October 5, 2017 – Yellow-billed Tern (Sternula superciliaris)
These terns are found around rivers and lakes in northern and central South America. Usually foraging alone or in pairs, they eat small fish, shrimp, and insects, often hovering before diving into the water to capture their prey. They are frequently found with Black Skimmers and Large-billed Terns and may nest near these two species.
October 1, 2017 – Great Grebe (Podiceps major)
These large grebes are found in parts of Peru, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, as well as on the Falkland, South Georgia, and South Sandwich Islands. They eat mostly fish, along with some insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. Pairs build nests from aquatic plants, leaves, and stems, sometimes anchored to clumps of aquatic vegetation. Both parents incubate the eggs. The chicks are able to leave the nest and swim soon after hatching.
September 27, 2017 – Kelp Gull, Dominican Gull, or Southern Black-backed Gull (Larus dominicanus)
These large gulls are found throughout much of the Southern Hemisphere. They eat a large variety of foods, including fish, mollusks, birds, small mammals, crustaceans, insects, and berries, also foraging at refuse dumps and sometimes stealing food from other birds. Breeding in colonies that can include hundreds of pairs, they build nests from dry vegetation or seaweed, on rock, sand, or mud. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the chicks.
September 23, 2017 – Long-billed Plover (Charadrius placidus)
These plovers are found in eastern Russia, northeastern and eastern China, Korea, Japan, and parts of South and Southeast Asia. Little is known about their diet, but it probably includes flies and beetles. They breed in gravely and stony areas near rivers and lakes. Though they are classified as a species of Least Concern, their population is thought to be in decline due to habitat destruction.
September 19, 2017 – Rufous-bellied Heron (Ardeola rufiventris)
These herons are found in grassy flood plains, swamps, and other grassy areas near water in parts of southern Africa. They eat small fish, frogs, crustaceans, aquatic insects, and worms, usually foraging alone while walking slowly in a crouch. Breeding during rains and floods, they nest colonially in reeds, trees, or shrubs near water, building their small platform nests from reeds and twigs. The chicks grow quickly, leaving the nest in around 17 days and fledging at around 24 days old.
September 15, 2017 – Black-billed Kingfisher or Great-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis melanorhyncha)
These kingfishers are found only in Indonesia, on and around the island of Sulawesi. They eat mostly crabs and crayfish, hunting from a perch above shallow water and returning to it after diving to capture their prey. Little is known about their breeding habits, though birds in breeding condition have been observed in September. They are classified by the IUCN as a species of Least concern, but their population is thought to be declining due to habitat destruction.
September 11, 2017 – Rufous-chested Plover (Charadrius modestus)
These plovers are found in southern South America. They eat insects and their larvae, crustaceans, mollusks, and plant material, such as algae, sometimes foraging at the water’s edge. Pairs nest on the ground and both parents share incubation duties. The downy chicks can leave the nest and feed themselves soon after hatching. Their parents defend them, performing “broken wing” displays to distract predators.