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Flamingo Gifts

Flamingos often stand on one leg, the other tucked beneath the body. The reason for this behavior is not fully understood. Some suggest that the flamingo, like some other animals, has the ability to have half of its body go into a state of sleep, and when one side is rested, the flamingo will swap leg and then let the other half sleep, but this has not been proven. Recent research has indicated that standing on one leg may allow the birds to conserve more body heat, given they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water.

About Eclectus Parrots

Eclectus parrots comprise a species of parrot native to northeastern Australia, New Guinea, the Maluku Islands, the Solomon Islands, and Sumba. They exist across their domain in both large and small populations, and have a conservation status of "least concern." Though all eclectus parrots are currently defined as one species, there are nine recognized subspecies that are generally isolated by location and tend to vary slightly in appearance, most notably in color.

Eclectus parrots are best known for their unusually dramatic sexual dimorphism, or difference in appearance between animals of different sexes. Males are mostly a vivid green in color with patches of blue and sometimes red, while females are mostly deep red and purple in color. Differences in color between subspecies mostly consist of differences in shade, though some subspecies have yellow feathers in certain areas. Females have entirely black beaks, whereas males' beaks are mostly yellow and orange.

Eclectus parrots have dense, stocky builds; strong, curved, and wide beaks; strong legs; upright postures; and short tails. They are medium-sized parrots, measuring about 12-14 inches in length on average, with, coincidentally, no marked difference in size between males and females.

Eclectus parrots require a diet high in fiber on account of their very long digestive tracts. Because of this, they feed primarily on fruits, nuts, some seeds, and flower buds, and favor both the meat and seeds of pomegranates and papayas. In captivity, however, eclectus parrots will eat most fruits and a wide range of leafy greens, other vegetables, seeds, and nuts that are not native to their region of origin. In the wild, males retrieve food and usually supply females with food through regurgitation.

Eclectus parrots normally reach sexual maturity between the ages of two and three. After this point, the birds breed polygynandrously, meaning that each male tends to mate with more than one female, and each female tends to mate with more than one male. To do this, males fly from female to female, each of whom guards a hollow in a large tree that she has claimed as hers and will use as nesting grounds. Females lay two eggs at a time and incubate them for roughly a month before hatching.

Female Eclectus parrots have a strong maternal instinct, and have intriguing behaviors regarding mating. Females constantly look for suitable places to nest, and become so defensively territorial over a place she deems fit that she may fight to the death with another female for it. Females occupy and defend their tree hollows for 11 months per year, rarely venturing outside of them. Unpaired female parrots often lay unfertilized eggs, and females may even incubate foreign eggs if they are placed under her.

About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals an educational wildlife and animal website.

Bird Gifts




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