November 22, 2017 – Bare-faced Ibis or Whispering Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus)
These ibises are found in two separate ranges in northern South America and parts of eastern and central South America. Often foraging in small flocks, they eat insects, worms, freshwater clams, and other invertebrates, searching the mud or soft ground for prey with their long beaks. Breeding in small colonies, they build their platform nests from branches in small trees and shrubs near lagoons. Both parents incubate the clutches of one to eight eggs.
November 18, 2017 – Black-billed Gull (Larus bulleri)
These gulls are found only in New Zealand on parts of the North and South Islands and on Stewart and Snares Islands. Often foraging in large flocks, they eat earthworms, insects, small fish, and aquatic invertebrates. They often follow plows on farmland to catch invertebrates disturbed by the machines. Nesting in dense colonies, pairs build twig and grass nests in depressions near rivers or lakes. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. Although the chicks can breed at two years of age, they usually do not until they are three to six. They are classified as Endangered by the IUCN due to rapid declines in their population during the last few decades, caused by predation, disturbance, and habitat degradation at their nesting colonies.
November 14, 2017 – Paint-billed Crake (Neocrex erythrops)
These crakes are found mostly in wet grassy areas in a spotty range from Costa Rica south to northern Argentina, including the Galapagos Islands. Known as a mysterious species, they can be difficult to observe, but have been found outside of their usual range somewhat frequently. Their diet is not well known, but they likely eat insects, millipedes, and seeds. Little is known about their nesting habits, though incubating parents often remain on the nest until the last moment when approached, helping to camouflage the eggs.
November 10, 2017 – Two-banded Plover, Banded Plover, or Beach Lark (Charadrius falklandicus)
These plovers are found in parts of Argentina, Chile, the Falkland Islands, Uruguay, and southern Brazil. Foraging near the edge of water, they eat small invertebrates, such as polychaete worms, mollusks, and crustaceans. They build their nests in shallow depressions in the ground, laying their eggs between September and January. The chicks can leave the nest at a young age, but parents continue to care for them for some time.
November 6, 2017 – Black-backed Forktail (Enicurus immaculatus)
These forktails are found near streams and rivers in the central and eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, northwestern Thailand, and southern China. They eat insects, often foraging while hopping between stones in water. Their cup-shaped nests are lined with skeletonized leaves and covered with moss.
November 2, 2017 – Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata)
Found in northern and eastern Australia and parts of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, these large goose-like birds have only partially webbed feet and are the only species in the Anseranatidae family. They eat aquatic vegetation, often gathering in large flocks to forage. Males build the unlined cup-shaped nests on floating reed platforms or in trees. Pairs stay together for life, though some males may pair with two females, which sometimes lay their eggs in the same nest. All the adults incubate the eggs and care for the chicks.
October 29, 2017 – White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinerea)
These crakes are found in parts of Southeast Asia, Polynesia, and Northern Australia. They eat invertebrates, such as earthworms, slugs, leaches, and insects, as well as frog spawn and small fish and the leaves and seeds of aquatic plants. Their shallow, cup-shaped nests are built from grass and marsh plants, near water in reeds or other plants. Both parents incubate the eggs.