Day: January 27, 2014

Golden-cheeked Warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia)

The Golden-cheeked Warbler also known as the gold finch of Texas(Setophaga chrysoparia) is an endangered species of bird that breeds in Central Texas, from Palo Pinto County southwestward along the eastern and southern edge of the Edwards Plateau to Kinney County. The Golden-cheeked Warbler is the only bird species with a breeding range confined to Texas.Golden-cheeked Warblers nest in ashe juniper and live oak trees in ravines and canyons. They use ashe juniper bark and spider webs to build their nests. Females lay three to four eggs. Warblers eat insectsand spiders and the adult warbler can reach a length of 4.5 inches. They winter in southern Mexico (Chiapas), Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The warbler is endangered as many juniper and oak woodlands have been cleared to build houses, roads, and stores or to grow crops or grass for livestock. Other woodlands were flooded when large lakes were constructed.

Austral Parakeet, Austral Conure or Emerald Parakeet (Enicognathus ferrugineus)

The Austral Parakeet, Austral Conure or Emerald Parakeet (Enicognathus ferrugineus) is a parrot found on the southern tip of South America – further south than any other parrot – ranging as far north as Temuco. It is a fairly large conure, 35 cm (2 cm more than a Monk or Quaker Parakeet). It is primarily green, lightly barred, with some dull red on the forehead and lores, belly, and upper tail, with the northern part of the range displaying less red.

It occurs mostly in wooded country, but also shrubland and farmland. It stays near sea level in the extreme south, but ranges up to 2000m at the northern end of its range. Flock size is usually only 10–15 individuals, though flocks over 100 are known. It eats grass and bamboo seeds, nuts and small fruit, and nests in tree cavities.

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

The Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), commonly abbreviated to just Night Heron in Eurasia, is a medium-sized heron found throughout a large part of the world, except in the coldest regions and Australasia (where it is replaced by the closely related Rufous Night Heron, with which it has hybridized in the area of contact). Adults are approximately 64 cm (25 in) long and weigh 800 g (28 oz). They have a black crown and back with the remainder of the body white or grey, red eyes, and short yellow legs. They have pale grey wings and white under parts. Two or three long white plumes, erected in greeting and courtship displays, extend from the back of the head. The sexes are similar in appearance although the males are slightly larger. Black-crowned Night Herons do not fit the typical body form of the heron family. They are relatively stocky with shorter bills, legs, and necks than their more familiar cousins, the egrets and “day” herons. Their resting posture is normally somewhat hunched but when hunting they extend their necks and look more like other wading birds.

Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanicollis)

The Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanicollis) is a species of bird in the Thraupidae family. It is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and heavily degraded former forest.The Blue-necked Tanager averages 12 cm in length and weighs approximately 17 g. They have a blue hood and throat. The wing coverts, wing edges, and rump are turquoise to a greenish straw color. The posterior underparts are black, violet, or blue. The juveniles are brownish gray, with a hint of adult coloration. Coloration of adults varies slightly by region. The beaks, legs, and feet are black.The diet of the Blue-necked Tanager consists of fruits, berries, flower blossoms and insects. Tanagers will pick insects from leaves, or sometimes in flight, but fruit is the major dietary item. The female builds a cup nest of moss, usually well concealed, and lays an average of 2 white eggs with brown spotting. Incubation is 13–14 days and the chicks fledge after 15–16 days. The male and female feed the nestlings on insects and fruit, and may be assisted by helpers.

Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea)

The Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) is a small songbird of the New World warbler family. It is the only member of the genus Protonotaria. The Prothonotary Warbler is 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long and weighs 12.5 grams (0.44 oz). It has an olive back with blue-grey wings and tail, yellow underparts, a relatively long pointed bill and black legs. The adult male has a bright orange-yellow head. Females and immature birds are duller and have a yellow head. In flight from below, the short, wide tail has a distinctive two-toned pattern, white at the base and dark at the tip. It breeds in hardwood swamps in extreme southeastern Ontario and eastern United States. It winters in the West Indies, Central America and northern South America.[4] It is a rare vagrant to western states, most notably California.

Chilean Woodstar (Eulidia yarrellii)

he Chilean Woodstar (Eulidia yarrellii) is a small bird in the hummingbird family, Trochilidae. It is restricted to northernmost Chile with reports from southern Peru. Its natural habitats are dry shrubland and rural gardens. It is threatened by habitat lossand is classed as an endangered species. It is usually classified in its own genus Eulidia but is sometimes placed with the Purple-collared Woodstar in the genus Myrtis. It is the smallest bird in Chile,[2] 7.2 to 7.5 centimetres long with the bill accounting for 1.5 centimetres of this.[3] The bill is black, straight, slender and fairly short, about the same length as the head. The tail is often held in a cocked position. The adult male is iridescent green above and whitish below with green sides. The throat is reddish-purple and blue but often appears blackish. The tail is long, black and forked with long, pointed outer-feathers that curve inwards. Females are green above and have a white throat while the rest of the underparts are mostly very pale buff, darkest on the belly and thighs. The tail is short and slightly graduated with green inner feathers. The outer feathers are black with a rufous base and white tip. Immature males are similar to the female but have a mottled throat and may have elongated outer tail-feathers.

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

The American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis), also known as the Eastern Goldfinch, is a small North American bird in the finch family. It is migratory, ranging from mid-Alberta to North Carolina during the breeding season, and from just south of the Canadian border to Mexico during the winter.

The only finch in its subfamily that undergoes a complete molt, the American Goldfinch displays sexual dimorphism in its coloration; the male is a vibrant yellow in the summer and an olive color during the winter months, while the female is a dull yellow-brown shade which brightens only slightly during the summer. The male displays brightly colored plumage during the breeding season to attract a mate.

The American Goldfinch is a granivore and adapted for the consumption of seedheads, with a conical beak to remove the seeds and agile feet to grip the stems of seedheads while feeding. It is a social bird, and will gather in large flocks while feeding and migrating. It may behave territorially during nest construction, but this aggression is short-lived. Its breeding season is tied to the peak of food supply, beginning in late July, which is relatively late in the year for a finch. This species is generallymonogamous, and produces one brood each year.

Human activity has generally benefited the American Goldfinch. It is often found in residential areas, attracted to bird feeders which increase its survival rate in these areas. Deforestation also creates open meadow areas which are its preferred habitat.