Saturday, August 7, 2010

The most Rarest, Weirdest and Unique Birds in the World

Out of the 9000 or so recorded species of birds, these ones are identified to be the most weirdest and unique in the avian world  because of their unique features and characteristics. In more than a way, each of these bird-brains flaunt a subtle, exuberant personality that sheds light on their evolutionary journey. Many of these magnificent birds are on the verge of extinction, thanks to the mf'ing poachers, and are most likely to be found as stuffed bird-equins in natural history museums.

The Californian Condors  - Rarest bird of Prey

This majestic bird has witnessed a sharp decline throughout the 20th century with census numbers indicating a population of just 130 in the year 2006. The sharp decline was mostly due to habitat losses, poaching and lead poisoning. The conservation plan for this species has led to the capture of all the remaining birds and can now be found in San Diego Wild Animal Park. The condors can have a wingspan of up to 3 meters and is also one of the heaviest bird specie alive, together with one of the longest lifespans known for birds which is 50 years. These birds are known to care for their chicks for a up to a period of 12 months, one of the most extensive. Because of the long time and effort it takes to nurture offsprings, condors nest only once in two years. It is also one of the rarest bird of prey.

 Ruppell’s vulture - The highest flying bird

This monstrous bird is known to fly at altitudes over 37000 ft and reportedly collided with a commercial aircraft over Abidjan in 1973. These birds are found across central Africa and have a wingspan of 2.6 meters. They are also highly social and gather to feed in large groups. 
Special Features:  This bird has a special protein unit in its blood called the Haemoglobin alpha-D which binds with oxygen more efficient at high altitudes. This specie is now officially listed as a near-threatened.

The Blue-capped Ifrita - Most poisonous bird in the world

A small bird found in the new Guinea that feeds primarily on insects. 
Special features: the Ifrit secretes a toxin called
homobatrachotoxin on to its feathers and skin which causes tingling and numbness when handled. The toxicity of this bird is acquired through its diet consisting of the 'melyrid beetle', an insect which is also a common diet for the golden poison arrow frogs.

melyrid beetle

Apparently the toxin from the bird feathers was used by the cast of the original 'Aliens' for close ups of their faces when fighting off the 'aliens' for a more 'high on adrenaline' look during the shooting.

Aliens: high on crack!
Albatross - The largest flying birds in the World
The Albatross are the largest flying birds in the world and the great albatrosses have the largest wingspan of any bird species. The male wandering Albatross of the southern oceans had the largest wingspan of any living bird species measuring at 11 ft 11 inches.
Special features
: these birds are the most efficient flyers around and make use of techniques such as 'dynamic soaring'  and 'slope soaring' to cover huge distances with little effort. These birds are colonial and feed on squids, fish and krill. 19 out of the 21 species of Albatross are recognized to be near extinct by the IUCN