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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron

By Ethan Brady

The Great Blue Heron 

Its scientific name is called Ardea Herodias. They both mean heron but in two different languages. Ardea is the Latin name for Heron and Herodias is the Greek work for Heron. To know the difference between a male and a female great blue heron you have to look at the size because they are not sexually dimorphic, which means that they both look the same. The male weighs around 6 to 8 ibs and the female weighs 4 1/2 to 6 lbs. Their necks are really long and they kind of look similar to a crane and a swan. When flying they curl their necks to an 's' shape. They also have a shaggy chest, head, and wing plumes. About its shaggy chest, they have specialized feathers on their chest that grow continuously. That's why its chest is so shaggy. These birds create mating colonies in may and June. During breeding season in every colony they form breeding groups that will stay together. The males put on a show for the females to fall in love with them. Thy either fly in a 360 degree angle, call loudly, and fight with other males to get a girl. When it feels the need to scratch its head it stands on one foot to scratch it and by lifting one leg over a closed wing, erecting its crest feathers, and lowering and twisting its head into a position it can be reached. Whenever it preens it does it by using its bill on the feathers. They sunbathe by opening its wings to get the inside part to radiate body heat on sunny days and absorb solar radiation on cool days. At night they sleep in trees with dense foliage, which is the leaves of a plant and tree. In winter time most of them move to somewhere that has nice weather, such as Florida, the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Northwest. They are around areas that have fresh and saltwater, grasslands, and agricultural fields. They live in these areas for easy access for food. Their favorite food is frogs, which is why most of them live in fresh and saltwater areas mainly. They eat a whole lot of things like fish, insects, mammals, amphibians, crustaceans, and other birds as well. They only eat the small types of birds. Frogs are their favorite amphibians to eat. Its population in North America is very stable. Due to its wide distribution, varied diet, and flexibility in nesting near both fresh and saltwater environments. In New Jersey, it is classified as a species of special concern, which means it is not yet endangered or threatened. Their wingspan is 6 ft which explains why they look so big. They hunt in shallow water and eats whatever it can catch. Some people refer to them as cranes but they are wrong. It may look like one because of its size and long neck but cranes have shorter beaks and hold their necks straight. Finally, they are the biggest herons in North America.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Canada Goose

Canada goose | bird | Britannica The Canada Goose is a very territorial bird. It stands at 75 - 110 cm in length ( 30 - 43 in.). The wingspan is around 127 - 185 cm ( 50 - 73 in.). The bird weighs around on average 26.4 pounds.The majority of its body is brown with its neck being black and the majority of its face is black as well accompanied with some white. It usually finds its mate threw the females preference of the male and how he behaves. If she believes he can protect the two may enter courtship and proceed with their bonding. Mutually they dip their necks in the water repeatedly until they mate which is also usually in the water. The two will enter a monogamous relationship shortly after.
    Being migratory birds, the rely on their formation which is a "V" in the sky. This is done to reduce wind reduction and to keep everyone in formation. At a leisurely rate the birds include rest stops along their route and keep together the whole time.
    As previously stated these birds are very protective, so they come equipped with some defense. They will honk if they feel they are being attacked so they can call reinforcements. But these oversized birds don't only have defense. They hiss offensively, primarily towards other organisms if they feel threatened and expand their wings and sometimes nick the predator and/or hit him.
    The bird's diet consists grass, beans, corn, and domesticated seeds. While they are mostly herbivore, they do eat insects such as grasshoppers. And in greater news their extinction status is least concerning. They mainly reside in places that have bodies of water like lakes and rivers.
    Being these birds are territorial they will form gangs to steal nest sites and/or other goslings. Just a warning though do not get close to their feces, it is extremely toxic.

Monday, August 3, 2020

 The American Robin

By: Tinashe Maphosa

The American Robin 

The Latin or scientific name is “Turdus migratorius”.They were named after the European Robins because of their reddish orange breast.The American Robins are migratory songbirds and They also belong to the Turdidae family. This family is comprised of Robins,Thrushes,Bluebirds, and over 100 different species. American Robins are 23 to 28 cm which is 9.1  to 11.0 inches and have a wingspan of 12 to 16 inches and weigh 77 grams. American Robins are Omnivores, meaning that they eat both plants and animals. They serve as predators to insects and worms but, They also eat small snakes and small reptiles and amphibians but they prefer eat fruits and berries and when they don't find anymore fruits and berries sometimes they will leave and find a new area.There are about about 320 million american Robins all over the world, And make their nest on the ground, in gutters, on outdoor lights,  in a group of bushes or trees, On top of buildings,and on cliffs so just about anywhere.During the breeding season, The male robins grow black feathers on the back of their heads to attract females and aftering mating the female robin will stay in the nest until after the eggs have hatched. Once they have hatched  the newborn robins  will join the roosts and that is also when the female will leave and join the roosts.Are they aggressive?, They can be aggressive but it's unlikely that they will attack you doing research i saw that they are at ease around humans. They are very territorial and will protect their nest.The predators of the American robin are snakes, cats, and hawks. And when it comes to owning an American robin, you can't own an American Robin and it is illegal in most places to have or kill an american robin.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Mallard Duck

