Tuesday, December 6, 2011

World Bird Wednesday: Southern Screamer

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Crested or Southern Screamers (Chauna torquata) are birds that are, unlikely as it seems, related to ducks. There's a hint of webbing between their toes and other similarities. They live in South America, in swamps and estuaries, and they are good swimmers, but prefer to stay on dry land. They are also excellent fliers.

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Crested Screamers feed on seeds, grass, leaves and the occasional insect. They live as pairs and stay together for several years, possibly for their whole life (which lasts about 15 years in the wild and twice that in captivity). A pair raises 2-8 chicks every year who leave their parents when they are around three months old.

Like all screamers, they have bone spurs on the inner side of their wings that they use for defence and in fights for females.

More birds at World Bird Wednesday

Photos were taken at Hagenbecks Tierpark
Sources and further reading:
Woodland Park Zoo
Wikipedia
Internet Bird Collection

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