The creator must be in a good mood when he made those wriggly-wiggly, lively creatures that make us regret not having wings. Nature has lavished the birds with all the exquisite features. Every species has its special characteristics.
The birds have been blessed with various shades of the color palette. However, white-colored birds are the most perfect specimens. A mere glance at them, and you marvel at their simple beauty. But, beauty is not the only thing that is all there to them.
This article will acquaint you with different aspects of certain white birds, which are as follows:-
1. American White Pelican
American white pelicans are large snowy white-colored birds that have a long neck and beak. They have small legs, a short tail, and the tips of the feathers are mainly black. During the reproduction period, a weird formation appears on the upper side of the beak in adult white pelicans.
These white birds are mainly found in the interior wetlands of North America. However, during winter months, they move to the southern and central coasts of America.
An American white pelican dips its pouched beak slightly in the water and picks out fish. Pelicans are known to be the birds having one of the broadest wing-set. This enables them to soar high in the sky, even the weighty ones.
This bird can be a great team player when hunting food to feed the whole flock. But, at times, it doesn’t hesitate to steal prey from its counterparts or other waterbirds.
American white pelicans mostly eat fish, freshwater lobsters, and other small creatures. They are known to fly long distances when food is minimal. Busting the myth now, these pelicans don’t keep food in their bills for some time. They swallow immediately.
2. Great Egret
This all-white bird has a yellow beak and dark legs and feet. During the reproduction period, the beak becomes darker, and the feet change into a lighter shade. Also, soft feathers grow on their backs at this time.
It’s not easy to distinguish between male and female great egrets as they look identical.
They are mainly found living in groups at different places across America and Southern Canada. They prefer to live near marshes, ponds, and lakes, which are full of prey.
They can be found hunting around rivers and lagoons as well. They are classic migratory birds.
They fly with their necks pulled in. While walking, they, however, put forth their necks and hold wings close to their bodies. The male egret stakes out the area to build a nest and then start attracting females by raising the delicate feathers on the back and bowing the head.
Both the sexes sit on eggs to bring them to hatching. The young offsprings are generally feisty and are known to attack siblings and other creatures who pose a threat.
The great egret generally feeds on fish, frogs, small reptiles, and insects found in shallow water. They patiently wait stock-still for the prey to come near them, once it is within a striking gap, the egret stabs them with the beak.
3. Snowy owl
Remember the beautiful owl from Harry Potter? That’s a snowy owl. It has mesmerizing yellow eyes and a dark, almost black beak. The males are all white, but females have pops of black all over. Most of the area of the feet is well-covered with feathers. The offspring have black colored feathers which turn white in adulthood.
Snowy owls are the heaviest amongst all species of owls.
These owls are fond of vast spaces with low vegetation, as that enables them to scan the vicinity comfortably, for prey.
They chiefly nest in the Arctic Tundra region. Dunes near the coast allure them as they are quite spacious. Snowy owls have also been sighted in some parts of southern Russia and the North of China.
Such owls live on the ground. The female snowy owl makes the nest by taking out some part. She sits there till the time it becomes shapely. These white birds sit in a place for more extended periods. They are blessed with impressive vision and hearing, which allows them to sense potential prey even from long distances.
To attract females for mating, the male flies around majestically, with a rodent or another small animal clenched in its beak. When he lands on the ground, he drops the prey on the surface and waits for the intended female to approach. He makes his way to her heart through the stomach.
Primarily, their diet consists of rodents. They are also known to hunt big mammals like rabbits, raccoons, etc. Birds such as pheasants, geese, coots, and even other owl species also are preyed upon.
As opposed to other owls, the snowy ones hunt both during day and night.
4. American white ibis
It is white as a whole. The male is larger than the female. The beaks are a little bent at the front. Legs are long, and the wings are black at the tips, which are visible only when they are flying. The offsprings have a straight beak and have violet or dark brown small fiber-like feathers all over.
Shallow marshes near the beach, mangroves, ponds, and flooded grasslands are their preferred places to breed. They don’t stick to a place for a long time. Understandably, they migrate frequently.
They like to nest in areas with freshwater bodies. During breeding, they are mainly found on the coasts of Atlantic, Mexico, and Central America. Outside the reproduction period, this species has been spotted in North America and the Caribbean.
They tend to live in colonies on trees. The trees have to be quite tall. To attract females, the males indulge in a lot of elaborative bathing and preening. For making a nest, twigs are supplied by the male, and the female constructs it.
White ibis pairs are more into monogamy. Only, at times, the male seeks another female. The males are quite possessive about their females and are known to attack the intruders or rivals bloody.
Both males and females look after the offspring.
They can eat a variety of food. Crayfish, small fish, snails, crabs, frogs, and whatsoever they find appealing, white ibises pull them out of the water just like forceps and swallow on the spot. However, if the prey is covered with mud, they first clean and then eat. They like to pull out claws from crustaceans before devouring them. This species has better-eating etiquette than many humans.
5. Forster’s tern
It’s not plump enough. It has a normal-sized beak and a diverged tail. Usually, there’s a dark patch visible surrounding the eye, and the flight feathers are pale grey. The underside is white. But, during the breeding period, The crown and sides, all become dark. The beak changes into light orange with black at the tip. The nestlings have deep-colored wings.
During the reproduction period, Forster’s terns dwell in freshwater or saltwater marshlands. They are largely found in the Northern part of America.
During the summer season, they can be found staying in regions near the Canada-USA border. In winters, they head to southern or central America. At times, they spend winter in Ireland and Great Britain.
They make nests on the ground using weeds or some type of marsh foliage. Males attract females by gifting them fish, which they have caught. Once they become a pair, both male and female Forster’s terns fly alongside each other in front of the colony with their beaks lifted.
Male tern also take care of the eggs along with the females. They incubate during the day, and the females do so during the night. The males are quite territorial over their offspring.
These white birds usually like to eat fish like sardines, anchovies, trouts, etc. They also gorge on crabs, larvae, grasshoppers, and some species of frogs.
They like to hunt in shallow water, but, at times, they dive entirely into the water to catch prey. They instantly polish off their food. However, if the food can’t be easily stuffed down, they let the catch remain in their beak for a while to make it soft before swallowing.