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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wild Turkey by Francisco Corral

Wild Turkey

The Wild Turkey is a large plump bird that you can spot roosting in trees often with a group of other wild turkeys and or you may find them along the road and on open fields scavenging for berries, nuts, insects, and snails. The latin name for this bird is Meleagris gallopavo which means large gallinaceous bird with fan-shaped tail; widely domesticated for food. These birds have small heads with long slim necks , the head color may vary from red to blue to gray. In order to impress a female these birds puff up their body feathers, flare their tails into a vertical fan, and strut slowly while giving a characteristic gobbling call. And just like humans they talk to communicate (28 different calls). These birds are not migratory so they usually don't move location, actually they may only move a mile or two a day in order to find food. Wild Turkeys live in mature forests, particularly nut trees such as oak, hickory, or beech, interspersed with edges and fieldsYou may also see them along roads and woodsy backyards. An average adult turkey diet is made up of 85 percent vegetable matter and 15 percent animal matter. They are of a least concern status.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

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The Ruby Throated Hummingbird's Latin name is Archilochus colubris. Archilochus means first in importance. There is no translation for colubris. This type of hummingbird has bright emerald or golden-green coloring on its back and crown. Its underparts are gray and white. The name "Ruby Throated" refers to the red throat found only on males. The birds are small with a short wing-span and have a down-curved bill. While in flight, they can hover, fly straight, stop instantly, and adjust their position up and down. Other behavior includes defending bird feeders and plucking insects out of spiderwebs. The wing of the Ruby Throated Hummingbird beats 53 times per second. They have adapted to humans with nests made of wire, chains, and extension cords. Their nests are 10-40 feet above the ground. When mating, females watch while males show off their flying abilities. The males fly 15m in the air and do a U-shaped pattern or turn. Click here to listen to the sounds of these birds. The habitats in which these birds can be found include open woodlands, forest edges, meadows, grasslands, parks, gardens, and backyards. They eat insects like mosquitoes, gnats, fruit flies, small bees, and sometimes spiders after they've plucked insects out of the spiders' webs. They also eat seeds and the nectar of red or orange tubular flowers such as the trumpet creeper, cardinal flower, honeysuckle, jewelweed, bee-balm, red buckeye and red morning glory, and tree sap. Their population status is "Least Concern." Their migratory pattern includes the eastern and midwestern part of North America and southern parts of Canada during summer, which is their breeding season. They migrate south into Central America during winter. The following map depicts the path of their migration:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Range Map

Friday, August 25, 2017

Turkey vultures are large dark birds with long, broad wings. Bigger than other raptors except eagles and condors. When soaring, Turkey Vultures hold their wings slightly raised, making a " V " when seen head- on. Turkey Vultures appear black from a distance but up closes are dark brown with featherless red head and a pale bill.Turkey Vultures are majestic but unsteady soarers. Their teetering flight with very few wing beats is characteristic. They glide relatively low to the ground, sniffing for carrion. They may soar in small groups and roost in larger numbers. Turkey Vultures as they cruise open areas including mixed farmland, forest, rangeland, roadsides and at landfills. At night, they roost in trees, on rocks, and other high secluded spots. Turkey Vulture is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. These birds were threatened by side-effects of the pesticide DDT, but today they are among the most common large carnivorous birds in North America. The main concern is lead shot that ends up in carcasses or gut piles left by hunters. The animals eat the shot and eventually suffer lead poisoning. Far from it, vultures actually reduce the spread of disease.
  • These birds were threatened by side-effects of the pesticide DDT, but today they are among the most common large carnivorous birds in North America.
  • The main concern is lead shot that ends up in carcasses or gut piles left by hunters. The animals eat the shot and eventually suffer lead poisoning.
  • Far from it, vultures actually reduce the spread of disease.
  • Turkey Vulture is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.
  • These birds were threatened by side-effects of the pesticide DDT, but today they are among the most common large carnivorous birds in North America.
  • The main concern is lead shot that ends up in carcasses or gut piles left by hunters. The animals eat the shot and eventually suffer lead poisoning.
  • Far from it, vultures actually reduce the spread of disease.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

House Finch

house finch | Wild Love Photography

My bird de jour was on the House Finch. It's latin name is "Haemorhous mexicanus" meaning from Mexico. Adult males are rosy red around the face and upper breast, with streaky brown back, belly and tail. Adult females are plain grayish-brown with thick, blurry streaks and a marked face. House Finches have flat heads and long beaks. They are usually perched high in trees or eating at bird feeders. The House Finch preferred food is seeds. They live on the east and west coast of America. You can probably find them anywhere in those areas. They don't migrate and they are least concerned.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Northern Cardinal

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The Northern Cardinal also known as Cardinalis cardinalis is a fairly large, long tailed, songbird. It tends to sit on branches near the ground and could be found in Backyards or Parks. They commonly eat fruits and seeds but also beetles, crickets and other small insects.They are very common and could be found in the eastern part of America.
The mourning dove (latin- Zenaida macroura) is a plumped body, long tailed, short legged, small headed, light brown dove that can be found anywhere except deep woods. They mate by flying in circles until it spots a female im which then they descend and approach them with a puffed out breast, bobbing head and loud calls.Their wings make a whistling noise when taking off and landing, they are one of the few birds on this planet that drink water by suction. Their favorite food is any type of seed and they are one of the most hunted birds both for sport and food. They usually migrate north in the spring and south in the fall, they migrate during the day in flocks at low altitudes. Their status is least concerned since they are all over the place in abundance.

