January 8, 2019 – Blue Petrel (Halobaena caerulea)

Breeding on several islands off of southern Chile and Antarctica, these petrels are found in antarctic and subantarctic seas. Their diet consists of crustaceans, small fish, and squid, which they catch in flight or while swimming or diving. They are often found in single-species flocks, but will also join mixed-species flocks with prions. Breeding in colonies, they lay a single egg in a burrow nest. Both parents incubate the egg and feed the chick.


January 7, 2019 – Gold-ringed Tanager (Bangsia aureocincta)

These tanagers are found in a small area of mossy forests on the western slopes of the Andes mountains in western Colombia. Their diet is largely fruit, seeds, and flower buds, but also includes insects and larvae. Pairs build dome-shaped nests from moss and rootlets. Both parents may feed the chicks. They are classified as Endangered by the IUCN due to human expansion into their habitat.

January 6, 2019 – Daurian Starling or Purple-backed Starling (Agropsar sturninus)

Breeding in parts of Mongolia, Russia, China, and North Korea, these starlings winter in Southeast Asia. They eat insects, earthworms, fruits, and some seeds. Very social birds, they often form large flocks during migration, which may contain as many as a thousand individuals. Monogamous pairs build nests together, breeding between May and June. 

January 5, 2019 – Black-crested Finch (Lophospingus pusillus)

Found from southern Bolivia and western Paraguay to central Argentina, these tanagers live in semi-open dry areas. Foraging on the ground, usually in pairs or small groups, they eat seeds and insects. Males build cup-shaped nests from plant fibers, lichens, spiderwebs, rootlets, and animal hair.

January 4, 2019 – Black-fronted Tern (Chlidonias albostriatus)

Breeding on the South Island, these terns are found only in New Zealand. They feed on crustaceans and earthworms for much of the year, but during the breeding season move inland and eat mayflies, stoneflies, and small fish, foraging in flocks over water and farmland. They build their scrape nests along rivers, far from vegetation, in sand or among stones, usually in colonies of up to 50 pairs. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the chicks, defending their nests aggressively by diving and calling. They are classified as Endangered by the IUCN due to nest site disturbance, habitat destruction, and introduced predators.

January 3, 2019 – Slaty-backed Chat-tyrant (Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris)

These chat-tyrants are found in northwestern South America from Venezuela to Bolivia. They feed on insects, often hunting in pairs in the forest understory. Their open cup-shaped nests are constructed from moss and lined with red-brown tree fern on mossy banks near large streams. Females usually lay clutches of one or two eggs.

January 2, 2019 – Crimson-collared Grosbeak (Rhodothraupis celaeno)

Found in northeastern Mexico, these grosbeaks are known for their striking colors, red on males and olive green on females. They have been observed feeding on a variety of leaves, including those of nightshade plants, as well as on flowers and fruits. Only one nest has been observed, a loose cup made from twigs, found in May.