October 6, 2017 – Chocolate-vented Tyrant (Neoxolmis rufiventris)
These large tyrant-flycatchers are found in southeastern South America, breeding in the Patagonian Steppe and wintering in the Pampas. They eat insects, including beetles, and small vertebrates, such as lizards. Building bowl-shaped nests, they line them with grasses and feathers. They perform flight displays that are more similar to those of shorebirds than to other tyrant-flycatchers and sometimes forage with Tawny-throated Dotterels.
October 2, 2017 – Meves’s Starling or Meves’s Long-tailed Starling (Lamprotornis mevesii)
These starlings are found in parts of southern and southeastern Africa. They eat mostly insects, including termites, beetles, and ants, along with some fruit and flowers, foraging mostly on the ground. Pairs build cup-shaped nests in tree cavities from dry plant materials. While only females incubate the eggs, both parents feed the chicks.
September 28, 2017 – Croaking Ground-Dove or Peruvian Ground-dove (Columbina cruziana)
These doves are found in arid and semi-arid open areas in extreme southwestern Colombia and western Peru, Ecuador, and Chile. They forage for seeds on the ground in flocks. Though little is known about their breeding habits, they have been observed nesting in all months except September and October in Ecuador. Their call is a distinctive croaking sound unlike the calls of most dove species.
September 24, 2017 – Senegal Coucal or Rufous-bellied Coucal (Centropus senegalensis)
These cuckoos are found in three separate populations, in Egypt, across much of central Africa, and in part of southeastern Africa. They eat insects, frogs, small rodents, reptiles, and smaller birds and their eggs. Pairs are likely monogamous and breed during rains, which make grasses easier to build with and tall enough to hide their nests. Females build the dome-shaped nests from grasses, twigs, and green leaves. Males incubate the eggs alone and both parents feed the chicks.
September 20, 2017 – Lavender Waxbill, Lavender Finch, Lavender Firefinch, Red-tailed Waxbill, Red-tailed Lavender Waxbill, Bluish Waxbill, or Grey-blue Astrild (Estrilda coerulescens)
Found across a strip of central Africa from Senegal, east to the Central African Republic, these waxbills have also been introduced to parts of Hawaii. They eat small grass seeds, fruits, pollen, nectar, and some insects, foraging in pairs or small flocks in trees, bushes, and on the ground. Pairs build nests from grasses and other materials in forked branches. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.
September 16, 2017 – Yellow-bridled Finch (Melanodera xanthogramma)
These finches are found in mountain grasslands in parts of Argentina and Chile. They eat seeds and arthropods, foraging on the ground in pairs or flocks. Their nests are built on the ground in alpine habitats, hidden under boulders or in grass. Due to the harsh climate in their range, they have particularly long wings.
September 12, 2017 – Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton)
These estrildid finches are found in northern Australia. Feeding mostly on seeds, particularly from grasses, they also eat insects during the breeding season. They build their bottle-shaped nests from grasses and bark, usually in pandanus trees. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.