May 30, 2018 – White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)
These kites are found in grasslands in parts of California, Texas, Mexico, and Central and South America. They hunt mostly small mammals, along with some birds, lizards, and insects, hovering high above the ground facing the wind to search for prey before diving onto it. Males present food to females during courtship, passing it to them during aerial displays. Pairs choose nest sites, usually in the tops of trees and may build the bowl-shaped nests together, from twigs, grass, hay, and leaves. Females incubate the eggs and brood and feed the young chicks while males bring food to the nest.
May 12, 2018 – Philippine Falconet (Microhierax erythrogenys)
Found in the Philippines, these tiny falcons hunt alone, in pairs, or in small family groups. They prey on insects, especially dragonflies, as well as on some arboreal lizards, hunting from exposed perches. Nesting in cavities in dead trees created by woodpeckers or barbets, they usually lay three or four eggs.
April 3, 2018 – White-bellied Sea-eagle, Australian White-bellied Sea Eagle, White-bellied Fish-eagle, White-breasted Fish-hawk, or White-breasted Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
These large eagles are found in parts of South and Southeast Asia, southern China, New Guinea, and Australia. They eat a variety of aquatic animals, including fish, sea snakes, water birds, and turtles, along with some land mammals and carrion. Monogamous pairs stay together for life, often reusing the same nest for many years. They usually build the large stick nests in trees near water, lining them with leaves, grasses, and seaweed. Females do most of the incubation and both parents feed the chicks.
November 15, 2017 – Grey Kestrel (Falco ardosiaceus)
These kestrels are found across parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Hunting from high perches, they eat a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate prey, including insects, reptiles, rodents, birds, bats, and earthworms. They are one of the few species of raptors that may also eat oil palm fruits. Pairs often take over the nests of Hamerkops, sometimes stealing them from the birds, or nest in tree cavities or old stick nests.
November 11, 2017 – Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima)
These caracaras are found in open habitats from southern Central America to northern Argentina and Uruguay. They eat carrion, arthropods, amphibians, reptiles, other vertebrates, insects, and fruits, often foraging on the ground in small flocks or alone. They sometimes ride on the backs of capybaras or cattle, picking parasites from their fur or capturing prey disturbed by the large animals. Pairs build stick nests high in trees or on the ground if no trees are available.
September 25, 2017 – Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma)
These tiny owls are found in parts of western North America, through Mexico and into parts of northern Central America. Mostly hunting during the day, they eat small birds and mammals, along with some insects and reptiles. Despite their small size, they sometimes take prey much larger than themselves, like California Quails or Northern Flickers. Pairs nest in tree cavities, which they don’t excavate themselves, reusing those made by woodpeckers or rot, but occasionally adding feathers, moss, or other materials as lining. Females incubate the eggs, while males hunt, bringing food to their mates and chicks.
July 10, 2017 – Pied Harrier (Circus melanoleucos)
These harriers breed in Siberia, Mongolia, northeastern China, North Korea, and northern Myanmar, wintering in parts of South and Southeast Asia. Their diet is mainly small mammals such as voles, mice, and shrews, along with some small birds, frogs, lizards, and insects. They build their nests on the ground in grass or low shrubs from grasses, reeds, and weeds. Females do most of the incubation, which takes over a month. Both parents feed the chicks.