Archive for August, 2006

Tortoise and Hippo – year-old baby hippo finds compainionship and comfort in a centry-old turtle

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Tortoise and Hippo

“Much of life can never be explained but only witnessed.”

- Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

Tortoise and Hippo

A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise, in an animal facility in the port city of Mombassa, officials said.
The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean, then forced back to shore when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, 2004 before wildlife rangers rescued him.

Tortoise and Hippo

“It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a ‘mother’,” ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park, told AFP.

Tortoise and Hippo

“After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together,” the ecologist added. “The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it follows its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother,” Kahumbu added.

Tortoise and Hippo
 
“The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years,” he explained.

Tortoise and Hippo

Tortoise and Hippo

This is a real story t hat shows that our differences don’t matter much when we need the comfort of another. We could all learn a lesson from these two creatures of Allah. Look beyond the differences and find a way to walk the path together.

Tortoise and Hippo

August 29, 2006 at 8:53 pm 13 comments

TAWNY FROGMOUTH

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful 

Can you find two Tawny Frogmouths?

Tawny Frogmouth’s feathers, or plumage, is mostly silvery-gray with streaks and speckles of Tawny Frogmouth Tail featherblack. Their eyes are stiking yellow and very wide, and their bills are olive-gray to blackish in color.Tawny Frogmouths are masters of camouflage, or disguise. Tawny Frofmouths are nocturnal. This means that they are most active during the night. They usually hunt at night, and spend the daytime roosting on a dead log or in trees. Since their plumage can blend well with the tree bark, they sit on a tree branch close to the trunk and remain very still and upright. This way, they look just like part of a branch! The only thing that could give them away is their beaks and their eyes, which they usually close, or open very little.The Tawny Frogmouth is often thought to be an species of owl, but they are in fact related to nightjars. They do not have stong talons, or claws, like owls, and owls fly around at night to hunt for food, whereas Tawny Frogmouths usually sit very still on a low perch, and wait for food to come near them.Tawny Frougmouth’s feed on mice, rats, beetles, cicadas, frogs and other small prey. They catch their food with their large bills instead of their talons, another difference between frogmouths and owls, owls use their talons.

Male and female Tawny Frogmouths look alike. Their body length ranges between 30-50 cm. Usually south-eastern Tawny Frogmouths are larger than Northern ones.

Tawny Frogmouth Egg

When two Tawny Frogmouths pair together, they stay together until one of the two dies. They breed between August and December. They usually keep their nest, and when the female lays the eggs, both her and the male take turns sitting on them. The eggs usually hatch 30 days after they have been laid. The parents also take turns in gathering food for the newborns. Chicks usually only live in the nest for about 25 days before they are ready to leave the nest and start lives of their own.

                  Tawny Frogmouth & Chicks

In Australia there are three species of frogmouth. The Papuan Frogmouth, which lives in the Cape York Peninsula. The Papuan frogmouth is larger and has orange-red eyes. Another species of frogmouth is the Marbled Frogmouth, which is about the same size as the Tawny frogmouth, but instead is found only in the rainforests of far north Queensland and on Queensland-New South Wales border. Marlbed Frogmouths have orange-yellow eyes. Frogmouths got their name because of their large, flat, hooked bills and huge frog-like gape.

Watch Tawny Frogmouths on the Internet Bird Collection (IBC)!

 

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FUN FACTS
1. Frogmouths nest in trees, usually in the fork of horizontal branches. Their nests are made of sticks, and sometimes padded with their own feathers, which they camouflage with lichen, moss, and spider webs. Both parents incubate the clutch. When hatched, the young are covered with down and remain in the nest until able to fly.
2. Often mistaken for owls, these unique birds are part of the nightjar, nighthawks, and whippoorwill family.
3. Tawny frogmouths, nocturnal insect hunters, have whisker-like feathers around their large mouth to help trap prey in their wide, frog-like mouth. Their unusual appearance serves as effective camouflage during the day while perching in trees.
4. Unlike other birds that fly at night catching insects, tawny frogmouths remain very still, waiting for prey. The insect or spider, fooled by the frogmouth’s coloring, is quickly maneuvered by the whisker-like feathers above their beak and eaten.
5. During the day, frogmouths usually sleep in a sedentary position, when disturbed they raise their head and stiffen their body, simulating a branch. This behavior is called “stumping”.
6. They can be heard emitting a soft warning buzz, similar to a bee, when startled.
7. These birds are normally monogamous, communicating with a low, grunting “oom-oom-oom” call.
FAST FACTS
DESCRIPTION: Tawny frogmouths have enormous, wide, frog-like mouths to capture insects. Their bill is large, horny, triangular, and sharply hooked. Their legs are very short and their feet small and weak. They are slow and deliberate in their movements, and are the weakest fliers in the order. They have rounded, medium length wings. Their plumage is mottled grayish-brown with darker streaks. There is little to no sexual dimorphism.
SIZE: Range in length from 22.5-52.5 cm (9-21 in)
WEIGHT: No data
DIET: Fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and insects
INCUBATION: 30 days
CLUTCH SIZE 1-2 eggs
SEXUAL MATURITY: No data
LIFE SPAN: 10 years in managed conditions
RANGE: Australia and Tasmania
HABITAT: Forest and scrubland trees – with special preference for open eucalyptus woodlands
POPULATION: GLOBAL Abundant through range
SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION
COMMON NAME: tawny frogmouth

August 29, 2006 at 11:23 am 3 comments


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