September 29, 2017 – Varied Sittella, Australian Nuthatch, Orange-winged Sittella, or Barkpecker (Daphoenositta chrysoptera)
Found in woodlands throughout much of Australia, there are five subspecies of these birds which vary quite a bit in their patterning. They eat insects, searching for prey as they move down tree trunks or along branches. Their deep cup-shaped nests are built from bark and spiderweb in the forks of branches. Often breeding cooperatively, pairs may have several helpers, though only breeding females incubate the eggs and brood the chicks.
September 28, 2017 – Croaking Ground-Dove or Peruvian Ground-dove (Columbina cruziana)
These doves are found in arid and semi-arid open areas in extreme southwestern Colombia and western Peru, Ecuador, and Chile. They forage for seeds on the ground in flocks. Though little is known about their breeding habits, they have been observed nesting in all months except September and October in Ecuador. Their call is a distinctive croaking sound unlike the calls of most dove species.
September 27, 2017 – Kelp Gull, Dominican Gull, or Southern Black-backed Gull (Larus dominicanus)
These large gulls are found throughout much of the Southern Hemisphere. They eat a large variety of foods, including fish, mollusks, birds, small mammals, crustaceans, insects, and berries, also foraging at refuse dumps and sometimes stealing food from other birds. Breeding in colonies that can include hundreds of pairs, they build nests from dry vegetation or seaweed, on rock, sand, or mud. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the chicks.
September 26, 2017 – Violet Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus)
These cuckoos are found in parts of South and Southeast Asia, as well as in southern China. They eat insects, including flies, beetles, and caterpillars, along with fruit, foraging while walking along branches or catching their prey in the air. Like some other cuckoo species they are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of sunbirds and spiderhunters.
September 25, 2017 – Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma)
These tiny owls are found in parts of western North America, through Mexico and into parts of northern Central America. Mostly hunting during the day, they eat small birds and mammals, along with some insects and reptiles. Despite their small size, they sometimes take prey much larger than themselves, like California Quails or Northern Flickers. Pairs nest in tree cavities, which they don’t excavate themselves, reusing those made by woodpeckers or rot, but occasionally adding feathers, moss, or other materials as lining. Females incubate the eggs, while males hunt, bringing food to their mates and chicks.
September 24, 2017 – Senegal Coucal or Rufous-bellied Coucal (Centropus senegalensis)
These cuckoos are found in three separate populations, in Egypt, across much of central Africa, and in part of southeastern Africa. They eat insects, frogs, small rodents, reptiles, and smaller birds and their eggs. Pairs are likely monogamous and breed during rains, which make grasses easier to build with and tall enough to hide their nests. Females build the dome-shaped nests from grasses, twigs, and green leaves. Males incubate the eggs alone and both parents feed the chicks.
September 23, 2017 – Long-billed Plover (Charadrius placidus)
These plovers are found in eastern Russia, northeastern and eastern China, Korea, Japan, and parts of South and Southeast Asia. Little is known about their diet, but it probably includes flies and beetles. They breed in gravely and stony areas near rivers and lakes. Though they are classified as a species of Least Concern, their population is thought to be in decline due to habitat destruction.