August 1, 2018 – Great Thick-knee or Great Stone-curlew (Esacus recurvirostris)
These thick-knees are found in a patchy range through much of South and Southeast Asia, as well as southern Iran. Their diet is made up of crabs and other crustaceans, as well as some insects. They are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to nest predation by dogs, disturbances from humans and domestic animals, and habitat loss.
July 28, 2018 – Barolo Shearwater (Puffinus baroli)
Breeding in the Azores, Madeira, Desertas, Salvages, and Canary Islands, these shearwaters are found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. They are sometimes considered a subspecies of Audubon’s Shearwater or Little Shearwater. Feeding on fish, squid, and crustaceans, they often dive to capture prey or pluck it from the water’s surface. They breed colonially on islands and cliffs, building their nests in burrows which they only return to at night to avoid predators.
July 24, 2018 – Chiloé Wigeon, Black and White Wigeon, Chilean Wigeon, South American Wigeon, or Southern Wigeon (Mareca sibilatrix)
These ducks are found in southern South America in parts of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. Their diet is mainly grasses, aquatic vegetation, seeds, and green plants, along with some worms, larvae, and fish. Pairs nest alone or in small groups, building their nests on the ground in grass or other vegetation. Females incubate the eggs, but both parents care for the chicks.
July 20, 2018 – Slaty-backed Gull (Larus schistisagus)
Breeding around the coasts of Russia, northern Japan, and sometimes northwestern Alaska, these gulls winter in parts of Japan, North and South Korea, northeastern China, and Taiwan. They eat mostly fish, crustaceans, and insects, along with carrion, refuse, the eggs and chicks of other bird species, and a variety of other scavenged foods. Returning to their breeding sites in April or June, they nest in colonies of up to 1,500 birds, on cliffs, rocky islands, and sandy shores.
July 16, 2018 – Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia)
These plovers are found on beaches, salt flats, and lagoons along the coasts of the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. They eat crustaceans, including fiddler crabs, crayfish, and shrimp, along with worms, mollusks, and insects. Due to their relatively large beaks they can feed on larger prey animals than many other plovers. Males make several scrape nests as part of courtship and females select one. Often near driftwood or grass tufts, the scrapes are lined with pebbles, shell fragments, grass, and debris. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the chicks, which can leave the nest and feed themselves soon after hatching.
July 12, 2018 – White-bellied Heron or Imperial Heron (Ardea insignis)
These large herons are found in parts of Bhutan, northeastern India, Bangladesh, and northern Myanmar. They eat fish, crustaceans, and insects, hunting during the day in fast-flowing rivers. Nesting in trees, especially Chir Pine trees near water, pairs take turns incubating the eggs. Critically Endangered due to habitat loss and degradation and human disturbance, their population is estimated at around 70 to 400 birds.
July 8, 2018 – Black-necked crane or Tibetan crane (Grus nigricollis)
Breeding in central and eastern China, these cranes winter in parts of southeastern China, Bhutan, and India. They eat roots, tubers, invertebrates, including insects and shrimp, and small vertebrates, like lizards and frogs, often feeding on grain in the winter. Nesting on grassy islands or building in the water, they construct their nests by lining scrapes with reeds or making piles of mud, grass, rushes, and other plants. Both parents incubate the eggs, never leaving the nest unattended unless they are threatened. The chicks take two or three years to reach adulthood and can live as long as 30 years. They are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to habitat loss and degradation, pollution, illegal hunting, collection of their eggs, human disturbance, and predation from dogs.