Boat-billed herons seem to be strongly nocturnal, very similar
to black-crowned night herons. By day they preen and roost
quietly in dense mangrove thickets near feeding areas, venturing
out at dusk to forage.
Distressed herons often rattle their bills, sounding similar
to toucans and roadrunners.They hunt in the wade and stab
manner of other herons, but switch to touch feeding during
breeding season. They rely more on acoustic signals that penetrate
the mangrove tangle, instead of visual signals characteristic
of most heron communication. This would make sense with a
nocturnal animal. They have been known to eat small mammals.
Bleeding Heart Dove
Bleeding heart doves are virtually completely terrestrial,
seldom going even into low bushes. They do, however, nest
off the ground. They are nearly silent and very secretive,
slipping quietly under dense vegetation.
Bleeding hearts are typical pigeons in their nesting habits.
They nest low in shrubs, pulling a few sticks and leaves together
in a pocket of dense foliage. One or two eggs are laid. Both
parents set and rear the chicks. They regurgitate crop milk
to the chicks.
These are highly gregarious birds and will not breed unless
in large numbers. The flamingos have a unique communal display,
consisting of flapping, posturing, preening and quite a bit
of noise. Most of the flamingo's day is spent filter feeding
in shallow water. They usually migrate at night, flying with
outstretched necks and legs.
Flamingos get their color from the crustaceans that they eat,
and they would lose their color in the zoo if they were not
fed a dye called flamen oil or some other dietary beta-keratin
It is a gregarious bird, living, traveling and breeding in
flocks. When they fly, they hold their necks straight out
in front with their long legs trailing behind. In flight they
alternate flapping wings and soaring, they often form diagonal
lines of flight, with each bird a little behind and to one
side of the bird ahead. It is a rather quiet bird and the
only notes ever heard from them are a low grunting or a croaking
on the breeding grounds.
Ibises feed on a wide variety of small animals, vertebrates
and invertebrates. They also feed on grasshoppers, locust,
insects and their larvae, amphibians, and other small aquatic
All species of the tribe Dendrocygnini vocalize with a very
un-duck like reedy whistle, hence the name of whistling duck.
The female's voice is slightly lower.
The term "tree duck" is not generally used any
more because many species are not arboreal. Neither are they
true ducks, being actually classified with geese. Some species
call continuously, even in flight but at least one species
(the Indian Whistling Duck = D. javanica) has special primary
feathers that produce the in-flight whistle.
Whistling ducks are nocturnal, resting and preening during
the day. Many whistling ducks do not dive, the whiteface does.
Migration is by day or night and their constant calls can
be heard for a great distance. When migrating, geese often
fly at considerable altitude. Distance flying by a flock is
in a V-formation, which may have secondary V's on either or
both legs of the main V. Flying just off your leader's wing
tip cuts turbulence, and creates a slip-stream, a suction
that allows you to fly with less energy expended. Periodically,
leaders drop back into the V to rest, another taking over
the lead for a time.
Geese often stop in stubble fields to feed on migration,
and some farmers deliberately leave grain in the fields for
them. Other farmers object strongly. Stubble fields along
the fly-ways are important refueling stops since we humans
have removed most of their natural feeding areas.