like slight aggressive birds, geese are a perfect fit for them. Apart from that, they also bring big nutrition-filled eggs to the table. 

 

Conclusion 

The major differences between ducks and geese are the size, behavior, mating, and lifespan. So, if you are thinking about having one of these, then this duck vs geese comparison should be enough to help you make a decision.

But to give you a heads up, geese are aggressive and lay fewer eggs than ducks. This is the reason why many people prefer ducks over geese. But if you personally like geese, then there is no harm in getting them. 

 

Read Also: 

Junco vs. Chickadee

Falcon Vs. Hawk

Falcon vs Eagle

 




 

Categories
Blog Wildlife

Bornean peacock-pheasant – Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

This peacock species is not only the rarest kind of peacock, but it is also the least known one. The number of Bornean peacock-pheasants is currently unknown. Speculators believe that their total population is close to endangered, and they are multiplying very slowly.

Because of their relatively small population and continuous habitat loss, the Bornean peacock-pheasant is listed as an endangered species under the IUCN Red List. There have been multiple attempts at preserving the population of these peacocks, but only slight improvement.

Origin

Just as their name suggests, the Bornean peacock-pheasant originated from the lowlands of Borneo. Borneo is the third-largest island in Asia and is home to a variety of unique animals and plants. Here, Bornean peacock-pheasants are kept in captivity to protect them from predation as well as increase their population.

However, Bornean peacock-pheasants are not just found in Borneo but in other Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

 

Habitat

They are native to lowland forest areas of a Southeast Asian island called Borneo. All Bornean peacock pheasants like to stay and explore places that are packed with fruiting trees and tall grass.

It is only in lowland forests where these peacocks feel most comfortable walking around, resting in the shade, preening, and hunting for food. This is why the wildlife preservation camps in Borneo keep these peacocks in a monitored forest.

 

Physical Features

Bornean peacock-pheasants are much smaller than regular peacocks, which are often labeled as “medium-sized.” The average pheasant is only about 20 inches long.

Although the color differs, they generally have a reddish brown and black spotted body with long crest and nape feathers. Their feathers have metallic blue and green details.

Their eyes have a slight bluish tint with bright yellow skin surrounding them. As for their throats and upper chests, they can be either coated with white or black feathers. On average, they have 22 tail feathers that spread like the propellers of a fan and feature blue and green ocelli, as most peacocks do.

 

Behavioral Features

Peacock-pheasants have a diet that is majorly invertivorous, which means they enjoy feeding on insects the most. Whether it be earwigs, centipedes, insect larvae, isopods, or even termites, these peacocks love to hunt for bugs in the wild.

Aside from insects, they also like to eat berries, peaches, olives, cherries, seeds, and small amphibians (especially frogs).

Other Facts

  • The female peacock-pheasant is smaller and a lighter shade of brown than the male. They also have brown colored eyes
  • Since they are so unknown, they were long considered to be a descendant species of the Malayan peacock-pheasant
  • In a study by BirdLife International in 2001, there were an estimated 1,000-2,499 peacock-pheasants left. This number is much lower as of now
  • They prefer running over flying, and are able to do so at an impressive speed
  • Their brownish gray body feathers make up most of their physical features, and their blue-green ocelli details are much smaller than that of regular peacocks. This is why they often get mistaken as lowland birds other than peacocks

Read Also: 

Categories
Blog Wildlife

Albino Peacock: Facts, Behavior, and Images

Out of all the birds in the world, peacocks are known to be the most stunning of them all. Their brilliant colors, unique patterns, and elegant nature are truly a sight to see, which is why there’s no other bird that can compare to their beauty.

But peacocks aren’t only the blue, green, and gold mix that you’re used to seeing. There’s a vast variety of differently patterned and colored peacocks which resulted in an ongoing debate about which one is most beautiful.

Could it be the Albino Peacock, or Green Peafowl? Or the rare Bornean peacock-pheasant? Truth is, there’s still no title-holder for the world’s most beautiful peacock. But we can look at the contenders and make our own predictions for which could be named the best.

