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When Darwin got sick of feathers
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Chemistry and Materials
Sugary Survival Skill
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The Color of Health
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Space and Astronomy
No Fat Stars
Witnessing a Rare Venus Eclipse
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Technology and Engineering
Beyond Bar Codes
Riding Sunlight
Machine Copy
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Tropical Birds

While local wild birds offer their own uniqe birdwatching experience, tropical climates and rainforest environments seem to attract the most vibrantly colored and exotic of bird species. Birds are extremely visual animals, and while you may be familiar with the sight of a bright red male cardinal, imagine the colors and patterns a bird must produce to compete with flowers and trees as brilliant as those in jungle forests. From rainbow lorikeets to vibrant macaws, tropical birds are perhaps the most visually stunning members of the bird family. The unique environment of the rainforest, and other habitats of tropical climates, have resulted in a wide variety of the world's most uniquely colorful birds. From the bright scarlet of macaws to the irridescent blue of peafowl, there seems to be no combination of colors too vibrant for tropical climes. Hundreds of species of parrot live in the rain forest. The scarlet macaw is just one of these. It is also one of the longest, stretching to a length of 3 feet from its head to the tip of its tail. When these macaws eat a poisonous fruit, they eat a special type of clay that gets rid of the poison. Toucans are also very colorful birds. They have large beaks that they use to reach fruit they could not otherwise get to. Scientists estimate there are 33 species of toucan in the rain forest. Not every tropical bird was blessed with looks, however. The hoatzin has the drab brown appearance of a peahen (a female peafowl.) Known for being inept flyers, Hoatzin crash land regularly. The brown kiwi of Australia is an entirely flightless bird with almost fur-like feathers and a long, narrow, curved beak. Despite having neither flight nor brilliant plumage to their credit, they are nevertheless adept runners and fighters.

Tropical Birds
Tropical Birds

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