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    Birds of the World


    Mexico has a huge range of habitats, ranging from desert to rainforest and high mountains, providing living space for over a thousand species of birds.

    The birds are as varied as the habitats, ranging from inhabitants of the arid areas like roadrunners to wading birds and jungle birds like this blue-crowned motmot.

    blue-crowned motmot
    common black hawk

    Although the pressures of human overpopulation have crowded many of the birds out of some areas, there are nature reserves and other places where large numbers of different birds can still be found.

    One such place is the Rio Lagartos biosphere reserve on the northern coast of the Yucatan peninsula.

    Although overshadowed by the more famous preserve at Celestun on the western coast of the peninsula, Rio Lagartos is in many ways a superior option, and it's certainly a great place to see water birds of many types, including large flocks of the American flamingo.

    American flamingos

    New Zealand

    tui, or Parson bird

    With no land mammals for competition, New Zealand was a bird paradise, until man arrived on the scene.   New Zealand has been home for some of the most unusual birds ever to live - the world's largest bird, the moa, one species of which measured 11 feet tall; the world's largest eagle (to prey on the moa?); the kiwi, the bird with the largest egg relative to body size; and the wrybill, the only bird in the world whose beak is twisted sideways.

    The native land birds here seem to fall firmly into one of two completely separate camps - those who are afraid of people and those who exhibit no fear at all.   The kea is the world's only alpine parrot, and not only is it not afraid, but sensible people (especially motorists and farmers) are afraid of it!.

    kea, the world's only alpine parrot
    Australasian gannet

    New Zealand is essentially a maritime country, so there's a good selection of seabirds, including penguins, albatross and gannets.


    The USA is a great place for raptors like eagles, hawks, falcons ... and vultures!

    turkey vulture on the ground spreading its wings
    Clark's Grebe swimming on dead flat water

    More herons, storks, egrets, ibises and other water birds than you can shake a stick at.

    There are many colorful birds here, like some tropical country.

    Blackbirds aren't just black, they're "red-winged" or "tricolored", and even the sparrows seem to be splattered with red or yellow paint.

    Northern Flicker