February 2, 2018 – White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)

Found in much of the western United States, Mexico, parts of Central America, and parts of central and southern South America, these birds look very similar to Glossy Ibises. They can be distinguished mostly by their face and leg coloration, as well as their range. Often foraging in shallow water, they eat aquatic invertebrates, including insects, crustaceans, earthworms, and leeches, along with some vertebrates, such as frogs and small fish. Nesting in colonies, pairs build platform nests from plant stems in marsh vegetation, shrubs, or trees near water, sometimes stealing materials from other birds’ nests. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks, which begin learning to fly at around a month old.



February 1, 2018 – Black-necked Red Cotinga (Phoenicircus nigricollis)

These cotingas are found in parts of Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil. They eat mostly fruit, possibly along with some arthropods, sometimes congregating at fruiting trees. Little information has been recorded about their breeding behavior, but males are known to gather and call at leks.


January 31, 2018 – Buff-breasted Flycatcher (Empidonax fulvifrons)

Found from southeastern Arizona south through Mexico and into parts of Central America, these small flycatchers live in open pine forests. They eat arthropods, catching them in short flights from perches, while hovering, or on the ground. Females build nests in trees from spiderwebs, rootlets, leaves, lichens, bark, feathers, grasses, and pine needles. They incubate the eggs alone, but both parents feed the chicks. Occasional forest fires may create necessary nesting habitat for these birds.


January 30, 2018 – Red-crested Finch or Red Pileated-finch (Coryphospingus cucullatus)

These tanagers are found in a large range in central South America, with small populations in Peru, the Guianas, and northeastern Brazil. Little is known about their diet, but they forage on the ground and in low vegetation, forming mixed-species flocks with seed-eating birds outside of the breeding season. Breeding between November and February, they build cup-shaped nests from small twigs, vine stems, dry grasses, lichens, and other materials.


January 29, 2018 – Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora)

Breeding on several islands around New Zealand, these albatrosses spend the rest of their time in the Southern Ocean, particularly around New Zealand and South America. They eat mostly fish and squid, along with some crustaceans and carrion. Pairs perform complicated courtship displays and usually stay together for life. Reusing the same nest sites, they return every two years. Females arrive several days after the males and both parents incubate the single egg. The chicks return to the breeding colonies four to eight years after hatching, but do not breed until they are nine to eleven years old. They are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to introduced mammalian predators and plant species on some of their breeding sites, heavy reliance on a single breeding island, and entanglement in fishing equipment.


January 28, 2018 – Cochabamba Mountain-finch (Poospiza garleppi)

These tanagers are found only in a small part of central Bolivia. They forage on the ground and in low shrubbery, feeding on seeds, insects, and possibly potatoes. Breeding during the rainy season, females build nests in shrubs, laying one or two eggs. They are classified as Endangered by the IUCN due to habitat loss and degradation.


January 27, 2018 – Scrub Blackbird (Dives warczewiczi)

Found in parts of arid coastal Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, these blackbirds are also found in small flocks in open woodland and agricultural areas. Though the specifics of their diet are not well known, they probably eat insects, other arthropods, small vertebrates, fruit, and seeds, foraging mostly on the ground. Probably monogamous, they breed between February and May.

This bird is part of my yearly tradition of drawing closely related blackbird species on the anniversary of my first bird. Here are the others, if you’d like to see the whole group:  Male Brewer’s Blackbird, Female Brewer’s Blackbird, Male Rusty Blackbird, Female Rusty Blackbird