One of the rarest peacock species is the albino peacock. Often called the “Bird of Paradise,” the albino peacock is famous for its all-white color and the tiara-like crests on the top of their heads.

Albino peacocks are not white peacocks. In fact, if you ever come across an all-white peacock, there’s a greater chance of it being a white peacock than an albino peacock. This is because albino peacocks are an extremely rare species of peacocks.

A simple way to differentiate between a white peacock and an albino one is to look at their eyes. If their eyes are red or pinkish and have pale skin surrounding them, you’ve spotted one of the only albino peacocks on the planet.

 

Origin

The albino peacock originates from the Indian Subcontinent. It is believed that there was a genetic mutation that caused a total lack of melanin in some peacocks, which later interbred and gave rise to many albino peacocks.

Soon after the British Empire ruled over the Indian Subcontinent, these albino peacocks were taken to America and Europe, where they multiplied.

While white peacocks aren’t an endangered species, there’s the alternating discourse around whether the same applies to albino peacocks. To this day, albino peacocks are being bred in captivity in countries all over the world to preserve their kind.

 

Habitat

They are more in number in the Indian Subcontinent, Sri Lanka, as well as Congo Basin, a rainforest in central Africa. Albino peacocks enjoy living in woodland and forest areas. Since they are difficult to distinguish from white peacocks, they are often found living alongside them without being noticed.

 

Physical Features

White peacocks achieved their all-white color from genetic mutation, which resulted in them losing pigmentation around their bodies. But they still have some melanin, such as in their eyes and skin.

Albino peacocks, on the other hand, are completely void of melanin. They are born as a pale-yellow color and grow older to be a more striking shade of white. Their eyes are red, or have a pinkish tint, and their skins are pale as their entire body is affected by albinism.

When their feathers are spread out, they resemble the patterns of a snowflake. Unlike the deep blue, green, and golden pattern of the center of peacock feathers, albino peacocks’ feathers are fully white, with slight pale pink details.

 

Behavioral Features

When albino peacocks are interbred with white peacocks or other species of peacocks, there’s a greater chance of the offspring being pied. Pied peacocks have parts of their bodies that are colored, whereas the rest is white.

Just like most peacock species, albino peacocks are territorial and will attack other peacocks for their spots around the habitat. They might also fight over food, mates, and other resources.

When they stretch out their tails, they often make a rustling sound that is similar to that of a drumroll. This is called the “train rattle,” which is a sound most male peacocks make to catch the attention of a potential mate.

 

Other Facts

  • Albino peacocks exist in captivity only, they are rarely found walking about in the wild
  • They usually have a long life of up to 50 years (in captivity).
  • In many religions, they are a symbol of divinity, purity, and spiritual cleansing, especially Hinduism.
  • Because of their absence of color, they are tied to superstitious beliefs. For instance, in China, spotting them is a sign of good fortune.
  • Their total number is a mystery, as many people, even zoologists, mistake them for white peacocks.

Conclusion

That concludes our list of the most beautiful peacock in the world. All the peacocks we’ve listed are just a few of the wide range of peacock species that are speculated to be the most stunning. Again, there’s no order for the list, so whichever is the most gorgeous fully depends on your opinion!

Which peacock from our list do you think deserves to be named the most beautiful peacock? We believe it’s the albino peacock, given its significance to different cultures and unique physical appearance.

Read Also: 

Green Peafowl

Bornean peacock-pheasant

Indian Peafowl 

White Peacocks

Dove vs. Pigeon

Which Brand Is the Best for Binoculars?

How to Clean Binoculars & Their Lenses

 

Categories
Blog Wildlife

Green Peafowl – Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

The tropical forests of Southeast Asia are where green peafowls are the largest in number, as they are native to the location. This specific breed of peacocks is so rare that they are listed as an endangered species under the IUCN Red List. Green peafowls are presumed to be dropping in number due to loss of habitat.

Origin

The green peafowl comes from the pheasant family, which is widespread in the forests of Southeast Asia.

To this day, they can be found in these tropical areas. However, after the loss of habitat, they are generally found in parts of Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and throughout the Indian Subcontinent.

