Wild Pakistan: Birds

Because of its diverse landscapes, Pakistan is home to many unusual animals. Here are just a few of the amazing creatures the country has to offer: 

Little Owl

The Little Owl is named so due to its small size; adults only reach up to eight inches in length from their heads to feet. They are an extremely light owl, with the heaviest weighing up to a half-pound. Little owls are mostly active at dusk and dawn, but in some areas they have been known to hunt during the daytime. Besides insects, these owls eat berries, fruit, and even leaves on occasion. This is unusual for owls, which are usually carnivorous. 

 Little_Owl

 

Eurasian Nightjar

Eurasian Nightjars live across Europe and the Middle East. They also live throughout most of Pakistan and parts of western China.Nightjars have brown, tree-like colored feathers that serve as camouflage. They are most active at dusk and sleep most of the day. The name “nightjar” comes from the call the bird makes, because it is loud and jarring. Another name for these birds is “goatsucker” because they were long thought to drink milk from goats. This myth came from the fact that they were often seen with grazing animals, while eating the insects the animals attracted.

 

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Indian Roller

Indian Rollers live throughout South Asia, and received their name from the amazing flight acrobatics they perform to attract mates.  These colorful birds eat mostly insects, but sometimes will snack on amphibians if given the chance. They have a harsh sounding call, and when bathing Indian Rollers dive down into water instead of splashing in puddles. 

 

  Coracias_benghalensis_-India_-flying-8

Hoopoe

Hoopoes, which live in eastern Pakistan year round, are also named for their distinctive call. Even part of its Latin name, “upupa,” comes from the bird’s call. Hoopoes mainly eat insects, which their long thin beaks are made for, but these small birds have even been known to eat lizards. They prefer to not nest in the open, and so they use holes in trees, walls, and even spaces between rocks. Hoopoes also love to take sand baths.  

 

 Young_and_mature_hoopoe

Long-Legged Buzzard

Instead of looking like a common buzzard, this bird actually looks more like a hawk. Their wingspan can reach five feet, and they prefer to hunt in large open areas. To hunt they hover on air currents until swooping down to catch their prey. Long-Legged Buzzards live in semi-desert areas, and though they live in Pakistan year round, they usually breed in countries north of Pakistan, nesting in the sides of cliffs. 

 

 Long_legged_buzzard_view_from_below

Blue-Cheeked Bee-Eater

While Blue-Cheeked Bee-Eaters do not live in Pakistan year round, this migratory bird summers in the country for breeding, and then travels to Africa during the winter months. Bee-Eaters are so named because they can eat insects with stingers, such as bees. They catch the bee, avoiding the stinger, and then rub the stinger on a perch until the insect is harmless. Though called ‘blue-cheeked,’ these birds are mostly green in color. Instead of constructing nests, they dig long straight tunnels where they lay their eggs.  

 

 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Red Avadavat

The Red Avadavat is also called the ‘strawberry finch’ due to its bright red color. These birds are highly social and live in large flocks. They prefer to build their nests closer to the ground, often in bushes rather than trees. Both parents incubate their eggs, and chicks are born with brown feathers. They prefer to live near plains areas with tall grasses. Red Avadavats breed during the rainy season, and love to be near water.

Red_Avadavat_(Amandava_amandava)_W_IMG_4408 

Sources:

http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Athene&species=noctua
http://www.arkive.org/little-owl/athene-noctua/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Nightjar
http://www.arkive.org/nightjar/caprimulgus-europaeus/
http://www.beautyofbirds.com/indianrollers.html
http://www.arkive.org/indian-roller/coracias-benghalensis/
http://www.birding.in/birds/Upupiformes/Upupidae/eurasian_hoopoe.htm
http://www.arkive.org/eurasian-hoopoe/upupa-epops/
http://www.arkive.org/long-legged-buzzard/buteo-rufinus/image-G53035.html
http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=32719
http://www.birdholidays.co.uk/Bulgaria.birdwatching.holiday.htm
http://www.planetofbirds.com/coraciiformes-meropidae-blue-cheeked-bee-eater-merops-persicus
http://www.arkive.org/blue-cheeked-bee-eater/merops-persicus/
 http://www.finchinfo.com/birds/finches/species/red_avadavat.php
http://beautyofbirds.com/strawberryfinches.html

Photos:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Little_Owl.JPG Author: محمد الفلسطيني
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caprimulgus_europaeus_1200x855.jpg Author: Jenny Th
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coracias_benghalensis_-India_-flying-8.jpg Author: Sammy Sam Source: Picasa Web Albums
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Young_and_mature_hoopoe.jpg Author: Jaiprakashsingh 
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Long_legged_buzzard_view_from_below.jpeg Author: Chinmayisk
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue-cheeked_Bee-eater_(Merops_persicus)_(8079414682).jpg Author: Ron Knight
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red_Avadavat_(Amandava_amandava)_W_IMG_4408.jpg Author: J.M.Garg

Banner Photos:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Babool_(Acacia_nilotica)_flowers_at_Hodal_W_IMG_1163.jpg Author: J.M.Garg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Erythrina_variegata.jpg Author: Tauʻolunga
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indianbullfrog_sal.jpg Author: Saleem Hameed Permission: cc-by-2.5
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ursus_thibetanus_3_(Wroclaw_zoo).JPG Author: Guérin Nicolas
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red_Avadavat_(Amandava_amandava)_W_IMG_4408.jpg Author: J.M.Garg

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Anne Sutherland

Administrative Coordinator at Allshore Virtual Staffing
Anne Sutherland is an Administrative Coordinator at Allshore Virtual Staffing, a remote staffing agency. Having a BA in Asian Studies, minor in Japanese, and time spent abroad, Anne excels at multi-cultural communication and continually stays up to date on cultural events and research.

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