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14 of world's most beautiful birds as zoo welcomes arrival

A beautiful scarlet ibis - or Eudocimus ruber, to use its proper name - has been bred at Paignton Zoo. Find out more about this striking creature, as we take a look at some of the world's most beautiful birds.
This scarlet ibis - or Eudocimus ruber, to use its proper name - has been bred at Paignton Zoo. It's famous for its bright red feathers but as you can see, the chicks are anything but scarlet! That's because it's not until their second moult (when the birds shed old feathers new ones) that the birds begin to turn red. It can take two years or more for the dazzling change to be completed. The colour comes from the red sea food in their diet.
Scarlet-ibis.Brian Lilly
A rare mandarin duck, like the bird in this photograph, became an overnight star in New York when it appeared out of the blue in Central Park in October 2018. The species is native to east Asia and nobody knew how it got there! Experts said it used to fly between the Hudson River and the park.
Mandarin duck.Getty Images
From one Chinese bird to another - look at the feathers on that! This is a male golden pheasant, which is native to Chinese forests. The birds are popular around the world as an ornamental species and, over the years, have been introduced on country estates, so you do get them in Britain. Despite being a bit of a show-off with its plumage, golden pheasants are actually quite shy birds, and like to hide away in dark, dense woodland, and roost in trees at night.
Golden pheasant.Getty Images
Thought pigeons weren't pretty? Think again! This is actually a Victoria Crowned pigeon - the largest species of pigeon - which is around the size of a female turkey. It is native to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, but can also be found on Biak-Supiori and the Yapen islands. We reckon they might look a little out of place strolling down the UK's high streets with the other pigeons!
Victoria crowned pigeonGetty Images
When we're thinking of exotic birds, our minds will often wander to the rainforests or jungles of the world. But there are some amazing birds much closer to home than we think. This is the common Kingfisher - also known as the Eurasian kingfisher or river kingfisher - which is native to the UK. You will find them lurking near still or slow-flowing water, where they will - as their name would suggest - go fishing!
Common Kingfisher.Getty Images
This list wouldn't be complete, though, without a couple of parrots from further afield. These scarlet macaws are some of the most eye-catching parrots in the world, and can be found in southern Mexico and other countries across South America. Macaws are the largest parrots in the world and can measure up to 85cm from beak to tail.
Scarlet Macaw.Getty Images
The keel-billed toucan - with its gorgeous big beak - is one of the most recognisable toucans in the world, and is found in central America. Its bill can actually grow to be a third of the size of its 50cm body. It can struggle to fly but that's not because of its big bill, as some people think. It has very broad, heavy wings which make flying quite hard work! So they like to hop from branch to branch.
Keel-billed toucan.Getty Images
And now to something a little smaller. At around 13cm in length, the beautiful green-headed Tanager - just one of many species of tanager - would surely catch your eye if you came across it. This beautiful little bird with its bright blue, green and turquoise plumage can be found in south-eastern Brazil and in parts of Paraguay and Argentina - so you're unlikely to come across it in your garden, unfortunately!
Green headed Tanager.Getty Images
You might recognise this bird from the game Angry Birds, but did you know it was an actual bird IRL?! This is a male northern cardinal and it is the official state bird of seven states in the US - more than any other species. You can find it in certain parts of the eastern US. They eat lots of things, but really like black oil sunflower seeds, so you know what to feed them should you ever come across one.
Northern cardinal.Getty Images
One bird with some serious headwear is the European hoopoe. It doesn't actually breed here in the UK and it's not really meant to be here. But as many as 100 birds sometimes turn up in spring when they migrate from Africa to Europe because they accidentally overshoot and hit the south coast of England!
Hoopoe.Getty Images
Oh go on, let's have another parrot. This is a sun parakeet, also known as a sun conure, and it's not hard to see where it got its name from looking at those brightly coloured feathers. It is native to north-eastern South America and is well known for its particularly loud squawking, despite its relatively small size!
Sun conure.Getty Images
We couldn't have a list of beautiful birds without including the UK's native Atlantic puffin. With its brightly coloured beak, it is one of the more beautiful birds to grace our coastlines. However, given the majority of the world's puffin population live at just a few sites and with numbers across the UK on the decline, it is on the endangered list and organisations are working extremely hard to protect it.
Puffin.Getty Images
This beautiful little bird is an Anna’s hummingbird and it is no bigger than a table tennis ball! They are most common down the western coast of the US. This species was named after Anna Massena - the Duchess of Rivoli - who was the wife of a 19th Century bird collector, Duke Victor Massena. A French naturalist called Rene Primevere Lesson named the bird in her honour.
Anna's hummingbird.Getty Images
And finally, is this the avian world's biggest show-off? Yes, it is of course the beautiful peacock. Did you know, though, that peacocks are in fact large, colourful pheasants? We didn't either. Something else that you might not have known is that the name peacock only refers to the males, with their beautiful big tails, like in this picture. Females are known as peahens. They are also quite moody and aren't known to socialise well with other birds.
Peacock.Getty Images