 

Habitat 

As green peafowl originated from tropical lands, they are larger in number in tropical and subtropical forests. But they can be found in a wide range of habitats, including grasslands, scrublands, farmland, savannas (grassy woodland), and even amongst bamboo in forests of eastern Asia.

Physical Features

Between male and female green peafowl, physical appearance differs slightly and might often be identical to one another. They both have an upper tail, which is shorter for females compared to that of males. Both are heavy-winged, shaft-crested, long-legged, and long-tailed.

Green Peafowl, in general, are dark-colored with black eyes surrounded by white or light blue detail. Their necks and heads are coated in delicate feathers of shimmery and vibrant green. The female green peafowl has a copper-colored fringe on them.

 

Behavioral Features

Similar to most forest birds, the green peafowl enjoys spending most of their time on the ground exploring through fields of tall grass. During the day, they are generally found in groups, grooming themselves, drinking, and resting. But, they are usually quiet and unfriendly.

Other Facts

  • Green Peafowls can lay up to half a dozen eggs
  • Since they weigh a lot, their time of flight is limited
  • Can live up to 25 years, so they have a moderately long lifespan
  • They like to feed on a variety of seeds, bugs, plants, and shoots. Sometimes, they even eat small animals such as reptiles and amphibians
  • The average male green peafowl is up to 10 feet long

Read Also: 

Albino Peacock

Bornean peacock-pheasant

Indian Peafowl 

White Peacocks

 

Categories
Blog Wildlife

Indian Peafowl – Animal Profile, Facts, Pictures

One of the most beautiful, yet incredibly common species of peafowl is the ‘Pavo Cristatus’ – also known as ‘Blue Peafowl’ or ‘Indian Peafowl’. They are the biggest, heaviest, and oldest members of the Phasianidae family.

Indian Peafowls weigh around 4-6 kg on average. The female peahens tend to be smaller in size, with their average size ranging from 100-115cm, and have slightly lower body mass than the male peacocks.

Origin

These peacocks are known to have originated from the Indian Subcontinent. Some Historians suggest that Alexander The Great had introduced Indian peafowl to Europe for the first time, and by 450 C.E, these peacocks had spread to the lands of Athens.

 

Habitat

Over the years, Indian peafowls have adapted themselves to comfortably live around human habitations. Some love to stay in grasslands, some in scrublands, and others in dry-deciduous forests.

Today, they are commonly seen in the dry lowlands of Sri Lanka and South India, such as the national parks and zoos. They also happen to inhabit different parts of many European countries such as Italy and Germany.

 

Physical Features

The head of a typical Indian peafowl exhibits a vibrant blue color. The long train feathers at the back have bluish-green patterns resembling eyespots, ranging up to six feet in length.

Just like a Mohawk, the peafowls have straight wire-like feathers on the crown. The dark blue and green colors in the peacock’s body are evident because of a pigment called melanin in the feathers.

 

Behavioral Features

Apart from being capable of flight, these peacocks are omnivorous in nature. They feed on certain fruits like berries, grains, seeds, nuts, worms, and insects. These birds also prey on amphibians and reptiles like snakes and lizards.

Male Indian peafowls are widely known for their blaring calls and their excessive breeding plumage. If they make piercing loud calls at night, it basically indicates there is a danger (predator) nearby. However, if they make these calls in daylight, it’s simply because they are trying to attract another peahen.

Generally, these birds rest at night on the branches of trees. When it’s time to lay eggs, the peahens will scrape holes on the ground.

 

Other Facts

  • It takes a minimum of three years for Indian peafowls to fully develop their tail plumage to attract mates
  • They were declared the national birds of India in 1963, and are considered a symbol of immortality in Greek mythology
  • After these peahens become too old and start to lose estrogen, they sound and look more like male peacocks
  • Indian Peafowls, after mating season is over, shed their train feathers
  • The train feathers make up 60% of their bodies

Read Also: 

Hilarious Pictures of Owl

Dove vs. Pigeon

Albino Peacock

Green Peafowl

Bornean peacock-pheasant

White Peacocks

 

Categories
Blog Wildlife

Amazing Facts About Sensational White Peacocks

Peacocks are renowned creatures who are mostly known for their elegance and exquisite beauty. When we hear the word ‘peacock,’ the picture of an exalted big, blue bird shows up in our mind. But their collection of vibrant, eye-patterned, tail feathers are what makes them look so dazzling and attractive.

