August 3, 2017 – Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) Juvenile
These cuckoos are found across much of central and eastern Africa and the Mediterranean basin. They eat mostly large hairy caterpillars, removing the hairs before swallowing them. Termites, moths, and small lizards are also a part of their diet. Like many cuckoos, they are brood parasites. Females lay eggs in the nests of other bird species and the “host” parents raise the chicks. Unlike some other brood parasites they do not evict the hosts’ eggs, though they may damage them, and their chicks are often raised alongside those of the host parents. This often leads to the host chicks not receiving enough food, but the cuckoo chicks produce a fowl smelling liquid that deters predators and in some cases may actually increase the survival of the host chicks in areas where predators are more active. You can read more about the chicks here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25262-smelly-cuckoos-protect-hosts-chicks-from-predators/
August 2, 2017 – Lesser Noddy, Australian Lesser Noddy, or Sooty Noddy (Anous tenuirostris)
These small terns are found on islands in the tropical and subtropical Indian Ocean. They eat mostly small fish and squid, hovering over the water, then diving to pluck their prey from the surface. Nesting in large colonies, they build platform nests from seaweed in trees or bushes, laying a single egg. They sometimes eat pieces of coral before breeding which may help females get calcium for egg production.
August 1, 2017 – Rose-bellied Bunting or Rosita’s Bunting (Passerina rositae)
These buntings are found only in a small part of southern Mexico. Though their diet is not well-known, they forage alone or in pairs. Often nesting in ravines, they build open cup-shaped nests. They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to habitat fragmentation and degradation in their small range.
July 31, 2017 – Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris)
These whistlers are found throughout most of Australia and in New Caledonia. They eat mostly insects along with some seeds, fruit, and leaves. Females build cup-shaped nests from twigs, grass, and vines, attaching them to branches with spiderwebs. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the chicks, sometimes raising two broods per season.
July 30, 2017 – White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)
These bee-eaters are found in parts of Africa, primarily below the equator. They eat mostly bees, as well as beetles, flies, dragonflies, damselflies, moths, butterflies, and grasshoppers, usually catching them in flight. They are cooperative breeders and nest in colonies in riverbank burrows. Non-breeding birds assist their relatives with the care of their chicks.
July 29, 2017 – Half-collared Kingfisher (Alcedo semitorquata)
Found in parts of southern and eastern Africa, these kingfishers frequent rivers, streams, and estuaries. They eat small fish, crabs, frogs, and aquatic insects and their larvae, hunting from a perch, then diving into the water to catch their prey. Pairs dig nest burrows in riverbanks and both parents incubate the eggs.
July 28, 2017 – Frilled Monarch (Arses telescopthalmus)
These monarchs are found in New Guinea and surrounding islands and have been reported in the northern tip of Australia. They eat insects and other arthropods, including crickets and weevils. Usually seen in monogamous pairs, they forage for their prey in forests and forest edges. Their nests are small cups of woven twigs and spiderweb, often hung between two branches. Their calls are described as harsh and rasping.