BlackCaracara

June 2, 2017 – Black Caracara (Daptrius ater)

These caracaras are found in northern central South America. Omnivores, they eat carrion, frogs, fish, birds, mammals, insects, and sometimes fruits. They also occasionally pick ticks from deer and tapirs. Spending much of their time alone, in pairs, or in small groups, they are often seen on exposed perches. They build their small nests from sticks in the crowns of trees. Their eggs hatch after about a month of incubation.

WhiteThroatedLaughingthrush

June 1, 2017 – White-throated Laughingthrush (Garrulax albogularis)

These laughingthrushes are found in the Himalayas, parts of central and southwestern China, and northwestern Vietnam. They mostly eat insects, along with some berries and seeds during the non-breeding season. Their nests are saucer or cup-shaped, built from dry grasses and leaves of bamboo or other plants, ivy twigs, and other materials.

HimalayanRubythroat

May 31, 2017 – Himalayan Rubythroat or White-tailed Rubythroat (Calliope pectoralis)

These rubythroats are found in parts of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. They eat insects, spiders, mollusks, and small reptiles. During the breeding season, males sing for much of the day from exposed perches. Their nests are dome-shaped with large entrances on the side.

CorysShearwater

May 30, 2017 – Cory’s Shearwater, Atlantic Shearwater, Mediterranean Cory’s Shearwater, Mediterranean Shearwater, North Atlantic Shearwater, or Scopoli’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea)

Nesting mostly on cliffs and islands in the Mediterranean, these shearwaters also breed on the Canary Islands, Salvage Islands, Berlengas Islands, and the Azores. They winter off South Africa into the southwest Indian Ocean and off the east coasts of North and South America. Eating fish, squid, crustaceans, and scraps from fishing boats, they pluck prey from the surface of the water or just below it. They breed in colonies, which may include other seabird species, building their nests inside long burrows or crevices in rocks. Pairs are probably monogamous and seem to reuse nest sites for multiple years. Both parents incubate the single egg in alternating weeklong shifts. The chicks reach breeding age at between 7 and 13 years old.

GreenBackedKingfisher

May 29, 2017 – Green-backed Kingfisher or Blue-headed Kingfisher (Actenoides monachus)

These kingfishers are found only in north and central Sulawesi in Indonesia. They eat invertebrates, especially large centipedes and beetles, often hunting from perches. Not much is known about their breeding behavior, but they are thought to lay their eggs between February and March. They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to destruction of forests in their range.

WhiteThroatedRedstart

May 28, 2017 – White-throated Redstart (Phoenicurus schisticeps)

These Old World flycatchers are found in parts of Bhutan, India, Nepal, China, and Myanmar. They eat insects, along with some berries and seeds, primarily those from juniper and sea buckthorn plants during the winter. Their cup-shaped nests are built from moss, grass, small twigs, leaves, plant fibers, and other materials.

TurkestanGroundJay

May 27, 2017 – Turkestan Ground-jay or Pander’s Ground-jay (Podoces panderi)

These corvids are found in parts of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. Their omnivorous diet is probably made up of invertebrates, along with seeds, grains, and other plant foods. Both parents help build the nests from thin branches and twigs. These are cup-shaped when built in Atraphaxis spinosa (a plant in the knotweed family) bushes, which offer good cover for the nests, and dome-shaped in other shrubs. Females incubate the eggs. Though they are classified as a species of Least Concern, their population is likely declining due to destruction of their desert habitat.