November 27, 2018 – Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris)
Found in two separate populations in Europe and Asia, these birds are difficult to distinguish from the Willow Tit. Despite their name, they are found in a variety of habitats, particularly woodlands. They eat small invertebrates, including flies and bees, as well as seeds and berries, and may cache food during the winter if there is an abundant supply available. Nesting in tree or wall cavities lined with hair and moss, they lay clutches of seven to nine eggs. While only the females incubate the eggs, both parents feed the chicks.
November 26, 2018 – Tractrac Chat (Emarginata tractrac)
These Old World flycatchers are found in parts of Namibia, Angola, and South Africa on shrubby desert and semi-desert plains. They feed on insects, including beetles, making short trips to the ground from low perches to capture prey. Breeding mostly between August and April, depending on the area of their range, they build their nests on the ground from various plant materials, usually under bushes. The name “tractrac” is an approximation of their call.
November 25, 2018 – Antarctic Petrel (Thalassoica antarctica)
Breeding in Antarctica, these petrels spend much of their time around the continent, ranging as far north as southern South America, South Africa, southern Australia, and New Zealand. They eat fish, krill, and some squid, plucking prey from the surface or plunging into the water to capture it. They are usually found in large flocks, often with other species, foraging around ships. Breeding in dense colonies on rock faces or cliffs, females lay a single egg in a shallow bowl-shaped nest lined with stones. Both parents incubate the egg and feed the chick. As the colonies frequently contain more females than males, non-breeding females often help others raise their chicks to gain experience.
November 24, 2018 – Plum-faced Lorikeet or Whiskered Lorikeet (Oreopsittacus arfaki)
These small parrots are found in the mountain forests of New Guinea. They eat nectar, flowers, fruits, berries, and possibly pollen. Little is known about their nesting behavior, but they have been observed displaying in June and may breed between August and October.
November 23, 2018 – Hammond’s Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii)
Found in western North America, from Canada south to Central America, these flycatchers breed in coniferous forests. They feed on flying insects, as well as caterpillars, often capturing their prey in the air before returning to a perch. Females build the cup-shaped nests from plant fibers, grasses, stems, bark, lichen, and other materials, in conifer trees. Though they incubate the eggs alone, both parents feed the chicks. Males fight so aggressively over territory in the early part of the breeding season that they may become entangled in the air.
November 22, 2018 – Long-tailed Ground-dove or Mauve-spotted Dove (Uropelia campestris)
Found in open habitats in parts of Brazil and Bolivia, these small doves are the only species in their genus. Foraging mostly on the ground in savannas and grasslands, they eat a variety of seeds. They are usually found in pairs or small flocks during the dry season. Very little is known about their nesting behavior, though a pair was observed breeding in mid-June.
November 21, 2018 – Bronze-winged Duck or Spectacled Duck (Speculanas specularis)
Found from southern Chile and central Argentina south to Tierra del Fuego, these ducks breed near rivers, fast-flowing streams, and lakes, in forested areas. They eat seeds, leaves, roots, and stems of aquatic plants, along with some aquatic invertebrates and leaf litter. Breeding between September and November, they incubate their eggs for about 30 days. They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN, due to predation, pressure from tourism, and fish farming and stocking in Chilean rivers.