The unique environment of the rainforest, and other habitats of
tropical climates, have resulted in a wide variety of the world's
most uniquely colorful birds. From the bright scarlet of macaws
to the irridescent blue of peafowl, there seems to be no combination
of colors too vibrant for tropical climes.
Hundreds of species of parrot live in the rain forest. The scarlet
macaw is just one of these. It is also one of the longest, stretching
to a length of 3 feet from its head to the tip of its tail. When
these macaws eat a poisonous fruit, they eat a special type of clay
that gets rid of the poison.
Toucans are also very colorful birds. They have large beaks that
they use to reach fruit they could not otherwise get to. Scientists
estimate there are 33 species of toucan in the rain forest.
Not every tropical bird was blessed with looks, however. The hoatzin
has the drab brown appearance of a peahen (a female peafowl.) Known
for being inept flyers, Hoatzin crash land regularly. The brown
kiwi of Australia is an entirely flightless bird with almost fur-like
feathers and a long, narrow, curved beak. Despite having neither
flight nor brilliant plumage to their credit, they are nevertheless
adept runners and fighters.
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