Coo-Coo for the Kookaburra

 

The Kookaburra

The Kookaburra

The Kookaburra is hard to miss, a hefty bird, he’s known for his noisy laugh. During sunrise or sunset he’s often heard making the following noise, try it out loud:

Koo-hoo-hoo-hoo-ha-ha-ha-ha

If you are visiting the kookaburra at The Toronto Zoo, he’ll be in the Australasia pavilion.  But make sure you look up – most likely he’ll be perched up high. He’s got a very distinctive, thick eyebrow, about 40 centimeters long. The kookaburra is native to Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. His favourite meal is small rodents, insects, small birds, snakes and lizards.

His beak is brown and his tail is brown with blue tips. When he’s flying, his tail is mostly white. The kookaburra has big feet and legs that are also brown.

Did you know?

Young kookaburra’s work together when feeding. One bird will hold on with mighty strength to one end of the prey while the adult bird pulls backwards at the other end until the body of the prey is torn apart and easier to eat. Gross!

 

 

 

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Filed under Animals, Asia, Australia, baby animals, birds, Kids, North American animals, Wildlife, Zoo animals

PiLot WhaLes

Just for fun!

When your about to take a picture of your friends, instead of saying “cheese” switch it with the word “whales”, you’ll make them laugh, I guarantee it.

pilot whales

Pilot Whales socializing off the shores of Cape Breton Island

Pilot whales are very social, and are often found in groups of 20 to 90 pods. They swim, breed and eat as a group. Some pilot whales show off and spy hop. They basically stick half of their bodies out of the water, vertically, almost like break dancing. Can you spy hop? Many animals spy hop, not just this big guy. Wolves all need to do this, so they can see their surroundings.

Pilot whales look like black dolphins with a white or light grey anchor-shaped patch on its bottom surface. They have rounded heads with a very small beak. The male’s head may protrude up to 4 inches over the lower jaw! Its body is long, allowing the whale to swim with ease, but very stocky and muscular. They look cute, but they can hold their ground.

Pilot Whale

Pilot Whale Spy Hopping

Pilot whales are generally found in both the northern and southern hemisphere or in tropical water throughout the world. Short-finned pilot whales tend to chill out in the warmer water.

Did you know?

  • Pilot whales eat squid!
  • One captive pilot whale named “Morgan” was trained by Navy scientists to retrieve beeper-attached objects from the ocean floor at depths of over 1,600 feet—Pretty incredible!

If you’re ever visiting Nova Scotia, check out the whale watching adventure tours! You’ll get a chance to get up close and personal with these loveable sea creatures. Here’s a video from my last trip to Cape Breton Island, enjoy! Click here for whales

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Filed under Animals, baby animals, Endangered animals, Kids, North American animals, Ocean animals, squid, Uncategorized, whales, Wildlife, wolves, Zoo animals

The ArCtiC WoLf LOVES a COLD WINTER!

 

The ArTiC WoLf

The NEW Tundra exhibit at the Toronto Zoo

The ArCtiC WoLf

Also called the Polar Wolf, a cousin of the Gray Wolf, you can catch the Arctic Wolf in the new Tundra Trek exhibit at the Toronto Zoo.

OR if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also find him in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and the northern part of Greenland. The Arctic Wolf has really thick fur because they can live in SUB-ZERO temperatures and are exposed to the frigid cold for long periods of time—days, months, even years! They can survive up to five months in total darkness! They can also live without food for weeks! They roam around LARGE areas of land, hunting for food. They are the ONLY mammals that can withstand these kinds of conditions. The Arctic Wolf travels in packs from 2 to 20!

Similar to the Grey Wolf, Arctic Wolves are a bit smaller with smaller ears so they can trap in as much body heat as possible.

Did you know?

To keep themselves warm, Arctic Wolves grow a second layer of fur to protect them from the harsh conditions.

Good luck finding one this winter! They are all white so they will blend in easily to the winter snow and are pretty shy around humans.

The Arctic Wolf

The Arctic Wolf

Check out this cool You Tube video of wolves HOWLING

Did you know?

Wolves howl because it’s how they keep the pack together. It’s how they communicate and bond with each other.

 

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Filed under Animals, arctic, North American animals, Wildlife, wolves, Zoo animals

ToMaTo Hornworm Larve

Let’s look at the Tomato Hornworm!

