Rainforests are home to a plethora of animal and bird species.
Let’s take a look at some of the birds that reside in tropical rainforests.
There are many species of finches found in rainforests. These are songbirds and mostly feast on seeds. Their nests are unique in that they are shaped like baskets.
When they fly, it is a cross between gliding and alternate wing flapping.
The Gouldian finch is found in northern and Western Australia. At present, it is endangered and is close to extinction in the wild.
Because it is extremely popular as a pet, it is still found in abundance.
Cut Throat Finch
This bird gets its name from a strip of bright red feathers across the throat.
This makes it look as though someone has slit the throat of the poor bird, but that isn’t the case.
In the wild, the cut throat finch continues to thrive and is not under any kind of threat.
This bird lives in Botswana, Angola, Ethiopia, the Republic of Congo, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, and Somalia.
This bird is found in central Australia, Puerto Rico, the United States, East Timor, Indonesia, Portugal, and Brazil.
Its name is inspired by the black and white feathers found on its neck, which resemble zebras’ stripes.
Also read: Purple Finch vs House Finch – How are they different?
This bird hosts gold and orange coloration on the head and face, making it look very much like the sun.
Parakeets are usually green in color, but the sun parakeet is unique on this front.
Found in Guyana and Brazil, the birds’ population has sharply declined.
At one point in time, they were able to form huge flocks comprising 200 birds, but now there are less than 2500 birds left in the wild.
Loss of habitat is one of the reasons behind this decline, but the main one is that the sun parakeet has fallen vulnerable to the trading of pet birds.
During the nineties, thousands of sun parakeets were taken from the wild to be sold locally and internationally.
Much like the Gouldian finch, the sun parakeet is also found more as a pet rather than out in the wild.
Also read: What’s the Difference Between a Parrot and a Parakeet?
The harpy eagle is a predator and has all the makings of a bird of mythology.
Harry Potter fans will love the fact that this bird was the inspiration for Fawkes, the phoenix.
The harpy eagle has a looming stature, and grows to about three and a half feet. Its wingspan is close to 7 feet.
It has powerful and thick feet and legs. The eagle’s head carries a crest of feathers that is almost charcoal gray in color.
Interestingly, the females of the species are close to a third larger in size as compared to their male counterparts. Owing to this, the former has a greater chance of catching larger prey.
The majestic harpy eagle has its eye on mammals, including sloths and monkeys that are medium in size.
This predator can also swoop down on curassows and macaws. That said, no prey is intimidating enough for this raptor.
More often than not, harpy eagles sit still, trying to listen to sounds of potential prey. Once identified, they fly in its direction with their claws out and exposed.
They once populated the region between southern Mexico all the way to Central and South America.
Today, there are less than 50,000 in the wild. Deforestation is to blame for habitat loss in the Amazon and southern Central America.
Hummingbirds are tiny birds are adaptive creatures and comprise over 300 species.
They are hyperactive, and look like very large bees from a distance.
Of all the birds, hummingbirds are the only ones that feed on nectar.
They gravitate towards flowers that are orange, red, and yellow in color. Male hummingbirds can get territorial and defend flowers and plants that are flavorful and rich in nectar.
All hummingbirds have the ability to rotate their wings 180 degrees. Their heart beats so fast (up to 1260 beats a minute) that it feels like it’s a steady hum.
These dainty birds’ metabolism is also quite high. Some species of hummingbirds flap their wings up to 80 times per second.
Because they use their energy fairly quickly, hummingbirds need to refuel, and often, with nectar that is high in calories.
This is, hands down, one of the most popular birds out there.
Such is the popularity of the toucan that it has become synonymous with the Amazon.
It has a colorful beak, and it is almost as long as its body.
Toucans have vibrant feathers, with colorful patches in shades of yellow, white, red, and green. Its size is between 1 to 2 feet.
Toucans are found in moist lowland forests and cloud forests.
There, they live in the cavities of trees. Rainforests echo with the sounds of toucans, but they are rarely seen owing to the fact that they live very high up in the tree canopy.
They love eating fruit and berries and don’t eat raw ones. Once they’ve selected their fruit, they use their beaks to pick it up.
Next, their heads tilt backward so the fruit can enter their mouth. They are omnivores and also eat insects, snakes, lizards, and spiders. They have also been known to eat eggs and nesting birds.
This lovely bird belongs to the Ramphastidae or toucan family.
There are about 40 different toucans found from South America to southern Mexico, and this bird is one of them.
The araçari seems to have a reputation for being prim and proper, which is because of the shiny feathers on its head that have a perm-like effect.
The curl-crested araçari loves to eat fruit and lives in southern Peru, western Amazonia, northern Bolivia, and western Brazil.
The hoatzin is truly unique and lives near running water such as streams and lakes. The Amazon is their home.
These birds are as big as chickens and have slender necks, small heads, and crests atop their heads. Even though they’re birds, they are not the best at flying.
Hoatzins’ diets comprise mostly of leaves along with some plants that have toxic elements. They don’t harm the bird, however, as their stomach detoxifies the food.
These birds are communal breeders, which means that between 2 to 7 birds play a role in each nesting.
Birds that have a non-breeding role are the helpers who incubate the birds. They also help feed birds as they are born.
The young birds grow quickly as a result of this, which means they are not as vulnerable to being attacked or eaten by predatory animals.
If baby hoatzins sense danger, they immediately fall into water.
This bird is all about its powerful vocals.
While it looks like an ordinary bird, it has the ability to whistle softly.
Don’t be fooled, however, because this gentle whistling soon becomes a blaring sound that carries over a distance of a whopping 1300 feet! If you need context, that’s almost five football fields.
If you’re a nature documentary buff, you may be interested to know that the screaming Piha has such a unique call.
It has been used in multiple soundtracks of movies that are shot in rainforests.
Males of the species while away many daytime hours making these sounds, but they are careful not to “talk over” other males.
Usually, one Piha starts things off, which signals to other Pihas that their turn is coming up soon. As mentioned, these calls can travel great distances, which means a huge number of birds join in.
Screaming Pihas are common in Amazonia and can be seen in the lowland forest. They love wild figs and insects.
Did you know close to 315 different kinds of parrots call tropical rainforests home? They love feasting on nuts, fruit, vegetables, and seeds.
Parrots are colorful creatures and almost striking in appearance. They can live between 30 to 50 years.
Males are more vibrant as compared to females; this is an instance of sexual dimorphism. Macaws are a kind of parrot, which means that all macaws are parrots, but not vice versa.
This bird has wings that are blue in color. Hyacinth Macaws have black beaks and yellow wyes. It is the biggest among all macaws and parrots.
A distinct feature is a pair of big, black eyes that are enclosed by yellow circles. They also have a yellow chin and a hooked beak.
They have four toes on each foot, with two pointing forwards and two pointing backward.
Blue and Gold Macaw
As is evident by its name, this bird is blue and yellow/gold. It is found in South America.
Their cheeks and chin have a bit of black coloration, while the skin on the cheeks is white with a tinge of pink.
This bird lives in Central and South America. It is the national bird of Honduras.
It is almost 3 feet in length, and both males and females have red feathers on the body. Feathers on the wings, however, are blue and yellow.
Nature is truly wondrous.
While the birds mentioned here are some of the more popular ones to inhabit tropical rainforests, many more are equally majestic.
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