The American Crow are shiny, black birds with strong stout bills. They are 17 to 21 inches in length and fan shaped tails and both female and male have similar appearances. They are very intelligent and very social and great problem solvers. They are also good learners and inquisitive but sometimes mischievous. Most of the Crows breed in Canada in the winter in the United States, usually no crows regularly in winter in Mexico. The American Crow can be found in forests, open woodlands, fields, lawns, parking lots, athletic fields, roadsides, towns and city garbage dumps and they also thrive around people. The American Crow is least concerned. The American Crow eat a vast array of foods such as grains, seeds, nuts, berries, fruits and many kind of small animals such as earthworms and mice. They eat insects as well such as crop pests, they also eat aquatic animals such as fish, young turtle, crayfish, mussels and claims. The American Crow also eats the eggs and nestlings of many birds such as sparrows, robins, jays, terns, loons, and eiders. Image result for the american crow

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Northern Mockingbird

The northern mockingbirds Latin name is Mimus Polyglottos which means many-tongued mimic. It earned this name because it can mimic other bird calls. On the top it is gray and on the bottom it is white and it has white bars on its wings and a long black tail. Northern mockingbirds are very territorial and attack animals that come too close to their territory. Most northern mockingbirds don't migrate but some do. They live in North America and you can find them in towns, suburbs, backyards, and in parks. In the summer they mostly eat insects and in the winter they mostly eat fruit. Their status is least concern.
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Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

 My Bird de jour presentation was on the Gray Catbird. It's latin name is "Dumetella Carolinensis", which stands for "small thornbush-dweller of carolina. The Gray Catbird is mostly but has a black cap, brown patch, and a black tail. Catbirds are very energetic, hopping from bush to bush. They don't like to fly or be in open areas (very private bird), but if they hear a sound, they will check it out. They eat all types of insects and fruit. The Gray Catbird can mimic other birds and even other animals such as a cat. They are of least concern.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay's Latin name, Cyanocitta Cristata, was earned due to its blue colored crest. Although we see what appears to be blue feathers, they are actually melanin brown and because of the modified cells on their barbs, they give off a blue color. Other than that, they have streaks of black and white and have a grey or white chest. Their behaviors make them an annoying yet interesting bird. They are social and are close with their family members. They are also known to mimic the cries of other birds such as the hawk in order to scare off any threats or competition when getting food. Blue Jays eat acorns, seeds, and even caterpillars and beetles if they have to. An interesting fact about their acorns is that if they bury them and forget about where it was grounded, it grows into a new tree. They plant these acorns to store them for a later time after migrating or another reason. Some will migrate South, stay in their place, or go South again the next year. Scientists have a hard time understanding why, but what they do know is that their population is spreading west. Well, where exactly do they go/where can you find them? Their residence is anywhere you can find their food of choice. Typically, the millions of them will be in or around forest edges. With the blue jay population in the millions, their status is of least concern.

The House Sparrow

The House Sparrow's scientific name is Passes Domesticus and becomes the Passeridae family. Males house sparrows have blackish chins with a gray top head. The females have brown-grayish beaks with brown streaked wings.  Although these birds are very small, they are very noisy and like to sing as well. House sparrows are social birds who love engaging in activities like dust and water bathing. but they may show aggression towards other birds or animals if their eggs are in the same area as them. Males can have one mate for life or can have one mate. Females lay 4-6 eggs but both parents raise, protect and feed their nestlings. House Sparrows are very common in many countries so they don't typically migrate. They love to like in man made structures like cities and parks. The build their nests in places like trees, warehouses, factories, and even zoos. Their diet consists of caterpillars, worms, and other small creatures. They also like to eat food crumbs, seeds, and berries from trees or bushes.    

Monday, August 14, 2017

Canada Goose

Kanadagans Branta canadensis.jpgThe Canada Goose is a bird that is originated from Canada. These birds are very local and can be found anywhere in North America. The Canada Goose is a large bird that has a black and white head, A long black neck, tan breast, a brown back, and a black tail. These birds are very territorial, so if you threaten them or invade their space, they will attack. These birds only mate with other Canada Goose.  The Canada Goose status is least concern. There are about 5 million Geese of this species out in the North American Region.

