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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

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The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest known woodpecker in all of the United States with an average length of 6-7 inches. The Latin name, Picoides Pubesces, translates to resembling hairy. The Downy Woodpecker has a similar plumage to the Hairy Woodpecker hence why it's called resembling hairy in Latin. An adult Downy Woodpecker is around an 1 ounce with a wingspan from 10-12 inches in width. The Downy is mainly black on the upper parts and wings, with a white back, throat and belly and white spotting on the wings. The male has a red nape that is used in order to attract a mate. In spring and summer, Downy Woodpeckers make lots of noise, both with their shrill whinnying call and by drumming on trees. Drumming, one of the unique characteristics of woodpeckers, is both functional and a way to defend territory. Woodpeckers have a shock-absorbing system in their heads that prevents their brains from slamming into their skull. Additionally, their skulls are heavier than most birds’ to withstand the repeated impact. While drumming is needed to create a nesting cavity or find insects under heavy bark, male woodpeckers also drum to establish a territory and maintain dominance afterwords. Downy Woodpeckers prefer open deciduous forests or and an uncultivated strip of land, although they frequent a variety of habitats including city parks and backyards. While some bird species have been negatively impacted by the fragmentation of forests or other habitat due to suburban sprawl and rural development, Downy Woodpeckers seem to be unaffected and even thrive in such areas. Downy Woodpeckers eat mainly insects, including beetle larvae that live inside wood or tree bark as well as ants and caterpillars. They eat pest insects including corn ear-worm, tent caterpillars, bark beetles, and apple borers. About a quarter of their diet consists of plant material, particularly berries, acorns, and grains. Downy Woodpeckers are common feeder birds, eating suet and black oil sunflower seeds and occasionally drinking from hummingbird feeders. Downy Woodpeckers are widespread and abundant. They are found year-round throughout North America, though, like many year-round resident birds.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Herring Gull
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The Larus Argentatus which stands for decorated with silver is the Herring Gull. It is a hefty gull with a very strong body. Both sexes are very equal to size and its length is 55-65 cm. Along with the weight they are 28 - 41 oz and their wingspan is 137-146 cm. They are mostly white except for their gray back and their black feather tips. They behave very loud and competitive. When they are patrolling the shoreline or ocean they look for scraps of food. When they mate with a female they will stay together for life and the male claims the territory and they both defend it. The male does courtship feeding for his mate to have good nutrients for the babies and they will raise them for one month. Their habitat mostly consist of any open are like a ocean, rivers, parking lots and airports. They breed in Canada and Alaska and in some coastal areas. Their main food are fish, insects, smaller sea birds and even other gulls eggs. When they are on rocky shores they eat mussels, crabs and sea urchins. This bird is of least concern in North America they are very common to see on the shore.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Wild Turkey

The Meleagris gallopavo or most commonly known as, the Wild Turkey, is a very large bird. Ranging on the larger side of the scale along with geese and other large birds. Wild Turkey are large round birds with long legs, wide, rounded tails, and a small head on a long, slim neck. The females don't really differ from their male counterparts, the only difference being a much darker color of plumage and having more feathers on their necks. They average about  43.3-45.3 in. in length, 5.5-23.8 lbs in weight, and  49.2-56.7 in. in wingspan. Because these birds were widely domesticated and then recently released into the wild, they don't really migrate during the year. Usually staying where they are and foraging for food in all parts of their woodsy habitats. Usually eating nuts, berries and insects, turkeys will also resort to eating sedges, grass like flowers and very large insects and sometimes even salamanders. Despite the myth saying that turkeys can't fly, turkeys acutally can fly, just not as well or as long as other types of flying birds. They do need to fly in order to roost on tree branches. Luckily, wild turkeys are of the least concern, having a breeding population of 7.8 million.