But many of us are not familiar with the rare creature of utter majesty, that is, the white peacock. They mightn’t be rich with eye-catching colors, but that doesn’t meddle with their aesthetics at all. Get excited as you’ll discover more about the sensational white peacocks – all the facts and pictures right in this article.

Busting the Albino Myth

Albino animals are unable to create any sort of pigmentation in their body. This causes sporadic or complete white coloration in their body along with pinkish eyes. Pink eyes occur because the red blood vessels in their eyes can’t be masked due to the absence of eye color.

White peafowls are not albino creatures, and they’re no different than normal peafowls. Due to a genetic variation, white peafowls get their complete white body color.

This gene mutation is called leucism. Unlike albino creatures, peafowls affected with leucism retain their blue eye color. It’s the feather that loses pigmentation due to this condition, providing a different but not any less remarkable appearance.

Leucism doesn’t always cause losing pigmentation throughout the whole body. Patches of colors within white can be seen in some peafowls, giving them a mystical look. Also, peachicks with leucism are born yellow rather than white. As they grow up to mature, the white coloring vivifies slowly.

What’s interesting is that leucism is more frequent in the captive creatures rather than in the ones out in the wild. This genetic variation is not only seen in peafowls but also in deer, giraffes, buffaloes, horses, and many other animals and birds.

Besides completely white and patched blue in white coloring, spots of black within white coloring are also rarely seen in peafowls. Mutated peacocks are very rare and can hardly be seen in the wild. That’s why they carry so many sacred symbols in different regions and religions, which I’ll discuss later in this article.

 

Facts and Features

White and blue Indian peacocks usually get to be 39-45 inches tall, while the peahens are slightly shorter at 37-40 inches. They have a lifespan of 10-25 years. Domesticated peacocks can live more than 25 years with good care and diet.

Usually, peafowls are peace-loving creatures. They often don’t attack humans or other animals if it’s not for hunting reasons. But if it comes to their nest, eggs, or offsprings, peacocks can be extremely protective. They’ll attack anything that tries to trespass on their territory.

Peacocks also get super aggressive during their mating season, especially the white ones as they’re not usually prioritized by the peahens for courtship.

 

History of Origin

Peafowls have three species, and all of those three belong to Phasianidae, the pheasant family of birds. The Pheasant family includes the wild fowls from which the domestic chickens came.

Amidst three classes of peafowl, at-least two of them are native to the tropical forests of South-East Asia, and one is native to the land of Africa. The South-East Asian peafowls are the most renowned ones for their flamboyance.

 

One of them is the class of green peafowls found in Myanmar, Java, and other areas in the vicinity. Their binomial scientific name is Pavo muticus.

And the other one is the majestic blue peacocks, which originated from the land of India. Indian peafowls (Pavo cristatus) are known to be the only class among the three in which leucism occurs.

During the period of British colonization in the Indian sub-continent, British merchants and lords helped the spread of the Indian peacocks into the European countries and America. As they started to keep some of these birds captive, a very rare number of newborns started to show this white coloring.

Before that, white peacocks were hardly seen in India, but it’s evident that they existed in an exceptionally small number. White peacocks were so rare that in many cultures, they were considered mythical creatures.

 

Why Peacocks and Not Peafowls?

Most of you’re probably aware of this that the flamboyant ones with the colorful collection of vivid tail feathers are the male peafowls or peacocks. Peahens are significantly less captivating than peacocks, as they have a shorter tail with usual-looking feathers.

Peahens also don’t show off their beauty like the male ones, but it’s not because of shame or anything like that. Rather the peacocks show off their beauty by fanning out their collection of feathers to impress the female ones.

