Standard bird rule- Be attractive

photo credit; Hans Cosmas 

Avian wild beauties, height, waistline and size are insignificant cut lines. The wild winning plumage matures either uniformly to adulthood or changes during the breeding season, an energy consuming transformation which represents genetic continuity or lack of it. In the wild male selection arena, other than you must appear attractive, male birds show off their skill-set in nest building, dancing and singing to whatever it takes to impress your kind. Although some birds are monogamous and pair for life most of them will chose or will be chosen during the breeding season. For you to get a mate you got to shake your tail feathers (in my opinion only birds should do that)

photo credit; Stu porter 
A bird lover or not, the rollers will have you roll down your mirror for a sneak peek. Unmistakably stunning, they are not shy to show it off, they parade-perch by the road side, dry tree branches or anthills mostly in protected areas. For the record both sexes have a similar plumage and they are monogamous. During courtship they jet upwards and tip forward with wings closed (not sure what does the trick…the jetting or the tipping but if she is impressed she is yours forever). They are insectivorous and nest on hollows tree trunks which they aggressively defend never mind they don’t make them, they take over.  They are a great reward for photographers and sheer excitement for birders.  

photo credit; Limsa Sarlem

photo credit; Mathew Mathiessen

Colorful is an understatement. As if to compensate for their small sizes, these jewels illuminate the swampy areas and ponds. It would be hard to miss a teeny-tiny reddish orange bill and feet with brilliant/royal blue back and an orange-rufous front, white throat patch and a turquoise crown. Strategically, nesting by the banks they are armed with a strong bill that handy in accurate fishing, pick dragonflies and tadpoles in swift-speed. Interestingly they toss their bounty and swallow it head fast. Skill over size bird got to feed.      


 Brilliantly colored, zero fear for humans they seem to know beauty is highly appreciated. Having an iridescent blue-green back, black head and the blue breast separated by a white band to a red orange belly with white under wings and tail colors. Your presence can be tolerated. Predominantly in northern east Africa these shiny beauties are mostly ground feeders and are highly social. 


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