February 21, 2018 – Ariel Toucan (Ramphastos ariel)
Requested by: fightlikeleia
Found in forested parts of Brazil, these toucans are part of the “croaking group,” several species that interbreed and are sometimes grouped together under the name Channel-billed Toucan. They eat palm and other fruits, invertebrates, and small vertebrates. Pairs raise chicks in unlined tree cavities. They are classified as Endangered by the IUCN due mostly to deforestation and hunting.
February 20, 2018 – Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
Found in much of central and eastern North America, these grackles often form large, noisy flocks with other blackbirds, starlings, and cowbirds, particularly during the winter. They eat seeds, including corn and rice, along with fruits, garbage, invertebrates, and small vertebrates, including fish, frogs, and mice. Females choose nesting sites, often near water in coniferous trees, and do most of the nest construction. They build the cup-shaped nests from twigs, leaves, grasses, horse hair, and a variety of other materials, such as paper, string, or corn husks.
February 19, 2018 – Zenaida Dove, Mountain Dove, Pea Dove, or Seaside Dove (Zenaida aurita)
Found in clearings and open woodlands throughout much of the Caribbean and on the northern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, these doves’ range once included the Florida Keys. Foraging on the ground and in trees, they eat fruits and seeds, along with occasional invertebrates and salt from natural deposits or mineral blocks for livestock. They build their nests in trees, shrubs, rock crevices, or on the ground. Both parents feed the chicks and may raise as many as four broods in a year.
February 18, 2018 – Bank Cormorant (Phalacrocorax neglectus)
These cormorants are found on the southwestern coast of Africa, from South Africa to Namibia, as well as on some small coastal islands. Their diet is primarily made up of fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods. They spend much of their time hunting in kelp beds, diving to pursue their prey under water. During the breeding season, colonies of up to 100 pairs build nests from seaweed, sticks, feathers, and guano. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.
February 17, 2018 – Green Iora (Aegithina viridissima)
These ioras are found in parts of Myanmar, Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. They eat invertebrates, including caterpillars, foraging in the canopy and often joining mixed-species flocks to search for food. While their breeding habits are not well known, they may be similar to other iora species, with females laying two or three eggs in cup-shaped nests and pairs incubating the eggs and caring for the chicks together. They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to habitat loss from logging, land conversion, and forest fires.
February 16, 2018 – Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)
These small kingfishers are found in much of Australia and New Zealand, with some populations migrating to Indonesia and Melanesia. Though their diet varies depending on habitat, they feed on a variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects and small vertebrates, such as crabs, small fish, and lizards. Often seen alone or in pairs, large groups have been observed after the breeding season. They build their nests in a range of trees, cliffs, and sand banks, excavating them by repeatedly flying into the nest sites to chisel an initial hole with their bills, then digging out the rest of the cavity. Females do the majority of the incubation, but both parents care for the chicks.
February 15, 2018 – Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor)
These coursers are found in parts of North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, as well as on the Canary and Cape Verde Islands. Feeding on invertebrates and seeds, they mostly hunt while walking or running along the ground, stopping suddenly to pick up food. They also sometimes use their beaks to dig, or capture insects in the air. Nesting in shallow scrapes on the ground, both parents incubate the eggs. Adults sometimes perform distraction displays, acting as if they are sitting on an egg or chick to attract attention away from the actual nest.