There are several theories about how a peahen chooses her partner in courtship. Some of these theories say that during the partner selection process, a peahen considers factors like protection, shelter territory, and nuptial gifts.

 

Another theory says a peahen would want a partner that has superior genes. And how do they decide that? From a peahen’s perspective, a male peafowl with the most vibrant coloring and largest feathers in the tail has the best genes.

The inclination towards superior genes is because better genes will be good for the descendants and suitable for the female partner’s reproductive success.

So, the purpose of such delicacy in a peacock’s appearance is to get an advantage in courtship. White peacocks have an extra feature that makes them even more mystical. Their feathers are equipped with tiny shiny crystals, which sparkle when sunlight falls upon them.

 

Diet

As white peacocks are actually the same species as blue peacocks, their dietary traits are similar. Peacocks aren’t picky about their food at all. They often eat anything they can access with their beaks and digest, which makes them fine omnivores.

Peacocks eat both plant-based foods and live creatures. Among plant-based foods, they eat flower petals, plant leaves, seeds, grains, grasses, fruits like berries, figs, etc.

Peafowls don’t like to wander in the sun, and that’s why they hunt for their food either very early in the morning or around sunset. During the hot portion of the day, they relax somewhere cool and shadowy.

Besides plants, peacocks love to eat live creatures like insects and small mammals. Among insects, they aggressively hunt for ants, crickets, and termites, as well as millipedes and other arthropods. Small snakes are also eaten by peafowl around India.

Peacocks are also very decent fishermen. They like to hunt for small fishes in small and still water sources. When it comes to feeding domesticated peafowls, it’s not much of a hassle as they can devour various types of foods, but there are certain foods that most birds, including peafowls, can’t sustain.

 

Domesticated peafowls like to eat cracked grains like oats and maize. They also like to eat cheese, bread, and cooked rice. Some of them even like to eat cat food.

Keepers have discovered that peafowls also love protein-rich foods such as larvae that infest crops and various types of meat. Various fruits, as well as vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, beets, carrots, broccoli, beans, and peas are in their list as well.

Avoid feeding avocados, chocolates, onions, garlic, salt, and caffeine to a domestic peafowl. These foods often don’t suit the digestive system of the peafowls and can cause various health problems.

 

Habitat and Nesting Habits

Naturally, all peafowls like to build their habitat out in the woods and deep forests. But they can adapt surprisingly well to different environments, including the domestic ones.

A peahen lays 3-6 eggs per nesting attempt. This number is called clutch size for a bird. Annually a peahen goes for one clutch only. Although peafowls build their nest on the ground for laying eggs and hatching them, they choose tall trees to build perches for keeping the eggs and chicks safe from other animals.

Late winter to spring is the most appropriate time for the peafowls to build their nests and perches. A peachick will be able to fly in only 3 days after they’re hatched from the egg, although they can travel very short distances at first.

 

Rarity

White peacocks are extremely rare not only because of the slim chances of their birth but also of the fact that it is tougher for the white peacocks to entice a female peafowl into courtship.

If both of the parents have mutated genes of leucism, all the chicks will be born white peacocks. Although, to be accurate, they’ll be born yellow and become white later on. If one of the parent peafowls is white, then the kids might be born patched, completely white, or completely colored.

Genes of leucism can often be latent in a peafowl. So, even if both parents are of natural color, most bred peachicks will be of natural color. So, a case of leucism is extremely rare.

Currently, the number of white peafowls existing in the world isn’t known exactly. Almost all of them are in captivity around the world.

 

Symbolism and Cultural Significance

Because of their rarity and mystical guise, white peacocks have captured a lot of symbolism in different cultures and religions long before. Different cultures have already attached special meanings and significances to peacocks in general, and the symbolizations related to white peacocks are significantly distinct from them.

 

Shamanism

Peacocks, in general, bear a great significance in the culture of shamanism. Shamans believe that certain peacock medicine made with a special process can provide them the power of clairvoyance.

