Importance of National Birds
Many countries have adopted a bird called 'national bird' which acts as a symbol or emblem of a particular country. It is normally done officially, but sometimes unofficially also and it is considered illegal to hunt such birds in that country. National birds are sacred to a country and many of these birds are chosen not only because they are fascinating by virtue of their plumage, colourful body parts and other features but also because of religious, cultural, mythology and other considerations. The significance of these birds can be best understood by the citizens of that particular country.
This Hub showcases national birds of ten countries along with their sounds through videos.
The White-Cheeked Turaco has mainly a green body, but has earned the name because of a striking white crescent around its neck. It has a crested head with blue-black hairlike feathers. Eyes are peculiar with red rings around and the bill is orange-red and curved. The capability to move the fourth toe in both the directions, forward and backward, helps to have a better grip. The underside of their wings is red which may not be visible while the bird is perched.
Fruit and berries are their favourite food, though they also eat insects and they are found in the highland forests of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
White-Cheeked Turaco Singing
The national bird of the United States of America, Bald Eagle, is a misnomer as it is not bald, rather it is a beautiful snowy feathered head. Having earned the importance of both a National Bird and National Animal, the one time endangered species due to hunting and DDT-effected reduced ability to reproduce by consuming fish, the nation is proud to have restored its National bird. It is no more endangered.
With dark brown plumage, it has a white head and tail, but the feet and beak are bright yellow and the beak is large and hooked. Though the toes are short but the talon of the hind toe is exceptionally powerful.
A powerful flier, it can dive even more speed to catch its prey. Fish, birds and mammals are the primary diet of this opportunistic carnivore. Bald Eagle is found in North America, including Canada and Northern Mexico.
Enjoy Bald Eagle Call
With crest at the top of the head and blue-green plumage, the Peacock is one of the most fascinating birds of South Asia. The Indian national bird has cultural significance for Hindus. The covert feathers of the tail are displayed with eyes like spots, also as a part of courtship. The symmetry of these spots clubbed with different colours like blue, gold and red make this bird unique and magnificent.
Peacocks are forest birds and nest on the ground. Their main diet is part of plants, insects, seed heads and other small creatures. They have been kept as pets also.
Enjoy Peacock's Sound
Peacock Dance with Sound (Midway) - A Common Scene in Indian Villages
The European Robin is a tiny bird with orange-red breast and face lined with grey. It has brown legs, black bill and eyes, olive- brown upper parts and white belly. It is known for its calls. The lovely sedentary bird is seen in most of Europe and actively hunts insects during nights making use of moon or artificial light.
But they are very aggressive on territorial issues. Using leaves and grass they make a cup-shaped nest and lay eggs in secure places like hedges. They stick to many areas of Europe, though some of them migrate to northern and eastern parts of Europe during the summer. Their voices are more melodious during breeding season.
European Robin Singing
The Keel-billed Toucan is a large colourful bird with a striking bill. Its oversized bill looks like a banana but is red and blue towards the tip and also has orange shades. This bird has mainly black plumage, but the neck and chest are yellow. Toes of its feet help in positioning on trees as two are facing forward and the other two backward. It believes in hopping on trees from branch to branch and normally a part of a group of 6 to 12 birds.
They eat fruit, insects, eggs and even reptiles. Tropical and subtropical rain forests ranging from Southern Mexico to Venezuela and Colombia are the areas for their habitat.
Enjoy the Courting Song of Keel-Billed Toucan
The Greater Frigate is a seabird found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Large in size, it has dark black plumage and is long-winged. Male with a red gular sac can be easily distinguished from female with white breast and throat and a red ring around the eyes. Female are bigger in size too. Males make a constant rattling sound at breeding sites and inflate the red gular sac to attract females. Their bills are quite long and the tips are hooked. They eat mostly flying fishes.
Display of Greater Frigate
The Resplendent quetzal is considered to be one of the most fascinating birds because of its colourful body comprising red, blue and green colours. This is clubbed with a twin trail feathers, which may grow up to one meter during mating season. Males have a helmet like crest and the female also exhibit brilliancy of their colours. They are found in the tropical forests of Central America. This threatened bird of the Trogon family finds a place in a currency called Quetzal in Guatemala. They are fruit eaters, but also consume insects and small creatures. Royals and priests used its feathers for ceremonial purposes in ancient times.
