Sunday 31 October 2021

24-10-2021 ATTICA ZOO ATHENS, GREECE - KOMODO DRAGON (Varanus komodoensis)

24-10-2021 ATTICA ZOO ATHENS, GREECE - RADIATED TORTOISE (Astrochelys radiata)


24-10-2021 ATTICA ZOO ATHENS, GREECE - GOULDIAN FINCH (Zenaida auriculata)

24-10-2021 ATTICA ZOO ATHENS, GREECE - BROWN BEAR (Ursus arctos)


24-10-2021 ATTICA ZOO ATHENS, GREECE - BARNACLE GOOSE (Branta leucopsis)


24-10-2021 ATTICA ZOO ATHENS, GREECE - SOUTHERN CASSOWARY (Casuarius casuarius)

The southern cassowary is a solitary bird, which pairs only in breeding season, in late winter or spring. The male builds a nest on the ground, a mattress of herbaceous plant material 5 to 10 centimetres (2–4 in) thick and up to 100 centimetres (39 in) wide. This is thick enough to let moisture drain away from the eggs. The male also incubates the eggs and raises the chicks alone. A clutch of three or four eggs are laid measuring 138 by 95 millimetres (5.4 in × 3.7 in). They have a granulated surface and are initially bright pea-green in colour although they fade with age. Southern cassowaries make a thunderous call during mating season, and hissing and rumblings otherwise. Chicks will make frequent high-pitched contact whistles and chirps to call the male.

Southern cassowaries have a reputation for being dangerous to humans and animals, and are often regarded as aggressive. The birds can jump quite high and kick powerfully with their blade-like claws. However, deadly encounters with southern cassowaries are rare. Only two human deaths have been reported since 1900. A 2003 historical study of 221 southern cassowary attacks showed that 150 had been against humans: 75% of these had been from southern cassowaries that had been fed by people, 71% of the time the bird had chased or charged the victim, 15% of the time they kicked. Of the attacks, 73% involved the birds expecting or snatching food, 5% involved defending their natural food sources, 15% involved defending themselves from attack, and 7% involved defending their chicks or eggs. Only one human death was reported among those 150 attacks.

The first documented human death caused by a southern cassowary was on 6 April 1926. In Australia, 16-year-old Phillip McClean and his brother, age 13, came across a southern cassowary on their property and decided to try and kill it by striking it with clubs. The bird kicked the younger boy, who fell and ran away as his older brother struck the bird. The older McClean then tripped and fell to the ground. While he was on the ground, the cassowary kicked him in the neck, opening a 1.25 cm (0.5 in) wound that may have severed his jugular vein. The boy died of his injuries shortly thereafter.

Another human death due to a southern cassowary was recorded in Florida on 12 April 2019. The bird's owner, a 75-year-old man who had raised the animal, was apparently clawed to death after he fell to the ground.

Being fed by people tempts southern cassowaries into closer associations with human-inhabited areas, increasing the already high risk of vehicle strikes – a major cause of southern cassowary mortality – and increasing the likelihood of encounters with humans. Many "aggressive" birds are simply responding to having been fed by humans in the past. Unfortunately the poor reputation of this species leads to confusion and misinformation among the public, which hampers conservation efforts of this shy bird.

In a 2017 Australian Birdlife article, Karl Brandt suggested Aboriginal encounters with the southern cassowary may have inspired the myth of the bunyip.

24-10-2021 ATTICA ZOO ATHENS, GREECE - HAWAIIAN GOOSE (Branta sandvicensis)

The nene (Branta sandvicensis), also known as the nēnē or the Hawaiian goose, is a species of bird endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The nene is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, Molokai, and Hawaiʻi. In 1957, it was designated as the official state bird of the state of Hawaiʻi.

The Hawaiian name nēnē comes from its soft call. The specific name sandvicensis refers to the Sandwich Islands, a former name for the Hawaiian Islands.

The nene is a large-sized goose at 41 cm (16 in) tall. Although they spend most of their time on the ground, they are capable of flight, with some individuals flying daily between nesting and feeding areas. Females have a mass of 1.525–2.56 kg (3.36–5.64 lb), while males average 1.695–3.05 kg (3.74–6.72 lb), 11% larger than females. Adult males have a black head and hindneck, buff cheeks and heavily furrowed neck. The neck has black and white diagonal stripes. Aside from being smaller, the female Nene is similar to the male in colouration. The adult's bill, legs and feet are black. It has soft feathers under its chin. Goslings resemble adults, but are a duller brown and with less demarcation between the colors of the head and neck, and striping and barring effects are much reduced.

The nene is an inhabitant of shrubland, grassland, coastal dunes, and lava plains, and related anthropogenic habitats such as pasture and golf courses from sea level to as much as 2,400 m (7,900 ft). Some populations migrated between lowland breeding grounds and montane foraging areas.

The nene could at one time be found on the islands of Hawaiʻi, Maui, Kahoʻolawe, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi. Today, its range is restricted to Hawaiʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Kauaʻi. A pair arrived at the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on Oʻahu in January 2014; two of their offspring survived and are seen regularly on the nearby golf courses at Turtle Bay Resort.

24-10-2021 ATTICA ZOO ATHENS, GREECE - CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)


Saturday 30 October 2021



24-10-2021 ATTICA ZOO ATHENS, GREECE - ASIAN EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps indica)

The emerald dove or common emerald dove (Chalcophaps indica), also called Asian emerald dove and grey-capped emerald dove, is a widespread resident breeding pigeon native to the tropical and subtropical parts of the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. The dove is also known by the names of green dove and green-winged pigeon. The common emerald dove is the state bird of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Pacific emerald dove and Stephan's emerald dove were both considered conspecific.

This is a common species in tropical forests and similar dense wet woodlands, farms and mangroves. It builds a scant stick nest in a tree up to five metres and lays two cream-coloured eggs.
Emerald doves usually occur singly, pairs or in small groups. They are quite terrestrial, often searching for fallen fruit on the ground and spending little time in trees except when roosting. They eat seeds and fruits of a wide variety of plants and are generally tame and approachable. They are rare and are usually found foraging in small groups or pairs. If there's a resource rich area, small groups will maintain a territory. Its flight is fast and direct, with the regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings which are characteristic of pigeons in general. It often flies low between the patches of dense forest it prefers, but when disturbed will frequently walk away rather than fly. They are particularly good weavers when flying through forests. When flying they expose a buff underwing and a chestnut colour of their flight feathers.


24-10-2021 ATTICA ZOO ATHENS, GREECE - DIAMOND DOVE (Geopelia cuneata)