January 20, 2015 – Crimson-collared Tanager (Ramphocelus sanguinolentus)
These birds are found in Central America and southern Mexico. They eat insects and many varieties of fruit. Both sexes look similar, although females may be slightly duller colored than males. They are usually seen in pairs and build their nests from moss, rootlets, and banana and other large leaves.
January 13, 2015 – Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
These small ducks are found throughout most of North America and into parts of the Caribbean. Diving in shallow water to find food, they eat aquatic invertebrates, as well as some plants during the fall and winter. They nest in cavities, usually those created by Northern Flickers or Pileated Woodpeckers. Unlike most ducks, Bufflehead pairs stay together for multiple years.
January 11, 2015 – Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus)
Found in all but the driest areas of Australia, these small birds spend much of their time foraging for insects in the canopies of eucalyptus trees. Averaging about 3.5 inches (9 cm) long, they can be difficult to spot. Their plumage varies significantly throughout their range, but males and females look similar. Spending most of their time in small flocks, they raise their chicks in pairs or groups of up to six. Their nests are usually built in small hollows or crevices close to the ground.
January 10, 2015 – Abert’s Towhee (Melozone aberti)
The Abert’s Towhee is commonly found in the southern Sonoran Desert. They can be difficult to see, as they spend most of their time foraging in brush and bushes. Feeding mainly on insects and seeds, they forage for grubs in a similar manner to quail. They have begun to move into the urban areas around Phoenix, Arizona and are a common sight on the ASU campus. These birds pair for life and build open nests on tree branches from leaves, bark, and tree stems.
January 8, 2015 – King Bird of Paradise (Cicinnurus regius)
These birds are found in lowland forests in and around New Guinea. At 6 inches (16 cm) long, they are the smallest of the birds of paradise. Fruits and arthropods make up the majority of their diet. As in other bird of paradise species, the males perform elaborate courtship displays, fluffing their neck and chest feathers, fluttering their wings, and swinging their long tail feathers around. A strongly sexually dimorphic species, the females are brown with barring on their chests and undersides.
January 5, 2015 – Razorbill (Alca torda)
These large auks are found in the North Atlantic. They eat fish and invertebrates, diving and using their wings to swim underwater. Nesting in colonies on rocks, caves, and cliffs, they construct shallow nests from pebbles, feathers, vegetation, bones, and shells.
January 4, 2015 – Wire-tailed Manakin (Pipra filicauda)
The Wire-tailed Manakin is found in the northwest part of South America. They feed on small ripe fruit and insects. The Wire-tailed Manakin is part of the Crimson-hooded Manakin superspecies, which are identified by their brilliantly colored head feathers. During the breeding season the males take part in elaborate mating dances. These dances usually consist of a series of hops, flutters, and other quick movements. While many males may participate in these dances, only some will mate. Generally the older males are most successful.