Monotonous and Unmusical Calls of Resplendent Quetzal
The Common Hoopoe is a very popular bird in Asia, Europe and North Africa. The main attraction of this small bird is a crown on its head which are all its feathers. Seen taking dust and sand baths, this colourful bird is located in holes of trees, grasslands, cliffs, forests and other places where it finds a cavity for nesting. Preferred diet is insects, seeds, berries, small reptiles, locusts and crickets. Its thin tapering bill is capable of probing the ground for food very fast. Interestingly, it is a replacement of the earlier National Bird of Israel in 2008, which was White-spectacled Bulbul.
Enjoy the Rhythmic Sound of Hoopoe
National bird of two countries, Austria and Estonia, the Barn swallow is distinctive because of its shining bluish upper-parts, deeply forked tail and wings which are curved and pointed. Also, it is popular by being widely spread in different parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas. Found quite close to humans for breeding in the man-made structures, this bird has found place in religious and literary works.
Song of Barn Swallow (Indoor)
The National Bird of Japan, Green Pheasant is also called the Japanese Pheasant. Peculiar red facial skin, purple-green tail and violet neck makes it quite an attractive bird. The females, however, are not as brightly coloured as the males. They prefer bushy and even grassy areas and eat seeds, plants, worms and insects. They are common visitors to farmlands and human inhabited area, but remain restless under captivity. Their eggs are of olive coloured.
Song of Green Pheasant
Your opinion about National Bird
© 2013 Sukhdev Shukla
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on May 26, 2019:
Laurie Bennett on May 22, 2019:
Ok the peacock is obviously the most gorgeous bird, but oh man, their song is like nails on a chalkboard to me lol! My favorites were the American bald eagle and European robin!
Very cool article!
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on May 28, 2013:
jenb0128, I am glad you saw them and heard them. There is a great charm in their sounds and some of them really thrill you. Thanks for visiting.
iguidenetwork, Thanks for visiting the Hub. Peacock sounds are quite common in India, specially during monsoon. I have watched them from close quarters as a child when I used to accompany my father to a farm. It is pleasure to see them dancing. Have a nice day!
iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on May 28, 2013:
The toucan's call can be used as a ringtone! First time I hear a peacock making a sound... and it's very loud indeed. Thanks for posting!
Jennifer Bridges from Michigan on May 28, 2013:
This is great - I loved seeing (and hearing) the birds from around the world. The Quetzal is so adorable!
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on May 17, 2013:
Mel Carriere, Thanks for visiting the fascinating birds. I am sure you might have enjoyed their sounds as well. Birds are great pets and I am glad you have some in your backyard.
Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on May 17, 2013:
This is great stuff. I love birds. I currently have house wrens nesting in my backyard that have come back for the last three years. Shabby little brown things, I know, compared to the beautiful birds you have posted here, but they are still interesting and delightful to watch. Your natural history hubs are fascinating and informative.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on May 15, 2013:
aviannovice, I am glad you liked the Hub. I have noted your suggestion and will implement it soon. Thanks for visiting.
Deb Welch, It is always good to listen to voices of birds, you feel so near to nature. Thanks for your interest and the ratings of the Hub. Have a nice day.
Deb Welch on May 15, 2013:
Lovely listening to these beautiful precious birds. Good Hub - Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Thanks.
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on May 15, 2013:
This was superbly done, with a lot of care. I hope that you add other countries to this and make it a series.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on May 14, 2013:
Thanks, ladydeonne. In fact, I myself feel like watching it again and hear their sounds once more as at the time of constructing it I was busy in searching and arranging all these. I am glad you like my hubs.
Deonne Anderson from Florence, SC on May 14, 2013:
Your hubs are always informational and have such beautiful photos. I love birds and was especially pleased to be able to hear the birds sing!
It's so wonderful and refreshing to just sit back and relax and enjoy a hub. Thanks for the experience.
Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on May 14, 2013:
onegreenparachute, Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed sounds of these birds. I wish I could add one for Canada also, but I understand that there is no national bird there and instead there are provincial and territorial birds. Have a good day!
Carol from Greenwood, B.C., Canada on May 14, 2013:
Thanks for this hub. I enjoyed listening to each and every bird.