The order of white peacocks in shamanism culture is said to be an ancient order of the shamans that have come from the planet Venus. Shamans believe the temple of this order is protected by some white peacocks, who alert everyone by crying out when someone approaches the temple.

 

Jesus Christ

In various old temples, artworks, and mosaics, white peacock is showed as the embodiment of Jesus Christ. As the white peacock symbolizes eternal life, death as well as resurrection in Christian culture, these concepts are highly associated with the life of Christ.

The white peacock also bears the symbol of glory, royalty, and purity of heart which are some of the noblest sides of Jesus Christ.

 

Enlightenment

Besides Jesus Christ himself, the white hue of the white peacocks represents the symbol of awakening or enlightenment in Christian culture. There’s a beautiful literary name for it, called the ‘Christ Consciousness.’

This awakening symbolizes the purification of a person’s heart as he/she finds his/her way toward the light of God.

 

Nirvana and Good Luck

In Buddhism, white peacocks are the symbols of nirvana. Not the band Nirvana! In Buddhism, nirvana is the name of a state of mind where the person isn’t bound by any materialistic concepts like desire, want, or suffering. The person also gives up the concept of self and becomes free from the cycle of life-death and karma.

In Asian countries like China, Japan, and India, people find this bird very sacred. They often believe white peacocks to be the bringer of good luck and the watcher who is protecting their households.

 

Hinduism

As blue peacocks are native to India, there are a lot of symbols in Hinduism as well as Indian culture related to peacocks. White peacocks in Hinduism are considered to be the symbol of spirituality.

Besides all these religious and cultural embodiments, white peacocks are also associated with various superstitious beliefs all around the world. These beliefs are most prevalent in the land of India.

 

Domestic Usage

Peacock meats are not that tasty or tender, but they’re high in protein count. Peahen eggs are also rich in protein. As white peacocks are extremely rare, eating them would be a real waste, so they’re mostly kept captive as pets or in zoos domestically.

 

Conclusion

White peacocks might not be as resplendent as blue or green peacocks, but they’re astounding in their own style. Their clear white hue with fanned-out tail feathers brings the utmost peace and serenity to the spectator’s mind.

I believe this article provided you with enough information about the sensational white peacocks – all the facts and pictures. As white peacocks are rarely found in nature, precautions must be taken to preserve this boon of nature.

Read Also: 

Albino Peacock

Green Peafowl

Bornean peacock-pheasant

Indian Peafowl 

 

Categories
Blog Wildlife

What is a Group of Chickens Called?

Chickens have coexisted with humans for almost hundreds of decades, if not more. Descended from the docile Red Junglefowl bird of Southeast Asia, these birds changed drastically due to human domestication.

Similar to its predecessor, the Red Junglefowl and other related birds, Chickens have intricated social structures and hierarchies that they maintain. There is no creative collective name given for chickens as there are for others, such as ‘murder of crows’ or ‘gaggle of geese.’ So exactly what do you call a group of chickens, then?

A group of chickens is typically referred to as a flock, but they can also be called a brood or peep.

Continue reading to learn more collective nouns and other interesting facts about this well-known bird!

Important Terminology Relating to Chickens

Many terms have been created for chickens through domestication and farming; hence it can be quite common to mix them up. Here are some terms with which they may be referred:

  • Cockerel

Domesticated male chickens that are less than a year old. These young birds become sexually mature in less than half a year.

  • Pullet

An immature female domesticated bird that is less than a year old.

  • Rooster/Cock

A mature or adult male domesticated chicken. They are further classified as Fowls as well. Fowls are those that are usually raised for meat, eggs, or games.

  • Hen

An adult female chicken that has reached reproductive age is called a hen. The reproductive age usually begins at 16 to 24 weeks.

  • Point of Lay Chicken

Refers to a hen or a mature female domesticated chicken ready to lay eggs.

  • Layer Breed

These are chickens bred for the production of eggs only. They have no other purpose, such as meat production or games.

  • Poultry

Poultry refers to birds that have been domesticated for human use, primarily for egg-laying, meat, and feathers.

  • Chick

Baby chickens, both male and female.

