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River Wildlife

Birds

River Wildlife
Great Blue Heron
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The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America and Central America as well as the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is a rare vagrant to Europe, with records from Spain, the Azores, England and the Netherlands. An all-white population found only in the Caribbean and southern Florida was once treated as a separate species and known as the Great White Heron.

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River Wildlife
Green Heron (juvenile)
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The green heron (Butorides virescens) is a small heron of North and Central America. It was long considered conspecific with its sister species the striated heron (Butorides striata), and together they were called “green-backed heron”. Birds of the nominate subspecies (no matter which taxonomic arrangement is preferred) are extremely rare vagrants to western Europe; individuals from the Pacific coast of North America may similarly stray as far as Hawaii.

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River Wildlife
Snowy Egret
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The snowy egret (Egretta thula) is a small white heron. It is the American counterpart to the very similar Old World little egret, which has established a foothold in the Bahamas.  Adults are typically 61 cm (24 in) long and weigh 375 g (0.827 lb) They have a slim black bill and long black legs with yellow feet. The area of the upper bill, in front of the eyes, is yellow but turns red during the breeding season, when the adults also gain recurved plumes on the back, making for a “shaggy” effect. The juvenile looks similar to the adult, but the base of the bill is paler, and a green or yellow line runs down the back of the legs.

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River Wildlife
Mallard (male)
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The mallard (/ˈmælɑrd/ or /ˈmælərd/) or wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia. This duck belongs to the subfamily Anatinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae.

The male birds (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on wings and belly, while the females have mainly brown-speckled plumage. Mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, and are gregarious. This species is the ancestor of most breeds of domestic ducks.

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River Wildlife
Cinnamon teal
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The cinnamon teal (Anas cyanoptera) is a species of duck found in western North and South America. It is a small dabbling duck, with bright reddish plumage on the male and duller brown plumage on the female. It lives in marshes and ponds, and feeds mostly on plants.

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River Wildlife
American Coot
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The American Coot (Fulica americana) (a.k.a. mud hen) is a bird of the family Rallidae. Though commonly mistaken to be ducks, American Coots belong to a distinct order. Unlike the webbed feet of ducks, coots have broad, lobed scales on their lower legs and toes that fold back with each step in order to facilitate walking on dry land.[2] Coots live near water, typically inhabiting wetlands and open water bodies in North America. Groups of coots are called covers or rafts. The oldest known coot lived to be 22 years old.

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River Wildlife
Black-necked stilt
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The black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) is a locally abundant shorebird of American wetlands and coastlines. It is found from the coastal areas of California through much of the interior western United States and along the Gulf of Mexico as far east as Florida, then south through Central America and the Caribbean to northwest Brazil southwest Peru, east Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. The northernmost populations, particularly those from inland, are migratory, wintering from the extreme south of the United States to southern Mexico, rarely as far south as Costa Rica; on the Baja California peninsula it is only found regularly in winter.

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River Wildlife
Muscovy duck
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The Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) is a large duck native to Mexico, Central, and South America. Small wild and feral breeding populations have established themselves in the United States, particularly in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, as well as in many other parts of North America, including southern Canada. Feral Muscovy ducks are found in New Zealand and have also been reported in parts of Europe.

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Fish

River Wildlife
Steelhead trout
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The steelhead (sometimes “steelhead trout”) is an anadromous (sea-run) form of the coastal rainbow trout (O. m. irideus) or Columbia River redband trout (O. m. gairdneri) that usually returns to fresh water to spawn after living two to three years in the ocean. Freshwater forms that have been introduced into the Great Lakes and migrate into tributaries to spawn are also called steelhead.

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River Wildlife
Arroyo chub
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The arroyo chub (Gila orcuttii) is a cyprinid fish found only in the coastal streams of southern California, United States.

The shape of the arroyo chub is somewhat chunky, with a deep body and thick caudal peduncle. The eyes are larger than average for cyprinids. Coloration ranges from silver to gray to olive green above, shading to white below, usually with a dull gray band along each side. The dorsal fin has 8 rays, while the rounded anal fin has 7. Males have larger fins than females, and, during the breeding season, patches of breeding tubercles on the upper surfaces of the pectoral fins. This is a small fish, with most adults in the 7–10 cm length range, and a maximum of 12 cm.

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River Wildlife
Santa Ana sucker
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The Santa Ana sucker, Catostomus santaanae, is a sucker, endemic to California and found only in a few rivers in southern California.

The Santa Ana sucker is closely related to the mountain sucker, and quite similar in appearance. Color is dark grey above and silvery-white below; the sides have a faint pattern of darker blotches and stripes. There are distinct notches where the upper and lower lips meet, and the lower lip is narrower in the middle, with only 3 or 4 rows of papillae at that point. The dorsal fins have 9 to 11 rays, while the pelvic fins have 8 to 10 rays. The caudal peduncle is somewhat longish. In contrast to the mountain sucker, the membrane between the rays of the tail fin is pigmented. Length has been recorded up to 25 cm, but less than 16 cm is more typical.

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River Wildlife
Common Carp
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The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a widespread freshwater fish of eutrophic waters in lakes and large rivers in Europe and Asia. The wild populations are considered vulnerable to extinction, but the species has also been domesticated and introduced into environments worldwide, and is often considered a very destructive invasive species, being included in the List of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. It gives its name to the carp family: Cyprinidae.

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River Wildlife
Bullhead catfish
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Ameiurus is a genus of catfishes in the family Ictaluridae. It contains the three common types of bullhead catfish found in waters of the United States, the black bullhead (Ameiurus melas), the brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus), and the yellow bullhead (Ameiurus natalis), as well as other species, such as the white catfish (Ameiurus catus or Ictalurus catus), which are not typically called “bullheads”.

The species known as bullheads can be distinguished from channel catfish and blue catfish by their squared tailfins, rather than forked.

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River Wildlife
Tilapia
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Tilapia (/tɨˈlɑːpiə/ ti-lay-pee-ə) is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes and less commonly found living in brackish water. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisan fishing in Africa and the Levant and are of increasing importance in aquaculture and aquaponics. Tilapia can become problematic invasive species in new warm-water habitats such as Australia,[2] whether deliberately or accidentally introduced, but generally not in temperate climates due to their inability to survive in cooler waters below about 21 °C (70 °F).

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River Wildlife
Amazon sailfin catfish
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Pterygoplichthys pardalis is a tropical fish, a Plecostomus in the Armored Catfish family (Loricariidae). Some synonyms for this species are Hypostomus pardalis, Liposarcus pardalis, Liposarcus varius, and Liposarcus jeanesianus. It is one of a number of species commonly referred to as the Common Pleco or “leopard Pleco” by aquarists. It will grow to a maximum length of 42.3 centimetres (16.7 in) SL. Pterygoplichthys pardalis is sometimes confused with the Hypostomus plecostomus (another armored catfish known as the “Common Plecostomus”). The two species can be distinguished by their number of dorsal rays. P. pardalis has 11–13, while the H. plecostomus has only 5–8 dorsal rays.

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