Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bird Watching: Remarkable Birds (part 1 of 2)

Birds are one of magnificent living things.  They are probably among the best loved animals in the world.  We are captivated by their colourful form, intelligent actions and cheeky mannerisms. In the United States alone, there are about 500,000 members of National Audubon Society of America.  While, U.K. have over 1,000,000 members.  Members are dedicated in the protection of birds and they do bird watching to monitor them.

There are about 9 703 species of birds divided up into 23 orders, 142 families and 2 057 genera (Sibley and Monroe 1992). They can be found on all major land masses, over the seas and oceans.  The total number of birds on the planet range from between 100,000 and 2000,000 million adult or near adult birds.

The most common bird in the world is the Red-billed Quelea that can be found in the  south of the Sahara in Africa.  There are so many birds like these that they are considered pests for eating the plants. Millions are getting killed and roasted every year in attempt to control their numbers.  There are approximately 1.5 million Red-billed Quelea right now.

The rarest bird is difficult to say, there’s a large number of birds whose group are already rare.  Some species have been rare for the longest time are the  Sudanese Red Sea Cliff Swallow (Hirundo perdita) seen once in 1984 and the Orange-necked Partridge (Arborophila davidi) seen once in 1927.

Other birds are known or believed to be extinct in the wild but still have representatives living in captivity. A good example of this is the Spix's Macaw (Cyanopsitta spiscii) hunted to the brink of extinction to satisfy the foolish demands of the pet trade.

Unfortunately, there are at least 115 species of birds  that are to have gone extinct.  The reason for extinction is mainly human interference.  But there are efforts to make up for the mistakes done in the past.

The Mauritius Kestrel once used to be just 4 wild birds, but thanks to human effort, its numbers went back to 300. Another example is the Californian Condor, during 1987 there is only one male left and 27 birds were all in captivity.  By 1994, there were 75 birds in captivity and 9 in all the world.

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