  • Biddy

A colloquial term for an older hen.

Collective Nouns and Terms Used for a Group of Chickens

There are quite a few different terminologies used for a group of chickens; however, that depends on the context. The most common terms used are:

  • Brood of Chickens

A group of hens or even a singular family of chickens is referred to as a brood of chickens.

  • Flock of Chickens

This is the most common term referred to for a group of most types of birds.

  • A Peep or a Clutch of Chickens

A group of young or baby chickens is referred to as a peep or clutch of chickens. This is mainly due to the chirping sound they make while hatching out from their eggs.

  • A Collection of Chickens

This is quite self-explanatory and is quite a common term used for a group of chickens.

 

Are Chickens Social Birds?

Chickens are known for being boisterous and social birds and tend to prefer living in close-knit communities that take care of one another. Hens frequently assist one another in building nests, incubating eggs, and raising chicks. And it’s very typical for a couple of hens to share a nest as well.

However, compared to hens, roosters tend to be more solitary in nature and prioritize themselves when it comes to feeding. They will only signal to other chickens when they are done feeding.

 

Do Chickens Gather in Flocks?

Chickens love to cluster in groups. They are gregarious birds who prefer living with groups usually ranging from 3 to a greater number of birds. For the purpose of breeding, a farmer typically puts together around five to fifteen hens with a single cockerel in each flock.

Social by nature, leaving chickens alone without the company of other birds may lead to them being restless and somber. Moreover, most domesticated chickens procreate communally. Hence you can often see hens sharing rearing duties and even sharing nests with other hens.

Even feral chickens which have abandoned or fled domestication also tend to flock around in groups of several birds. You will rarely ever see a chicken living by itself.

 

Reasons Why Chickens Flock Around in Groups

Chickens have come a long way since they were domesticated and bred by humans, and their behavior patterns have undoubtedly altered since then. And very little is known about how and why.

However, we have come across two primary reasons why chickens tend to flock in groups. And they are:

 

  • Reproduction

With the ultimate goal of reproducing, Male cockerels have a tendency to keep the hens breeding at the same rate as them. Therefore, chickens can sustain their high reproductive rates by gathering in a community with a large number of chickens.

 

  • Survival

Another prime reason for flocking in groups is for survival. Flocking also helps chickens survive in cooler temperatures by permitting them to burrow for warmth. Moreover, their large numbers tend to protect them from any outside threat.

 

When Do Chickens Congregate?

Thousands of chickens kept on a farm for commercial purposes can’t be called a flock of chickens. This is due to the fact that these chickens never have the opportunity to display their inherent social and communal impulses.

Chickens tend to form flocks in smaller groups used for recreational purposes. In other words, chickens naturally form flocks when their natural habitat allows them to. Even feral or stray chickens establish flocks with distinct power structures in the wilderness.

 

The Number of Chickens in a Flock or Group

Most domesticated chicken breeds require at least three birds to form a flock. Generally, a small flock of five to ten chickens is the standard. On the other hand, thousands of birds can be found on commercial farms, but this isn’t actually referred to as a flock.

 

Do Chickens Stick Together As a Family?

Domesticated chickens tend to have a strong familial bond which they tend to maintain with no harm or aggression as long as they are brought up together. Groups of smaller chickens usually create strong social relationships and stick together. These chickens can be small to mid-sized.

Moreover, after dark, chickens cluster together to share warmth, whereas hens share incubation and duties for nesting and weaning chicks. These baby chicks often remain to stay with their mothers for at least four weeks to a span of eight weeks. After which, they can wander in solitary within flocks.

 

What Do We Call a Group of Roosters?

There is no definite term given to a cluster of Roosters; however, we usually refer to them as a flock whenever seen in groups. Roosters are significantly more hostile than hens. It is because if there aren’t enough hens in the brood or flock to mate with, they tend to fight with other fellow Roosters.

The most probable reason why a group of roosters does not have a specific terminology is likely the difficulty of finding a group of roosters together. This is because roosters are more territorial and fiercely protective over their territories as opposed to their female counterparts, who tend to be more social and flock in groups.

