December 16, 2014 – Sabine’s Gull, Fork-Tailed Gull, or Xeme (Xema sabini)

These small gulls are found around the poles, breeding in the Arctic and wintering off the southern tip of South America and southwest Africa. They eat various small animals, such as aquatic insects, crustaceans, zooplankton, and fish, and may steal eggs from Arctic Terns. They hover over the water to pluck food from the surface, similar to how most terns hunt.


December 15, 2014 – Crimson Topaz Hummingbird (Topaza pella)

These large hummingbirds are found in Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Brazil. They spend most of their time foraging for nectar in the canopy of the Amazon, around 150 feet (45 meters) above the ground. They may be the second largest species of hummingbird, after the Giant Hummingbird of the Andes.

About European Starlings

hostilehospitalbeds reblogged your photo and added:

yo but the best fact is that they released them in central park because someone decided every bird that was mentioned in a shakespeare play should be introduced to north america.

Good point! Here’s a short article about their introduction to North America (warning: it talks about some efforts that were made to exterminate starling populations)

December 14, 2014 – European Starling or Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Requested by: totallysevere

European Starlings are native to and found all across Europe and parts of Asia. Introduced populations range through Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as several islands. Starlings have also commonly been found in North America since the 1890s when 100 of these birds were released in New York City’s Central Park. Their numbers have since grown to more than 200 million. While their diet is highly varied, they largely seek out insects and some wild fruits. Starlings are excellent mimics, with individual birds capable of learning the calls of up to 20 other species. While their feather pattern changes from spotted to a glossy black each year, they do not achieve this by molting. When new feathers grow in fall, the tips are light. After several months these feather tips wear away, giving the starling its dark, glossy appearance.

astockdoveisacompactpigeon replied to your post“Have you done the white winged fairy wren? (I think that name is…”

A bird we have here (assuming you’re not in the UK) is the long tailed tit, and it looks a lot like the fairy wren! Not sure if you’ve done it, if not that’s one from me!

one of the beauties of this bird is quite how small it is! I knew of it, but when i seen it for the first time IRL last year, it was just so tiny and delicate and lovely

Sorry for the extremely late reply! I have done the Long-tailed Tit, but I remembered seeing a lot of pictures of them that had different coloration from the one I drew. I did some research and found that there’s another subspecies that looks a little different, so I added that one to my list.

I also know what you mean about not realizing how small (or big) a bird is until you see it in real life. I have seen a few birds after drawing them (especially the Skimmer and Rose-breasted Grosbeak) and been shocked at how much bigger they were than I had thought!

December 13, 2014 – Yellow-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus)

Requested by: Eric Stephen Bias

Known for their habit of picking parasites from the backs of large mammals, these birds are found in savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. They eat ticks and other biting insects and also take blood from the wounds of the host animals. Much of their time, aside from drinking, bathing, and nesting, is spent on the backs of buffalos, rhinoceros, and other large quadrupeds. They nest in tree cavities, lining them with fur. Outside of the breeding season, they often roost on the backs of their host animals at night.

December 12, 2014 – Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)

Requested by: gepwin

These pelicans are found in parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Fishing mostly in the morning, they eat large fish, such as carp and cichlids. In some parts of their range, they also eat cormorant eggs and chicks. They are very social, often hunting cooperatively in groups of around 10 birds, herding fish into shallow water and catching them in their pouches. Although males can be territorial and aggressive, Great White Pelicans nest colonially, building stick nests on the ground, near water.