A Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) sitting on a waste basket. Isn’t he beautiful! Look at those coloured feathers and intelligent eyes.
Magpies are often maligned as pests, but they’re actually very interesting birds that are usually overlooked for both their beauty and their intelligence. They are closely related to crows, jays, and ravens; thus among the most intelligent family of birds (Corvidae). And after studying them, I’m convinced that magpies have a great sense of humour too! 🙂
Because magpies are often misunderstood, here are 3 interesting facts about them:
(ii) Magpies recognize themselves in mirrors. European magpies have demonstrated the remarkable ability to recognize their own reflections in mirrors, something that was once thought to be a defining characteristic belonging only to humans. This might not sound that amazing, but out of countless species tested, only four ape species, bottlenose dolphins and Asian elephants have demonstrated this ability.
(iii) A group of magpies is called “a parliament”. They earned this title from often appearing in large groups, looking stately and cawing at each other.
And a little flower…
Week 42! Autumn is definitely here… 5 pics:
(i) Composition by mother nature
(ii) Soaking up as much light as possible
(iii) Last bee of this year?
(iv) Unedited flower shot
(v) Same shot – Heavily edited version; fun, but not my style
Week 40 – Autumn is here but we still have some flowers 🙂
A beautiful hoverfly (Eupeodes corollae) on a dandelion (Taraxacum) 🙂
When I was a child, I thought these flies were unusually fast little bees or wasps but their coloring is a Batesian mimicry and they’re harmless. In fact, they do a lot of good as their larvae prey upon pest insects (which spread some diseases such as “curly top”) and adults feed on nectar and help to pollinate the flowers (which probably is why they’re sometimes called flower flies).
Two pictures of a small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), a colourful Eurasian butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. I took these pictures today on the “PEN island” outside Amsterdam.
A cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is called sakura.
These three images were taken a few days ago in the Kersenbloesempark (Cherry blossom park) at the Amsterdamse Bos. There are 400 cherry trees there, donated Japan’s Women’s Club in the year 2000. All trees have their own name, 200 have Japanese women’s names and 200 Dutch women’s names.
If you happen to be in the area, I can definitely recommend a visit to the park 🙂
Week 12! Little blue spring flowers, they’re called Chionodoxa but are also known as “Glory-of-the-snow”. In Sweden we call them (translated) “Spring Stars”, which I think is a very nice name 🙂
Week 11: The first cherry blossoms of the year! 🙂
Yesterday I saw my first bee of the year, and not just any bee – I think she’s unusually beautiful, and look how happy she is! 🙂 Covered in fresh pollen from a crocus, just what she needed after the winter.
Slowly it’s getting warmer.. Week 10 now and here in Amsterdam we can enjoy some spring flowers already 🙂
I took these pictures this afternoon –
(1) Lent lily (Narcissus pseudonarcissus)
(2) Christmas rose (Helleborus niger)