However, the extent of aggressiveness of Roosters varies between breeds as well. Hence it is recommended to pair one rooster with every 10 to 15 hens, to prevent any fighting or assertion of dominance over mating rights.

Roosters sometimes even create their own herds or groups to flock around and socialize with one another. These groups often exclude female hens.

 

Do We Use Any Specific Term for a Couple or Duo of Chickens?

Similar to the point above, when referring to a couple of chickens, there is no particular terminology used. Gregarious and sociable nature, chickens usually dwell in flocks or groups of numerous chickens, typically more than five per group.

Hence, it’s often quite common to see chickens getting agitated or depressed in smaller groups.

Some breeds of chickens with a more docile temperament tend to fare well in fewer numbers. They will, however, still seek interaction and companionship. This can be with their owners or with other animals. Hence a solitary lifestyle is definitely not for these birds!

 

What Do We Call a Group of Chicks?

There is even a term for newborn chickens. They are usually referred to as a “brood of baby chickens.” A peep of chickens is another widely used term. These baby chickens make delicate squeaking noises as they come out of their shells, which earns them this name.

 

Communities and Societies of Chickens

Like every other societal structure, chickens have one, and it is not as fair and justified either. Chickens create deep social relationships with one another, yet their social systems are also disrupted from time to time.

One such case is that, in the absence of a rooster, a flock of hens will create a pecking order, with a dominant hen at the top and numerous tiers of hens below her. The hierarchy will determine who gets fed first, chooses nesting places, and gets access to drinking water and dust baths.

Social hierarchies created by hens rarely result in aggravation and intimidation towards the hens in the lower part of the hierarchy. In fact, hens at the higher levels tend to form strong social bonds with the ones at the lower levels of the hierarchy.

Usually, in a flock, 10 to 15 hens are subordinated to one male chicken or rooster, and this rooster tends to mate with all the hens under his subordination. In the case of multiple roosters in a flock, they will likely pick and select which hens to mate with; however, the hens also have a say.

If an outsider chicken tries to infiltrate the flock, they are usually attacked by the chickens in the flock as a defense mechanism.

 

Can Chickens Live in Isolation?

Chickens are flock birds. They need to socialize with other chickens in order to thrive. Otherwise, they can become bored, agitated, sad, and aggressive and may resort to destructive behaviors like self-harm. Hence by virtue, chickens do not fare well in isolation as they tend to get lonely very easily.

However, roosters are said to do better on their own than hens. However, that is only if they are raised in that manner. Likewise, hens who grew up with other pets and children may be quite fine as long as they have adequate time to socialize with other animals and companions.

 

Are Chickens Aggressive?

Aggression in chickens varies greatly depending on the breed. Some chickens can be very calm and docile, while others can be brutally aggressive. In some breeds, both male and female chickens can be hostile, albeit the males are more likely to engage in the most severe forms of aggressiveness.

Some roosters are reared for the sole purpose of games such as cockfighting, where male chickens can compete and fight till death. On the other hand, some will coexist amicably, depending on the breed and personality of the roosters.

Some of the most aggressive breeds of chicken include:

  • Buckeye
  • Cornish
  • Faverolles
  • Cubalaya
  • Modern Game
  • Old English Game
  • Sumatra
  • Wyandotte

Some of these breeds are reared solely for the purpose of cockfighting.

 

Red Junglefowl – Predecessor of Current Chickens

The forebears of today’s chickens, the Red junglefowl, had social hierarchies that are similar to those of chickens raised in natural settings today.

One male may share a home with several females. But he may also live alone or with other males. However, the hens are the most sociable and tend to assert dominance over the flock when roosters are not present.

 

Conclusion

These social and gregarious species of well-known birds do not have any eye-catching terms for their groups. Therefore, if you have been wondering what you call a group of chickens, a group of chickens is usually called a flock or brood.

Now you know the answer and much more relating to chicken-related lingo and knowledge.

Read Also: 

Do Ducks Eat Frogs?

Can Ducks Eat Grapes?

Pin It on Pinterest