As Halloween approaches, some say the veil between the worlds becomes thinner, that apparitions and spirits can cross over and venture into our very homes. But this Halloween, you don’t have to believe in ghouls, spirits or trapped souls to have a ghost in your house. I am, of course, referring to this delightful oddity: the ghost mantis.
The Congo African grey is an understated beauty sporting ash-grey plumage, which partially conceals the flash of red in its short tail (it is not to be confused with the smaller, darker Timneh grey parrot). This species is found, as its name would suggest, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), along with Kenya, Tanzania and parts of Angola. Already globally threatened, it is more important than ever to understand how the political environment in the DRC is exacerbating the numerous and varied problems facing this gorgeous parrot.
Typically speaking, I tend to avoid the phrase ‘starter pet’ as this indicates that there is any pet in this world that requires anything less than complete commitment, dedicated research, and specialist care. However, I will concede there are some pets that are definitely NOT starter pets. Though a budgie is much more high maintenance than you might initially believe, they’re undeniably easier for a new bird owner to look after than, say, a macaw.
Predator and prey animals are in what is known as an ‘evolutionary arms race’. This means that while prey animals are constantly evolving new traits to avoid being eaten, predators are actively evolving traits that help them overcome the tactics of their quarries. That said, prey must always stay one step ahead of predators to maintain the natural balance.
Our world holds a whole host of glorious natural spectacles, from great starling murmurations to the ethereal display of coral reef spawning. But to me, none is more thrilling than catching a glimpse of the majestic macaw. Screeching their way through the Amazon rainforest, leaving scattered fruit, broken branches, and a considerable quantity of parrot poop in their wake, parrots are simply animals like no other. But high in the treetops, flying far above the dense, dark foliage below, how can you ensure that you see their bright colours?