Birds of the Week # 24
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) is a medium-sized hawk native to the North American continent and found from southern Canada to Mexico.Cooper’s hawks are known as bold and aggressive predators. Given their dietary habits, these hawks bore a poor reputation well into the 20th century, with one account describing the species as “noxious,” an “avian outlaw” and “a relentless tyrant and murderer of small birds.” Another describes the species as a “bloodthirsty villain”.
The House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a bird in the finch family Fringillidae. It is native to western North America and has been introduced to the eastern half of the continent and Hawaii. These birds are mainly permanent residents throughout their range; some northern and eastern birds migrate south. Their breeding habitat is urban and suburban areas across North America, as well as various semi-open areas in the west from southern Canada to the Mexican state of Oaxaca; the population in central Chiapas may be descended from escaped cagebirds. Analyses of nest records from House Finches in California spanning more than a century found that egg‐laying occurred significantly earlier in warmer springs.
The Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) is a medium-sized heron. It is a resident breeder in Central America, The Bahamas, the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast of the United States, and Mexico. Reddish egrets’ breeding habitat is tropical swamps. It nests in colonies, often with other herons, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. These colonies are usually located on coastal islands. These birds have raucous courtship displays. They generally involve shaking of the head during the greeting ceremony, followed by chases and circle flights. They also involve raising of the neck, back and crest feathers, accompanied by bill clacking, similar to the tricolored heron.
American White Ibis
The American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) is a species of bird in the ibis family, Threskiornithidae. It is found from Virginia via the Gulf Coast of the United States south through most of the coastal New World tropics Remains similar to the American white ibis have been found in Middle Pliocene deposits of the Bone Valley formation in central Florida, and Lower Pliocene deposits of the Yorktown Formation at Lee Creek in North Carolina. Two species, one living and one extinct, have been recovered from the Talara Tar Seeps in northern coastal Peru. Eudocimus peruvianus was described from a tarsometatarsus that differed slightly from E. albus, whose remains were also found there. Remains of neither species are common in the beds. The tar seeps have been dated at 13,900 years old. The American white ibis is still found in Peru.
Great Blue Heron
The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America and Central America, as well as the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is a rare vagrant to coastal Spain, the Azores, and areas of far southern Europe. Great blue herons rarely venture far from bodies of water, but are occasionally seen flying over upland areas. They usually nest in trees or bushes near water’s edge, often on islands (which minimizes the potential for predation) or partially isolated spots.
Little Blue Heron
The Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) is a small heron belonging to the family Ardeidae. These herons prefer freshwater swamps and lagoons in the South, while on islands in the North they inhabit coastal thickets. They breed in sub-tropical and tropical swamps with mangrove vegetation, wetlands (bogs, fens, peatlands, etc.) and marine intertidal salt marshes.
The Great Egret (Ardea alba), also known as the common egret, large egret, or (in the Old World) great white egret or great white heron is a large, widely distributed egret, with four subspecies found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world, it builds tree nests in colonies close to water. The great egret is generally a very successful species with a large and expanding range, occurring worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. It is ubiquitous across the Sun Belt of the United States and in the Neotropics.
The Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor), formerly known as the Louisiana heron, is a small species of heron native to coastal parts of the Americas; in the Atlantic region, it ranges from the northeastern United States, south along the coast, through the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, to northern South America as far south as Brazil. In the Pacific region, it ranges from Peru to California, but it is only a nonbreeding visitor to the far north. ricolored herons breed in swamps and other coastal habitats. They nest in colonies, often with other herons, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. In each clutch, three to seven eggs are typically laid.
The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is a bird of the pelican family, Pelecanidae, one of three species found in the Americas and one of two that feed by diving into water. It is found on the Atlantic Coast from New Jersey to the mouth of the Amazon River, and along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to northern Chile, including the Galapagos Islands. The nominate subspecies in its breeding plumage has a white head with a yellowish wash on the crown. The nape and neck are dark maroon–brown.The brown pelican is a very gregarious bird; it lives in flocks of both sexes throughout the year. In level flight, brown pelicans fly in groups, with their heads held back on their shoulders and their bills resting on their folded necks. They may fly in a V formation, but usually in regular lines or single file, often low over the water’s surface. To exclude water from the nasal passage, they have narrower internal regions of the nostrils.
© HJ Ruiz – Avian101