BIRD OF THE WEEK — BLUE-BILLED CURASSOW — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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Sierra Club* United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * American Bird Conservancy

PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD has over 1,600 members and over 131,000 photos and videos. 

BIRD OF THE WEEK

The Blue-billed Curassow is one of the birds closest to extinction in the Americas. It belongs to a group of large, ground-dwelling tropical birds that are closely related to turkeys. Some say the birds are just as tasty as domestic turkeys, and unfortunately, harvesting the birds and eggs for food is an ongoing problem.

Blue-billed Curassow populations have also declined dramatically due to habitat loss. Huge areas of lowland forest in the bird’s former range have been razed for livestock and crops, illegal coca farms, oil extraction, and mining. Although the species has been seen infrequently at other sites in Colombia, the Alliance for Zero Extinction has recognized a small portion of the Magdalena Valley as most critical for the curassow’s survival. This appears to be home to one of the last viable populations for the species.

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Solitary Sandpiper

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SUPERB LYREBIRD — PLANET EARTH FLOWERS group

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Sierra Club* United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * American Bird Conservancy

Superb Lyrebird Might Be the Fanciest Bird in the World

The male Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) puts the many ways to be fancy together in dazzling fashion. On a carefully cleared patch of forest floor, he begins by fanning elaborate tail plumes over his head, then coordinates a precisely timed song-and-dance sequence.

He finishes off with a rapid-fire recital of borrowed songs. This makes him one of the few birds in the world that combine elaborate plumes, mimicked song, and formalized dance steps in courtship displays. Because the display is complex and takes a lot of practice to perfect, only the most accomplished males are chosen as mates. Lyrebirds are native to eastern Australia.

PLANET EARTH FLOWERS has over 2,000 members and over 96,000 photos and videos.

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First Iris of the Year (Iris Reticulata Harmony)

UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR) — PLANET EARTH OUR HOME group

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Sierra Club* United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * American Bird Conservancy

PLANET EARTH OUR HOME is our flagship group with over 12,000 members and over 875,000 photos and videos.

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Yemen’s ‘marginalized ones’ endure hunger, displacement

Conflict and displacement have compounded centuries of discrimination against Yemen’s Muhamasheen minority, denying access to jobs, documentation and humanitarian aid.

AMRAN, Yemen – It was past noon, the time when Mariam would normally start preparing lunch for her children. But today, she and her extended family of 14 have not yet had their breakfast; the cold firepit in the corner of their tent an unwelcome reminder that they last ate more than a day ago.

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BIRD OF THE WEEK — JUAN FERNANDEZ FIRECROWN — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

All PLANET EARTH groups supports:

Sierra Club* United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * American Bird Conservancy

PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD has over 1,600 members and over 131,000 photos and videos.

BIRD OF THE WEEK

Juan Fernández Firecrown

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Sephanoides fernandensis
POPULATION: 490-2,000
IUCN STATUS: Critically Endangered
TREND: Decreasing
HABITAT: Native scrub, forest, and gardens.

The beautiful Juan Fernández Firecrown is surely one of the world’s most isolated hummingbird species. Unlike mainland birds such as the Chilean Woodstar, this hummingbird is found on just one far-flung Pacific island in Chile’s remote Juan Fernández Archipelago, more than 370 miles west of the South American mainland. That island, Isla Robinson Crusoe, has been designated an Alliance for Zero Extinction site because it contains this species’ entire global population.

The female Juan Fernández Firecrown may not be quite as flashy as the male, but she is still a brilliant dark green above and white below, spangled with iridescent green spots, and topped with an iridescent blue-green crown. (See photo below.) In contrast, the male is a uniform rufous-orange, with a fiery reddish-yellow crown.

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Vermilion Flycatcher on Mesquite Branch

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Finch Dines on Cactus

Spot-Billed Pelican, Bioparc, Fuengirola, Spain

Lazuli Bunting

MICROBIOLOGY — PROYECTO AGUA** /** WATER PROJECT — PLANET EARTH MACRO WORLD group

PLANET EARTH MACRO WORLD has over 1,600 members and over 98,000 photos and videos.

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