October 6, 2014 – Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicus nubicoides)

Requested by: coramatus

These bee-eaters live in tropical grasslands in Southern Africa. They eat flying insects, such as bees, catching them in the air and often beating them against a branch to remove the stingers and venom. Highly social birds, they travel in large flocks and nest in colonies. Their nests are burrows dug into riverbanks. Southern Carmine Bee-eaters may be seen around the edges of fires, catching fleeing insects.

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October 5, 2014 – Harlequin Duck or Sea Mouse (Histrionicus histrionicus)

Requested by: io-kj

These ducks are found in turbulent waters along the coast of Canada, parts of the northern United States, and northern Asia. In the summer they are often seen around inland rivers and streams in forested areas. The squeaky calls of the males have led to the common name sea mouse. They eat insects, fish, and other marine life, diving from the surface of the water to capture their prey.

iiwi

October 4, 2014 – ‘I‘iwi or Scarlet Hawaiian Honeycreeper (Vestiaria coccinea)

Requested by: coramatus

These rare birds are native to Hawaii, found most often on the islands of Maui, Hawai’i, and Kaua’i. They eat mostly nectar, serving as pollinators for some plants, and also occasionally eating insects. Both parents build the nest together and defend a small area around it. The ‘I‘iwi is in danger of extinction from mosquito-borne diseases, development, and predation and competition from nonnative species.


October 3, 2014 – Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)

Requested by: coramatus

These flycatchers are found in the eastern United States during the summer, migrating through the Caribbean to winter in northern South America. They hunt for insects from a perch, taking flight to catch their prey, then landing again. They build a well-camouflaged nest of grasses or other plant materials covered with lichen. Western Wood-Pewees look almost identical to the eastern species, but can be distinguished by their calls in the area where their ranges overlap.


October 2, 2014 – Orange Bishop, Northern Red Bishop, Grenadier Weaver, Orange Bishop Weaver, or Orange Weaver (Euplectes franciscanus)

Requested by: karrikut

Native to sub-Saharan Africa, these birds have been introduced to parts of the Caribbean and the United States. They eat seeds, grains, and insects and build round woven nests in grass or reed beds. Males have bright orange and black plumage during the breeding season, but molt to a brown sparrow-like coloration that is similar to the female the rest of the year. Males build a nest for each of several females. The females incubate the eggs and care for the chicks alone.


October 1, 2014 – Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)

Requested by: io-kj

These seabirds are found in the north Pacific. They eat fish, mollusks, and cephalopods and can hold up to 20 small fish in their beaks at at time, carrying them to the nest to feed to their chicks. They nest in burrows on cliffs, which can be over five feet (1.5 meters) deep. Tufted Puffins are good fliers, but need a running start to take off.


September 30, 2014 – Hyacinth Macaw or Hyacinthine Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

Requested by: veganprimatologist

These parrots are found in South America. At over three feet (100 cm) long, they are one of the largest parrots, lighter than the Kakapo, but longer from beak to tail. Their strong beaks allow them to break open very hard seeds and nuts, such as those from various palms and brazil nuts. They also eat fruit. Hyacinths are classified as Endangered due to habitat loss and collection for the illegal pet trade.