英会話ブログ その751     Animals, from A to Z

2016/01/29

"U" is for Urubu

"Urubu" is a Portugese word to describe a very large vulture with a wingspan (width from wing tip to wing tip) of 1,2 to 2 meters.

The bird's length from head to tail can be up to 1 meter. In Central and South America, only the condor is a larger bird.  Urubu are magnificent to see soaring in the sky.

Urubu, or "king vultures" are imposing birds, not only for their great size, but also for their vivid contrasting colors.  The adult king vulture is mostly white, however, there is a rose-yellow tinge to the plumage (feathers).

In stark (strong) contrast, its flight feathers are dark gray to black.  The ring of feathers around its thick neck is the same color as the wings in flight.

King vultures have no feathers on their heads and necks.  The head skin is in shades of red, or deep purple.  The neck skin is bright orange and yellow.  It has a big skull and a strong bill with a hooked tip with a sharp cutting edge.

There are many of these impressive scavenger birds in Brazil.  Antonio Brasileiro, creator of the bossa nova style and composer of "The Girl from Ipanema", one of the most recorded songs in history, named his 10th album, "Urubu".                                         (V.C)


英会話表現&英単語
vulture                       ハゲワシ
wingspan                      翼の幅
magnificent to see soaring in the sky   空中を舞う姿は壮観
imposing bird                 人目を引く堂々たる鳥
vivid contrasting colors      鮮やかな対照的な色
tinge to the plumage          羽毛についた薄い色合い
stark contrast                くっきりしたコントラスト
in shades of red              目立たない赤
bill                          くちばし
scavenger bird                掃除屋の鳥(ハゲタカ類)

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