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Fiji Parrotfinch

The Fiji Parrotfinch is a species of estrildid finch endemic to Fiji that was formerly considered to be a subspecies of the Red-headed Parrotfinch. This parrotfinch is a small, mainly green bird with a red head and tail and a stubby dark grey bill. It is found in both forested and open habitats, and has adapted well to man-made environments such as grasslands, pasture and gardens. Pairs have a courtship display in which they fly above the trees in an undulating flight, calling constantly. Breeding birds build a domed grass nest with a side entrance, and lay a clutch normally of four white eggs. The Fiji Parrotfinch eats seeds, especially of grasses, but also readily feeds on insects and nectar. It forms small flocks of up to six individuals after the breeding season. Parrotfinches may be predated by indigenous birds of prey such as the endemic Fiji Goshawk, or by introduced mammals like the small Asian mongoose, rats and mice, and they may be susceptible to disease. Nevertheless, the Fiji species, despite being both uncommon and endemic to one island group, appears to be stable in numbers. It is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, and it is protected under Fijian law. (Full article...)

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Double lock on the Givors canal at Tartaras

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Map showing the municipal boundaries in the Netherlands in 2013

There are 411 municipalities in the Netherlands: 408 regular municipalities and 3 public bodies. Municipalities are the second-level administrative division in the Netherlands and are subdivisions of their respective provinces. Their duties are delegated to them by the central government and they are ruled by a municipal council that is elected every four years. Municipalities are responsible for a wide variety of public services, which include land-use planning, public housing, management and maintenance of local roads, waste management and social security. Municipal mergers have reduced the total number of municipalities by two-thirds since the first official boundaries were created after a cadastre was formed in the mid-19th century. These municipalities come in a wide range of sizes, from as small as 7 km2 (2.7 sq mi) to 814 km2 (314 sq mi) and with populations ranging from 1,000 to 800,000. (Full list...)

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Shifen waterfall

The Shifen waterfall is located in Pingxi District, Taiwan, on the upper reaches of the Keelung River. The waterfall measures 20 metres (66 ft) in height and 40 metres (130 ft) in width. It is the broadest waterfall in Taiwan.

Photo: Weihao.chiu

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