Kanadagans Branta canadensis.jpg

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

American Goldfinch


                 The American Goldfinch's Latin name is Spinus trists. Spinus is the finch family and tristis means melancholy. It's overall color is yellow. And females are not as bright and to sit on the eggs and stay hidden in the nest. Males have black on the head and wings and there are white lines on the wings. Males also have white bottoms near the tail feather region. Also females have black beaks and  males have bright orange ones. Goldfinches flock like to perch surfaces such as bird feeders. Goldfinches prefer open areas where weeds thrive such fields meadows and roadsides. The preferred food is for the Goldfinch is thisle, njyer, and Black oil sunflower seeds. The current status of the bird is widespread and common.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker in Latin is picoides pubescens which translates back to woodpecker pubescent. These birds are very small, have a chisel like bill, a blocky head, wide shoulders, strait back, black and white color way, stripe on head, and male birds have a red patch on the back of their head. During mating season these birds drum on a tree or pole repeatedly to assert their territory and to attract mating partners. Their habitat is backyards, parks, open woodlots, vacant lots, high grass, and small tree limbs. They usually stay in city areas. They eat insects in trees, seeds, and berries. Their current status is least concern. These birds don't migrate but do move a little south if its too cold. They also move out of the mountains sometimes to get to lower elevations. Image result for downy woodpecker

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rock Pigeon

    The rock pigeon or dove oringinates from Europe and comes from the the huge Columbidae bird family. It's feathers feature a blueish gray shade around its head which fades into its metallic green and purple neck, transitioning into a pale gray with 2 black stripes that go across the length of their wings. This particular type of pigeon is a city dweller, taking refuge on windows ledges and under bridges, and eating whatever is left behind on the street. These birds are very intimate and take kardge responsibility in watching over their mate and offspring never leaving either behind. They never leave their habitat to migrate, but if they are put away from their best it knows how to get back fairly well. Being that there are millions of these pigeons their life status is at least concern and will be for a long time.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mallard Duck

"Anas Platyrhynchos", more commonly known as the Mallard Duck is one of the more commonly seen semi-aquatic birds in North America. Due to it's high population it is still a least concern although to is the most hunted duck in the United States. One in every three ducks killed due to hunting are Mallards. Unlike other birds, Mallards are very easy to point out, especially the males. The females are a mottled brown color all over their bodies with the exception of a blue-purple patch on their wing feathers. The males bare a striking green head, a white neckband , a chestnut colored chest, and a gray body and wings. They also have a patch on blue-purple feathers on their wings. Mallards tend to mate in the spring, but they actually find suitable mates in the fall, and court each other through the winter. Mallards live in wetland and are waters dwellers, so unlike most they lay eggs in holes dug in moist ground. Materials aren't used to dig the nests, the are only used to disguise and protect the nest and eggs. Mallards mainly eat seeds and vegetation, with the exception of mating season where they eat animal matter , like insect larvae, works, and freshwater shrimp for instance. Mallards are also drawn to places heavily populated by humans. The are drawn dude to people constantly catering to them with handouts such as bread crumbs. Because of their familiarity with humans, when people are around they tend to be very docile and approachable if not bothered. Finally, Mallards are Migrators.  In their spring breeding season, they fly north. They would fly into northern Canada if they were in North America . When the winter season comes they would fly into the southern United States. They are also very strong,  efficient migrators. Migrating flocks have been estimated at flying at around 55 per hour.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Red-Tailed Hawk

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The red-tailed Hawk also known as Buteo Jamaicensis (Latin Binomial Name) is located all across the United States and a very common bird. It has very broad, rounded wings and has a short white tail, usually white pale bottom and cinnamon red above it. They eat about 80% of small mammals like rabbits, hares, & squirrels. It doesn't really migrate but stays in the same area, they are very protective in their area and also breed the same place. When females lay eggs they usually lay about 1- 5 eggs.

American Robin

The American Robin also known as the Tutsis migratorius is a large song bird that is grayish/brownish, has a warm orange breasts and warm orange underparts, has a dark head, and white patches around its eyes and on it lower belly. You can usually find the American Robin in cities and towns and on people's lawns and, sometimes in wildlife areas like mountain and Alaskan forrests. The American Robin is an omnivore. It preferably eats worms in the summer and spring and, trees, shrubs, vines, and seeds, in the fall and winter.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

White Throated Sparrow

The white throated sparrow, also known as Zonotrichia albicollis, is a large full bodied sparrow with long legs, a rounded head, and a long narrow tail. They are brown above and and gray below with a striking head pattern. In the winter, you can find them in thickets, overgrown fields, parks and woodsy suburbs. This bird usually does not leave North America. Even though this species is one of the best studied songbirds, North America does not really document its migration habits.