October 29, 2014 – Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)

Requested by: io-kj

These ducks are found in northern Europe, Russia, and parts of the northern United States and Canada. They spend summers in the Arctic and winters on the open ocean and large lakes. Their diet includes various aquatic invertebrates, fish and their eggs, and some plants. They dive as deep as 200 feet (60 meters) and spend three or four times as long beneath the water as on the surface when foraging. Long-tailed Ducks have three types of plumage and undergo several overlapping molts, causing a continuous change in coloration from spring to fall.

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October 28, 2014 – ‘Akohekohe or Crested Honeycreeper (Palmeria dolei)

Requested by: coramatus

These rare Hawaiian birds are found only in a small area on Haleakala volcano on Maui. They previously lived on more of Maui, as well as on Molokai, but invasive species and avian malaria have greatly reduced their population. They are classified as Critically Endangered with their population currently estimated at around 3,800 birds. Nectar makes up most of their diet, particularly from ‘ohia lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) flowers.


October 27, 2014 – Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata) female

These warblers spend their summers in Canada, migrating through the eastern United States and the Caribbean and wintering in northern South America. Their migration route includes a 1,864 mile (3,000 km) trip over the Atlantic Ocean, meaning they must fly continuously for as long as 88 hours. They eat insects and spiders, as well as fruit during migration.The males sing an extremely high-pitched song.


October 26, 2014 – Snowy Owl, Arctic owl, or Great White owl (Bubo scandiacus)

Requested by: io-kj

Found in the north of the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, Snowy Owls are the heaviest of North American owls. They eat mostly mammals, especially lemmings. Their population tends to grow along with the lemming population, the increase in food allowing them to raise double or triple their usual number of chicks. Unlike many owls, they are diurnal, hunting mostly during the day. Snowy owls get whiter as they age. Some males become almost completely white, while females tend to have darker patterning and always retain some of it.


October 25, 2014 – Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata)

Requested by: io-kj

Found on the coasts and waters of the north Pacific Ocean, these birds get their name from the horn-like projection at the base of their beaks. They dive for fish, using their wings to swim underwater. When nesting, they usually bring food to their burrows at night, probably to keep predators such as gulls from stealing it. Although they are classified as of Least Concern, their island nest sites are threatened by introduced mammals, such as raccoons.


October 24, 2014 – Military macaw (Ara militaris)

Requested by: veganprimatologist

These macaws are found in parts of Mexico and South America, including Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. They eat seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and other plant material. Although they roost in large groups in trees or on cliffs, they sometimes travel in smaller flocks or pairs. They are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to the pet trade and habitat loss.


October 23, 2014 – Himalayan Monal, Impeyan Monal, or Impeyan Pheasant (Lophophorus impejanus)

Requested by: coramatus

Living mostly in coniferous and mixed forests in the Himalayas, these pheasants are sometimes found in grassy areas above the tree-line in the summer. They use their strong legs and beaks to dig for insects, tubers, shoots, and other plant materials. Both sexes use a variety of calls to communicate. Males bob their heads and fan their tails to attract females. Although females build the nest and incubate the eggs, males stand guard to protect the eggs and chicks from predators.