    The Mallard Duck (Latin name: Anas Platyrhynchos) is a slightly large waterfowl. It is very clearly sexually dimorphic. Males have pronounced green head and bright yellow bills. Females are drab with orange-yellow bills. They live in almost any wetland environment (Ex. marshes, ponds, lakes, city parks). The Mallard is on low conservation status, in 2014 their population was about 11.6 million. 
    Mallards form pairs in the fall and winter and they migrate in early spring. The males follow the females to the breeding area. The breeding area is usually on the ground and no more than 1 mile from water. 
    The female Mallard builds the nest in a shallow depression in the ground near water. The nest is built close to the water and is usually concealed with vegetation or an overhang. During Egg-laying the female lines the nest with grasses, twigs, and leaves; and pulls vegetation over themselves and the nest. Typically a female Mallard lays between 1-13 eggs per clutch. After incubation, the Mallard plucks her own down feathers from her breast and lines the nest and covers the eggs with them.
    The Mallard is omnivorous, but primarily eats seeds, grass, and other vegetation. Their diet shifts during different parts of the year. During the breeding season, they primarily eat aquatic insect larvae, earthworms, snails, and freshwater shrimp. During Migration, they mainly eat seeds and grains.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Wild Turkey

Fernando Recalde 

           Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, or "large gallinaceous bird with fan-shaped tail," can weigh anywhere from 5.5 to 24 pounds. It has a length of 2.5 to 4.1 feet with a lifespan of 3 to 5 years in the wild. Wild Turkey is sexually dimorphic, with males being more colorful, and females being more camouflaged better with dull colors. They're located in a total of 49 states across the United States and Hawaii, this number including the other 6 subspecies of Wild Turkey. The Eastern, Merriam, Rio Grande, Florida, Gloud, and Ocellated are all counted as Wild Turkey. They all have different plumage and unique habitats but are part of the same species. Wild Turkey chooses to live a nomadic life, they wander around and don't migrate. Wild Turkey is opportunistic, they usually get around by walking and not by flying or running. Male Wild Turkey, Gobblers, attract female Wild Turkey, Hens, by displaying their tail and humming at females. The Diet of a Wild Turkey includes Nuts, Snails, acorns, fruit, berries, grain, plant parts, insects, and more. Wild Turkey chooses to nest at the ground in dead leaves near trees but may choose to nest in open hay fields. Wild Turkey has a population of around 6 million, with a 7 out of 20 on the concern scale and are not on a bird watch list. 

Wild Turkey - eBird | Aves

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

European Starling

      Harrison Holloway

                The European Starling or Sturnus Vulgaris is a medium sized passerine bird. These birds are 8.6 inches in height and can they weight about 2- 3.6 oz. They belong to the sturnidae bird family, and they can live to be fifteen years old. These birds can be found in North America, Northern Africa, Europe, and Southern Australia. European Starlings are not native to the Untied States, they were brought by a man named Eugene Schieffelin in the 1890s.  European starlings are tenacious, energetic and can be aggressive during mating season. In the fall and winter months they would form large roosting flocks that can number up to one million birds. Their diet consists of millipedes, spiders, mollusks, and a few crustaceans. Male starlings build nest to attract the females. They build their nests out of grass, pine needles, feathers, trash, and clothing. Females can lay between three or six eggs, and the incubation period can last from twenty-one to twenty- three days. European Starlings live in man-made areas like cities or towns. These birds can also live in coastal areas, open forests, and mountain ranges. These birds adaptability is the primary reason they are labeled has an invasive species.  The European Starling is not an endangered their population is about two-hundred million just in North America.

European Starling Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of ...

Monday, July 27, 2020

The American Crow

The American Crow

The American Crow or in Latin called the "Corvus Brachyrhynchos" meaning "short beaked crow."
it is a medium sized bird but nearly twice the size of a Blue Jay it has beautiful glossy feather. Weigh from 11.2-21.9oz and are 15.8-20.9 inches.Both female and male help to make the nest and the older offspring's help as well. The hatch size is between 3-8 eggs.They are not like other birds they sing softly at close range during courtship,with a rich mix of soft cooing,rattles,growls,bowing movements, and mutual nuzzling.And they are socially monogamous meaning that they stick to one partner at a time. They are also very highly sociable so very often they are seen  in groups and this is also because the old offspring's help to raise the family as the family can grow to be 15 members.They adapt quick to any environment that gives them reliable food and tall trees to perch on.You can find them in just about anywhere like city parks, golf courses, and cemeteries and by seeing one many say its bad luck because they were used in witch craft. They are very common in the United States but can also be found in Canada during the breeding season. They are very smart birds and have a huge memory capacity of  thirty one million and counting.