Birds of the Week # 23
The Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) is a small or medium-sized woodpecker from temperate North America. Their breeding habitat is open country across southern Canada and the eastern-central United States. It is rated as least concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List of Endangered species, having been downlisted from near threatened in 2018. The red-bellied woodpecker also has its most prominent red part of its plumage on the head, but it looks quite different in other respects.
The Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) is a large tyrant flycatcher native to the Americas. The bird is predominantly dark gray with white underbelly and pointed wings. Eastern kingbirds are conspicuous and are commonly found in open areas with scattered trees and bushes, where they perch while foraging for insects. The Eastern kingbird is migratory, with its breeding range spread across North America and its wintering range in Central and South America.
The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a migratory songbird of the true thrush genus and Turdidae, the wider thrush family. It is named after the European robin because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related. The American robin is active mostly during the day, and on its winter grounds it assembles in large flocks at night to roost in trees in secluded swamps or dense vegetation. The flocks break up during the day when the birds feed on fruits and berries in smaller groups. During the summer, the American robin defends a breeding territory and is less social.
The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is a common species of wren that is a resident in the eastern half of the United States of America, the extreme south of Ontario, Canada, and the extreme northeast of Mexico. Female Carolina wrens possess song control regions that would appear to make them capable of singing with repertoires like the male. Due to vocalizations that they occasionally make with the male, it has been suggested that song perception plays a role and is of behavioral relevance.
The Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus), also known as the American black vulture, is a bird in the New World vulture family whose range extends from the northeastern United States to Peru, Central Chile and Uruguay in South America.A leucistic Coragyps atratus brasiliensis was observed in Piñas, Ecuador in 2005. It had white plumage overall, with only the tarsus and tail as well as some undertail feathers being black. It was not an albino as its skin seemed to have had the normal, dark color and it was part of a flock of some twenty normally plumaged individuals.
The House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a bird in the finch family Fringillidae. Contrary to the way most birds, even ones with herbivorous leanings as adults, tend to feed their nestlings animal matter in order to give them the protein necessary to grow, house finches are one of the few birds who feed their young only plant matter.
The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a passerine bird in the family Corvidae, native to eastern North America The blue jay occupies a variety of habitats within its large range, from the pine woods of Florida to the spruce-fir forests of northern Ontario. It is less abundant in denser forests, preferring mixed woodlands with oaks and beeches. It has expertly adapted to human activity, occurring in parks and residential areas, and can adapt to wholesale deforestation with relative ease if human activity creates other means for the jays to get by.
The rRuby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is a species of hummingbird that generally spends the winter in Central America, Mexico, and Florida, and migrates to Canada and other parts of Eastern North America for the summer to breed. It is by far the most common hummingbird seen east of the Mississippi River in North America. The ruby-throated hummingbird is migratory, spending most of the winter in Florida, southern Mexico and Central America, as far south as extreme western Panama, and the West Indies. During migration, some birds embark on a nonstop 900-mile journey across the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean from Panama or Mexico to the eastern United States. The bird breeds throughout the eastern United States, east of the 100th meridian, and in southern Canada, particularly Ontario, in eastern and mixed deciduous and broadleaved forest. In winter, it is seen mostly in Mexico and Florida.
The Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is a mockingbird commonly found in North America The northern mockingbird is an omnivore. The birds’ diet consists of arthropods, earthworms, berries, fruits, seeds, and occasionally lizards. Mockingbirds can drink from puddles, river and lake edges, or dew and rain droplets that amass onto plants. Adult mockingbirds also have been seen drinking sap from the cuts on recently pruned trees. Its diet heavily consists of animal prey during the breeding season, but takes a drastic shift to fruits during the fall and winter. The drive for fruits amid winter has been noted for the geographic expansion of the mockingbird, and in particular, the fruit of Rosa multiflora, a favorite of the birds, is a possible link. Mockingbirds also eat garden fruits such as tomatoes, apples, and berries.
© HJ Ruiz – Avian101ed