 

The Tomato Hornworm

The Tomato Hornworm

 

 

This big green caterpillar LOVES tomatoes! It’s a big green caterpillar with these cool shaped markings on its side and has a black horn on its rear.

Imagine how this little creepy crawler affects farming, and your local grocery store. They are so hard to spot because of their green colour. They hide right under branches close to the truck, commonly attacking tomato, eggplant, pepper and potatoes.

One way to reduce the population of tomato hornworms is by planting Marigold flowers!

The Tomato Hornworm

The Tomato Hornworm

 

 

Did you know?

Pupa. Don’t call your friends this, but a pupa is basically the life stage of insects that undergo TRANSFORMATION! They go through 4 stages: from the embryo, larva, pupa then imago (adult stage).

These guys, morph into a HAWK MOTH! Yes a HAWK MOTH. Hawk moths are sometimes mistaken for hummingbirds. Some are capable of flying at over 30 miles an hour!

 

 

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Filed under Animals, baby animals, birds, butterfly, caterpillars, hornworm, Insects, Kids, larve, North American animals, Wildlife, worm, Zoo animals

REiNdEEr, Ho Ho Ho!

If you’re heading out to the Santa Claus Parade this weekend, you’re sure to see his REINDEER!

Reindeer at the Toronto Zoo

Reindeer at the Toronto Zoo

The reindeer travels the FURTHEST of ANY land mammal, walking up to 5,000 a year! Can you image how fit these big guys are? And they need to eat healthy to fuel themselves up for the long trip! They have 4 stomachs! COOL! They mainly eat fungi in winter and moss, but also eat leaves from birch trees, grass. They might sneak into a nest and pop an egg or 2, but I don’t blame them, the protein is ESSENTIAL! Like it is for OUR body.

These guys might look seem like they are tough, but every tough animal, has a predator. Since they travel so much, just imagine how many predators they cross paths with. The golden eagle will hunt for the babies and the wolverine will also join them and take the little guys away. Brown bears, and polar bears eat reindeers of all ages.

Reindeer is light brown in the summer changing seasonally, from grey to white in winter! Its thick coat consists of 2 layers, a dense wooly undercoat, and a longer haired overcoat. Males have a thick mane of fur around the lower part of the neck. The antlers look like a branch, with curved main stems that sweep back and up from the forehead.

Santa Claus’ Reindeer

Flying reindeer pulls Santa Claus’ sleigh, these were first named in the 1823 poem “A visit from the St. Nicholas.” Can you name them all?

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, and Bixem.

Visit the Reindeer at the Toronto Zoo, hours are 9:30-4:30 until Dec 31.

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The SqUiRmY sQuiD!

Once you get over the squirmy legs and tentacles, the coolest thing about the squid or  “cephalopod” is the “mantle”! A jet propulsion system! Without it, it wouldn’t be able to swim. The squid sucks water into its mantle and shoots it out with mega speed, much like a jet or an airplane!

 

This is a picture of a squid that had washed-up on the shores of Cape Breton Island

The Squid

 

 

Did you know squid have the ability to change their colour? Well it does to suit its surroundings, which make them more invisible to predators.

Most grow to 24 inches long, but the GIANT squid, can reach up to 43 feet! Look out for those big guys. If you’re behind one, look out! All squid have an ink sack, which allows them to discharge black ink ward off other predators.

Check out this cool video of some washed up squid in Nova Scotia, you can see the jet-propulsion system in action.

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Filed under Animals, North American animals, Ocean animals, squid, Uncategorized, Wildlife

The PiGeOn

In celebration of Sesame Street’s 40th anniversary, we look at Bert’s pet, the pigeon. Bert named his pet pigeon Bernice and taught her how to play checkers.

 

The pigeon

Bert's pet, Bernice, the pigeon

 

 

Pigeons are very popular birds among the city streets but you’ll find them living just about everywhere in the world, except for the extremely dry desert and extremely cold arctic climates.

Pigeons have short necks and short bills and can come in an array of colors from grey to brown and white. They prefer to eat seeds and fruit

Check out Bert’s pigeon dance: “Doin’ the Pigeon

 

The pigeon

Can you do the Pigeon Dance?

 

 

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Filed under Animals, birds, Kids, North American animals, Pigeon, Sesame Street, Wildlife