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Meet The Squirrel Cuckoo With An Elegant Long Tail and A Striking Yet Subtle Blush Of Soft Pink Feather

Meet The Squirrel Cuckoo With An Elegant Long Tail and A Striking Yet Subtle Blush Of Soft Pink Feather

In Central America, there is a remarkable bird that stands out with its beautiful red and brown feathers and gracefully long tail.

The squirrel cuckoo (Piaya cayana) is a big and lively bird with an impressively long tail measuring 40.5 to 50 centimeters (15.9 to 19.7 inches) in length. It weighs around 95 to 120 grams (3.4 to 4.2 ounces). The adults have a chestnut-colored body and head, which gradually becomes a soft pink shade on the throat. The lower breast is gray, the belly appears almost black, and the central tail feathers are rufous, with the outer ones having white tips. The bird has a yellow bill and striking red eyes.

Image source: Bernard DUPONT/CC BY-SA 2.0

Young squirrel cuckoos, known as juvenile birds, have a gray bill and eyering. Their eyes are brown, and their tails have less white coloration compared to the adults.

The squirrel cuckoo closely resembles the Black-bellied Cuckoo, but there are distinguishing features. The squirrel cuckoo can be recognized by its yellow bill and a cap on its head that matches the color of its back.

Image source: Bernard DUPONT/CC BY-SA 2.0

These birds can be found in the northwestern regions of Mexico, as well as in northern areas of Argentina, Uruguay, and Trinidad.

Image source: Bernard DUPONT/CC BY-SA 2.0

Squirrel Cuckoos like to make their homes in forests and wooded areas, especially in the high parts of the trees and where the forest meets open spaces. They can also be found in coffee plantations, bushes, pastures with trees, areas near rivers in dry regions, and even in residential areas. However, they tend to avoid dry wooded areas.

Image source: Bernard DUPONT/CC BY-SA 2.0

Squirrel Cuckoos mostly eat insects like bugs, cicadas, wasps, and caterpillars. Sometimes they also have spiders and small lizards as part of their diet. Although it’s rare, they occasionally enjoy eating fruits.

Image source: Bernard DUPONT/CC BY-SA 2.0

During the time when they’re ready to reproduce, Squirrel Cuckoos create a nest that looks like a shallow cup. They build it using sticks and leaves in dense foliage or trees. The female bird lays up to 3 eggs inside the nest and both the male and female take turns incubating them for about 18 to 20 days. Once the chicks hatch, both parents work together to feed and take care of them.

Image source: Bernard DUPONT/CC BY-SA 2.0

The squirrel cuckoo is abundant in most of the places it lives and seems to be okay with human activity, as long as there are still forests around.

Image source: Bernard DUPONT/CC BY-SA 2.0

Image source: Bernard DUPONT/CC BY-SA 2.0

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ANIMALS

Polar Bear, the Best Boy, Passes Away at Nearly 20 Years Old

Polar Bear, the Best Boy, Passes Away at Nearly 20 Years Old

Unfortunate news from the North Carolina Zoo as they grieve the passing of their dear polar bear, Payton. The male polar bear passed away while being moved to another zoo, the Louisville Zoo, for a polar bear breeding partnership.

The zoo’s animal care team is saddened by the loss of Payton, who had been with them since January 2021. This move was suggested by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and a skilled care team accompanied Payton during the transfer.

Image source: Google images

On the way to the Louisville Zoo, the care team regularly checked on Payton. Unfortunately, just two hours from the destination, they found him unresponsive. They hurried him to a nearby large animal veterinarian, where he was confirmed dead.

A necropsy showed some signs of heart disease, a tumor on his adrenal gland, and moderate osteoarthritis due to his advanced age. Further testing will be done to figure out the exact cause of his death.

Payton’s zoo journey began at the Brookfield Zoo, where he was born on November 8, 2003. He also spent time at the Memphis Zoo before coming to the North Carolina Zoo.

Image source: Google images

His caretakers have warm memories of him, and one of the polar bear keepers, Melissa Vindigni, shared, “He was the best boy bear, and it was a privilege and honor to have earned his trust.”

A thorough investigation will be conducted to find out more about how Payton passed away, as zoo officials aim to understand the circumstances of this unfortunate event.

The North Carolina Zoo stated that they did “routine checks” during the journey, but they didn’t give specific details.