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Blue Jay

The blue jay is a majestic but aggressive bird that can be found throughout most of the United States. It measures 9-12 inches in length, has a wingspan of 34-43 cm, and weighs between 2.5 and 3.5 oz. The bird is a shining blue with a white belly. The blue jay also possesses a crest not eh top of its head that shows how hostile or not hostile the bird is. If the crest is pointed upwards, the bird is in a hostile state. If the crest is flat, the bird is in a docile state of mind. Blue jays have the unique ability to communicate through this body language as well as having a large range of vocalizations. In addition, the blue jay snacks on mainly insects and seeds. Occasionally it finds itself wandering into another nest for other eggs, but this activity is rare. Blue jays reside on the edges of forests and can be found in both suburban and even urban areas. It prefers to build nests in oak trees and bird feeders are a huge attraction. Blue jays are able to mimic the screech of a hawk to scare other birds away from feeders, making resources easier to exploit. Due to the blue jay's ability to mimic other birds and their territorial behavior, they are not in danger. However, studies have shown a 28% population decline from 1996-2015. Scientists have their eye on this decline and are making sincere efforts to prevent any further decline.          

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Northern Mockingbird

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         The Northern Mockingbird is a unique animal. Its known for its ability to copy sounds and make them into a song. Its Latin name is Mimus Polyglottos which means mimic of many tongues. Mincing the sounds of other animals can fool other birds into thinking that the mockingbird is a threat.  The Northern Mockingbird is a medium-sized bird with a gray back, white underbelly, long tail, rounded wings, and curved beak. The males on average are between 22-25 cm long and weigh around 51 grams. The females on average are between 20- 23 cm long and weigh 47 grams. The difference between the two is that the male is slightly larger. These birds live in low elevated areas like hedges, shrubs, thickets, and backyards. They eat seeds, berries, and insects: ants, spiders, grasshoppers, and beetles.  The mockingbird is territorial and fearless. If you are in its territory it will not hesitate to strike you. Especially when it has a mate, the male will perch himself on a platform and sing. Singing to alert other mockingbirds that this is his land and other animals should not trespass. However, when another male mockingbird comes too close to the territory, the two face-offs in a duel. Fighting for the piece of land or even a partner. They spend most of their time south of the United States and Mexico. The mockingbird is a low concern and has a breeding population of 32 million. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

American Goldfinch

      The American Goldfinch is way different than the European Goldfinch. The American Goldfinch is the state bird for New jersey, Iowa, and Whasington. The latin name for this bird is carduelis tristis translates to Bunting seed. You can attract American Goldfinch to your backyard then just have a bird feeders out and make sure u have like a bushy like place where they can rest after they eat. To have more American Goldfinch around your house then make sure to fill up the feeders with nyjer seeds thats American Goldfinches favorite food. Besides winter time you can tell the differences between a female and a male American Goldfinch, but in the winter time they look exactly the same. The females and males grow up to be 5 inches. Feeds in flocks. Often seen foraging for seeds in weeds, shrubs, and trees. They also lay their eggs in a reachable place. The American Goldfinch is least concerned about because its population is actually growing. You can find them anywhere in the united states and southern canada. 

Northern Cardinal

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The Northern Cardinal, Its Latin name is Cardinalis cardinalis which mans serving as a hinge. Its a fairly large long tailed bird with a very thick prominent crest. They often sit with a hundred over posture, and the tailed pointed straight down. The size of the bird is smaller than a robin and bigger than a sparrow. Males are brilliant red and females are pale brown all round, but they both share a black face. Length -21-23 centimeters, Weight -42-48 grams, and wingspan is 25-31 centimeters. Northern cardinals tend to sit low in shrubs and trees or forage on near the ground often in pairs. They inhabit backyard, parks, woodlots, and shrubby forest edges. They breed between March and September. Usually, they raise two broods a year, one beginning around march and the second in late May to July. For Mating system they are Monogamous which means when one male mates with one female, however they often choose a different mate each breeding season. They eat weeds, sunflower, seeds, grains, fruits, and insects to feed their children. In order to crack open the seeds they developed large strong beaks. For their status its of low concern since their was a slight increase in population from 1966-2014. Their breeding population in about 129 million with 77% in U.S, and 22% in Mexico.