Fun elephant facts what you always wanted to know


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Elephants are fascinating creatures, indeed there are some fun facts about them. The elephants are often subjects of many documentaries, books, art projects, and wildlife photography. There are two different species of elephants, the African Elephant, and the Asian Elephant. As a matter of fact, within the African family, there are two subspecies, the African Forest Elephant and the African Savanna Elephant.

Humans have been studying elephants since the 17th century, yet we are still discovering new facts about them, even today. To help you learn more about these magnificent creatures, here come plenty of fascinating elephant facts. Read more: https://anettemossbacher.com/fun-elephant-facts-what-you-always-wanted-to-know/

Anette Mossbacher
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Why are Polar Bears endangered?


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When you think of animals living in the Arctic, the endangered polar bears are probably one of the first species which come into your mind. But, are the Polar bears endangered? No, they are listed in the red list of the IUCN still as vulnerable. With the appearance of pristine white fur that blends in with the snow, these beautiful bears pervade movies and folklore, though most of us have never seen them in the wild. At the top of their food chain, polar bears are incredibly important to the Arctic ecosystem. Unfortunately, their populations are dwindling, enough so that they are now considered an endangered species. It is estimated that only about 22,000 – 31,000 bears are still in existence. New research suggests that this number could decline by 30% by the year 2050. Read more: https://anettemossbacher.com/why-are-polar-bears-endangered/

Anette Mossbacher
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Bald Eagle with fish


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I captured this Bald Eagle with an enormous fish in its talons at Conowingo Dam. The Dam is on the Susquehanna River and is a productive place to observe and photograph Eagles. This one was taking off straight towards me on a drizzly, frosty day in November. He or she looks resolved to take that fat fish some place in a hurry. Eagles live for 20-30 years and mate for life, coming back to the same nest year after year. Maybe she or he has a ravenous mouth or two to feed at the nest.

sandra calderbank
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Snipes


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This Wilson's Snipe is standing at the edge of the marsh in Florida seemingly peering into the water. Snipes are pudgy shorebirds that are so well camouflaged they can disappear into their environment. The Wilson’s Snipe forages for worms or snails by using that exceptionally long beak like a sewing machine in the muck. Snipes can actually swallow prey without lifting their beak out of the mud! The snipe is nocturnal, sleeping most of the day. They come out to feed at sunset or daybreak, or like this one on a drizzly, dark day.

Sandra Calderbank
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Female Belted Kingfisher


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I patiently watched this Female Belted Kingfisher perched on this dead snag. I expected she would swoop down and grab a fish. After what seemed like ages, she took off but passed behind the perch, showing me her tail feathers. But she graciously circled back in front of the snag, allowing me an opportunity for a flight shot. Belted Kingfishers devote a lot of time sitting alone along the edge of streams, watching the water and hunting for fish. They disappear rapidly down to the water to dive for fish, but this one left her favorite fishing spot just to shop for a better vantage point. This pretty lady flew to another snag because maybe the fish are tastier on the other side of the water?

Sandra Calderbank
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The Elegant Swallow-tailed Kite


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The Swallow-Tailed Kite soars in silently and seems to appear out of thin air and disappears just as silently. I have read it is because this striking bird of prey rarely flaps its wings. It changes directions as it swoops in the air overhead by pivoting its tail feathers! They are elegant as they feed on the wing and sail stealthily.

sanddra calderbank
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Pied-billed Grebe with shrimp in beak


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As I wandered around a pond in Florida, this Pied-billed Grebe popped up from a dive with a shrimp in its beak. The beak has a thick black ring during breeding season so the Pied-billed Grebe gets its name from the “pied” appearance of its beak. That shrimp looks pretty fat and tasty, I am amazed that little Grebe could swallow it!

sandra calderbank
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King Rail


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This beautiful King Rail was walking along a berm road in Viera Wetlands in early March. These Rails are highly secretive and scarcely encountered. It was a first sighting for me. As I sought to photograph it, he presented his wings in this magnificent posture and granted me a few moments for a picture. It looks as if he is showing me his handsome wings, although I am certain this display has an entirely different meaning to other birds, especially a female King Rail

sandra calderbank
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Male Northern Pintail walking across frozen lake


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I photographed this Male Northern Pintail walking on a frozen lake in New Mexico. Northern Pintails are dabbling ducks, feeding with their head under the water so I don’t imagine this one hung around for long with the lakes frozen. I can’t imagine why their feet don’t freeze but ducks have a countercurrent heat exchange system in their legs. Their feathered body can be totally warm while the legs are cool and as a result they lose only a small amount of heat to the environment. Unlike our feet and legs, a duck’s legs are tendons and bones that require minimal oxygenated blood. I predict he is thinking, ‘How do I get my other foot off the ice so I can fly out of here?

sandra calderbank
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Pair of Snow Geese in flight


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Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge is home to thousands of Snow Geese during the winter. I captured this pair of Snow Geese in flight in front of a distant mountain in December in New Mexico. You can find the geese in the evening and night in the water and they take off in the morning all at once creating a lot of noise and a “blast off”. It’s as if they hear a command to fly and they all react. These two were flying back to the water to spend the night away from predators. Snow Geese feed in groups also, consuming all the vegetation and grains in surrounding available fields.

sandra calderbank
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