Image source: Google images

Upon hearing the news, WLKY contacted the Louisville Zoo, which offered condolences for the passing of Payton, the polar bear. The Louisville Zoo expressed sympathy to its colleagues at the North Carolina Zoo, recognizing the sadness of losing such a beloved animal. The Louisville Zoo stands in solidarity with the North Carolina Zoo during this difficult time.

It’s important to mention that the Louisville Zoo currently has only one polar bear, a 12-year-old female named Qannik. Rescued from Alaska’s North Slope, her presence highlights the ongoing efforts to protect and conserve polar bears globally.

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ANIMALS

Shelter Reconnects Unhoused Woman with Her Dog and Promises Support After Seeing Pet with a Note

Shelter Reconnects Unhoused Woman with Her Dog and Promises Support After Seeing Pet with a Note

McKamey Animal Center posted on Facebook to get in touch with the dog’s owner. The dog was found with a note, and now the center is assisting the pet parent and her family.

Image source: Mckamey Animal Center

A Tennessee animal shelter brought together a homeless woman with her cherished dog, Lilo. The shelter discovered the dog with a note from the owner, explaining that she couldn’t afford to keep her.

As per a Facebook post on January 24 by McKamey Animal Center (MAC), a kind person found Lilo roaming in Chattanooga with a note attached to her collar. The Good Samaritan brought the dog to the shelter.

“Please keep my name. My name is Lilo,” read the note attached to Lilo’s collar, according to the McKamey Animal Center’s post, which also included a photo of the dog. “Please love me. My mom can’t keep me and is homeless with 2 kids. She tried her best but can’t get help. I cost too much for her.”

“She really loves me, and I’m a great dog and loved to be loved on,” the note continued, adding, “Please don’t abuse me.”

Image source: Mckamey Animal Center

In their Facebook post about the situation, MAC wrote a message addressed “to Lilo’s mom,” with the aim of reaching out to the dog’s owner.

“We want you to know she is safe, and we will take the very best care of her. She will be loved by our staff and volunteers, we will keep her name, and we promise you we will do our best to find her a wonderful new home. But if you are reading this, we hope you will come forward to reclaim her,” the shelter wrote to Lilo’s mom.

“We will help you with whatever you need to care for her, to the best of our ability. Lilo definitely misses you, and we would like nothing more than to see her go back to the family she loves. Either way, please know that we understand, we will not judge, and we are here to help in any way we can,” the McKamey Animal Center added.

Image source: Mckamey Animal Center

Shortly after receiving kind messages for Lilo’s mom, the shelter posted an update, letting everyone know that they had found the owner.

On January 25, McKamey Animal Center posted a picture on social media showing Lilo and her owner hugging.

“While we can’t share a lot of the details with you yet, we are actively working with the family to set them up with a safe haven, shelter, and resources to stay together and tackle homelessness. We are thankful for everyone who has advocated for the family, and shared our post. We are amazed at the outpouring of support. It truly takes a community, and you all have certainly shown us how powerful ours is — thank you so much,” the shelter added in the post.

To wrap up the post, MAC suggested that those touched by Lilo and her owner’s story think about adopting a rescued pet. The shelter also provided ideas on how pet owners can give back and assist other people.

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ANIMALS

Stray Dog Seeks Help, Jumps into Police Car with a Note on Her Collar

Stray Dog Seeks Help, Jumps into Police Car with a Note on Her Collar01

The Platteville Police Department in Wisconsin is looking for Lola’s owner.

Image source: Platteville Wi Police Department

A smart dog figured out how to get assistance when she ended up alone in a park.

Last Friday, the Platteville Police Department (PPD) in Wisconsin got a call about a stray dog, as shared in a Facebook post by the department. When an officer reached Moundview Park, a female dog approached and jumped into the officer’s vehicle.

“This sweet girl came right over to the officer and jumped in the squad,” the post added.

Image source: Platteville Wi Police Department

After the dog hopped into the car, the officer checked her out and found a pink collar with a handwritten note. The note said, “Please help, take me to a shelter. My name is Lola.”

Since it seems like Lola might be lost or abandoned, the PPD is seeking the public’s help in finding her original owners. They posted on Facebook, saying, “We would like to speak with them,”

Image source: Platteville Wi Police Department

Lola has been temporarily taken in by the authorities while the PPD looks into her history. In Platteville, it’s against the law to abandon animals, as per a local ordinance.

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