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Animals Nature

Meet the Dracula Parrot, the most metal birds on the planet

Thinking of parrots usually conjures up images of the brightly colored blue, red, and green creatures.

But with the shape of a parrot and the dark beak of a vulture, Pesquet’s parrot, commonly known as the Dracula parrot, is one of the more unique-looking parrot species.

The rare vulture-parrot hybrid found in New Guinea’s rainforests

The vampiric-looking bird from the mountains of New Guinea looks bloodthirsty but snacks on a diet of figs. Its unusual goth-like appearance, a mishmash of black and red plumes, is also quite beautiful. Male Dracula parrots have an extra red dot behind the ears.

Unfortunately, the Dracula Parrot’s mesmerizing feathers make it attractive to poachers. The bird has been listed on the endangered species list by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Pesquet's parrot aka Dracula Parrot
Pesquet's parrot aka Dracula Parrot
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Animals Nature

The beautiful yet feisty Lilac-breasted roller bird, Africa’s most colorful bird

The plumage on the lilac-breasted roller bird is gorgeous. The creature sports eight different colors to give it the impression of a mesmerizing rainbow.

Native to sub-Saharan Africa and the national bird of both Botswana and Kenya, the lilac bird is known to perch on treetops by the roadside so it can pounce on rodents and insects moving about on the ground.

An aggressive little fluff—especially when intruders get too close to their nest—these birds are also renowned for the rolling flight pattern that sees them dip and dive from high in the sky in torpedo-like motion.

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Animals

The cassowary is living proof that birds are living dinosaurs

The cassowary is further proof that birds are living dinosaurs.

Native to Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia, the flightless Cassowary bird can grow up to a whopping 7 feet tall and weigh as much as 120 pounds. It’s the third-tallest and second-heaviest living bird.

But even more dinosauric are the cassowary’s razor-sharp talons that it uses to defend itself. Known as the “world’s most dangerous bird,” the cassowary can quickly kill a human with one strike of its dagger-like feet.

Interestingly, the cassowary also lay bright green and pale green-blue eggs during the breeding season. That’s almost as fascinating as the bird’s turquoise neck, shark fin-shaped casque, and glossy feathers — such a mythical and neat-colored creature!

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Animals

Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird

The Secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is your new favorite bird.

Endemic to Africa and the national bird of Sudan, the Secretary bird looks like a combination of an eagle and a crane. Its snake-stomping legs can deliver up to 43 pounds of force. The raptor is also known for its speed, earning the nickname “devil’s horse.”

But what’s most recognizable about this 4-foot terrestrial bird of prey is its beautiful, elongated eyelashes and eyelash-like feathers.

Don’t be ashamed to admit if the Secretarybird has better eyelashes than you.

Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird
Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird
Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird
Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird
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Animals

The Great Blue Turaco

The beautiful Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) is a bird from West and Central Africa’s tropical forests. 

The birds weigh up to three pounds and grow up to 30 inches long, about a pheasant’s size. While not the most competent flyers, they are excellent climbers, spending most of their time hanging out in the trees.

Great Blue Turaco

While the great blue turaco sings sweet melodies and snacks on fruit, leaves, and flowers, it’s most famous for its mix of vibrant colors. 

With blue running across its head and upper breasts, the bird also flashes a black crest, a teal belly, and a red and tipped beak that gives it the impression of wearing lipstick. It also sports a stunning dark blue mohawk.  

One of the most sought after bird species by birders, the Great Blue Turaco is also widely regarded as a bird that brings good luck. 

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Animals Nature

The spectacular rainbow colored Nicobar pigeon

The Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) stands out from the crowd as the extinct Dodo’s closest living relative.

Found in the coastal regions of Andaman and Nicobar Islands southeast of the Indian continent to the Solomon Islands and Palau, the Nicobar pigeon fashions the most beautiful metallic green colored plumage.

With low repetitive calls, the Nicobar pigeon is also quieter than your standard urban pigeon. It is also one of the largest pigeon species, stretching 16 inches in length.

Unfortunately, the bird appears near extinction due to the demand for its gizzard stone used in jewelry. Gizzard stones help the bird break down hard foods like seeds and nuts. 

Nicobar pigeon
Nicobar pigeon
Nicobar pigeon
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Architecture & Design Nature

Xavi Bou: If birds left tracks in the sky

Barcelona-based photographer Xavi Bou turns bird flight into art in a project he calls Ornitografías.

Using his degrees in geology and photography and experience as a lighting technician in the fashion industry, Bou extracts high-resolution photos from video stills to illustrate the path of birds in motion.

The result is a spectacular piece of art hinged on the physics and mathematics of flight.

Xavi Bou's 'Ornitografías': If birds left tracks in the sky...

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Animals Architecture & Design Travel

Topiary sculpture of a sleeping baby bird

Here’s a bird you’ll never get tired of looking at.

Children’s author and illustrator Claude Ponti’s gigantic topiary named Poussin Endormi or Sleepy Chick resides in Jardin des Plantes’ botanical garden in Nantes, France.

The outdoor installation relaxes nearby Ponti’s zany other works, the sleeping koala. Who wouldn’t want these in their front yard?

Check out some of Ponti’s surrealistic books below. What a wild imagination!

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Animals Nature

The Harpy eagle looks like a human in a Halloween costume

The Harpy Eagle is one of the largest species of eagles in the world, even bigger than the Bald Eagle.

Named after the Greek mythology monsters, the extremely rare animal is found through Central America and South America rainforests, particularly Brazil, where it’s known as the Royal Hawk. The magical creature even inspired the design of Fawkes the Phoenix in the Harry Potter films.

The bird has a wingspan of over 7 feet and nearly the identical claw size of a grizzly bear. So massive, some people think it looks like a human in a costume.

But this powerful raptor is not your worst nightmare, even if the animal can snatch a monkey or a sloth out of a tree for dinner (see video after the jump).

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Animals Nature

The fabulous bowl haircut of the Gloster Corona Canary

It looks like someone is having a bad hair day.

The Gloster Corona Crested Canary sports a bowl haircut — often referred to as ‘crests’ — made famous by Ringo and the Three Stooges.

The chubby and cute wig-wearing little bird also dons a dynamic singing voice, much louder to other groups in the canary breed.

As a result of the Gloster Canary’s unique style and charming vocals, the creature has become a popular cage bird. The birds come in both yellow, green, and brown color variations.