August 24, 2018 – Chabert Vanga (Leptopterus chabert)
These vangas are found throughout much of Madagascar. They mainly eat small to medium-sized invertebrates, including beetles and worms, along with some small vertebrates and berries. Pairs build bowl-shaped nests from plant fibers, lichen, and spiderweb. They are cooperative breeders, with helper birds assisting the breeding pair with nest building and feeding of the chicks.
August 23, 2018 – Citril Finch or Alpine Citril Finch (Carduelis citrinella)
Found in parts of Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia, these finches are closely related to the European Goldfinch. They feed on the seeds and buds of plants, including those of spruce, pine, and willow trees, as well as some arthropods. Monogamous pairs nest alone or in loose groups, often raising two broods a year. They build their nests in trees from dry grasses, plant fibers, lichen, hair, feathers, and sometimes paper or wool.
August 22, 2018 – Sakalava Weaver (Ploceus sakalava)
These weavers are found in arid areas of western Madagascar. They feed mostly on grains, including rice, as well as flowers, insects, and spiders. Pairs nest in colonies of between 10 and 120 nests, constructing the hanging nests together. Females incubate the eggs, but both parents feed the chicks.
August 21, 2018 – Allen’s Gallinule or Lesser Gallinule (Porphyrio alleni)
These gallinules are found across much of central and southern Africa and Madagascar, though they are absent from parts of eastern and southwestern Africa. They eat the flowers, seeds, stems, leaves, and fruits of various plants, including reeds, sedges, grasses, and other marsh plants, as well as earthworms, mollusks, crustaceans, insects, spiders, small fish, and fish eggs. Their nests are built in vegetation near water from reeds, sedges, and other plant materials. Though they are considered a species of Least Concern by the IUCN, their population is threatened by destruction of their wetland habitats.
August 20, 2018 – Black-and-gold Cotinga (Lipaugus ater or Tijuca atra)
These cotingas are found only in a small area of southeastern Brazil. Feeding mostly on fruit, especially from plants in the laurel family, they also eat some insects. They are known for their distinctive song, a long whistle that falls slightly at the end. Little is known about their breeding behavior, though a single nest was recorded in November. They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to habitat destruction in their small range.
August 19, 2018 – Pied Thrush (Geokichla wardii)
Breeding in the Himalayas in northern India and Nepal, these thrushes winter mostly in Sri Lanka. They forage primarily in the leaf litter, eating invertebrates, such as flies, beetles, and centipedes, as well as fruits, like guavas and wild figs. Breeding from May to July, they build cup-shaped nests from moss, dry leaves, mud, and roots.
August 18, 2018 – Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)
These eagles are found in Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia, south to Namibia and eastern South Africa. Feeding mostly on small rodents, they also eat small birds, lizards, and arthropods, hunting from a perch before dropping onto their prey. Usually breeding during the wet season, they build stick nests near the tops of tall trees, laying clutches of one or two eggs.