Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Today's Bird: Wilson's Plover

Today's bird is the Wilson's Plover!  The Wilson's has a pretty small range in the USA: mostly just along the Gulf Coast.  The range map in my bird guide shows them going up the Atlantic Coast as well. Even though their US range is small, they're EVERYWHERE along South and Central America.  The guide says their range covers about 850,000 square kilometers.  I think this one's a bit young (he looks a little skinny still).  I took this picture on South Padre Island on May 26, 2012.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Today's Bird: The Groove Billed Ani

Today's shared bird between Peru and North America is the Groove-Billed Ani.  I've had a killer time trying to get a good picture of one. They only live in south Texas in the summer.  They like the heat and sun, so if you're not sweating, you're probably not looking at an Ani.  They're medium sized, black birds with a big, dinosaur-like bill.  They spend a lot of time rustling around in trees since they're extremely shy.  They don't move fast and once they've found a spot with enough sun, they'll sit totally still even if that means that no one will be able to see them...

I managed to take this picture at Resaca de la Palma State Park on May 26, 2012.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Today's Bird: The Purple Martin

For Day 2 of the "Birds that Also Live in Peru Series," today's bird is the Purple Martin.  This picture happens to be a either a female (who doesn't have the sheen of a male) or a juvenile who's still coming into the fullness of his beauty.  Martins are a type of swallow.  They swoop around grabbing bugs.  These Martins live in a bird house at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, TX.  Their house overlooks the pond, so they regularly dive out across it to pick up water and insects.  I took this picture on May 12, 2012.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Today's Bird: White Ibis

One week from today, I'll be leaving for a month-long trip to Peru and Bolivia.  I'll be spending most of my time there birdwatching (although I do have some tourist/cultural things planned as well).  It does mean that my internet access will be extremely spotty and my blog will be going on hiatus until July 10th.  When I get back, I'll have plenty of new bird pictures to post, though!

In celebration of my trip to South America, this week's birds will all be birds that live in here in North America and somewhere in either Peru or Bolivia.  Although there's not a ton of overlap, I have enough for a week's worth of posts.  Some of them are also birds that might live near you, so check them out. 

Today's bird is the White Ibis.  They're really distinct looking and almost impossible to confuse with anything that lives in America.  When they're younger, they're kind of a brown, dirty looking color (you can see a little bit of that left on the front bird's neck) but as they grow they get this bright, white coloring.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Today's Bird: Green Heron

Today's bird is the Green Heron!  They're related to the Great Blue Heron I posted earlier this week, but you almost can't tell.  They're much, much smaller for starters.  They're only 18 inches tall, compared to the Great Blue at about 48.  They live all over the United States in the summer, except in the West.  Look out for them on marshes and lakes skulking around in trees or on dead branches like this guy.  I took this picture at Resaca De La Palma State Park in Brownsville, Texas on May 26, 2012.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Today's Bird: Yellow Throated Warbler

Today's Bird is the Yellow Throated Warbler.  Warblers are really tough to get good pictures of.  They're small (around 5 inches long) and they zip around in high canopy as fast as they possibly can looking for bugs and other food sources.  It's pretty rare that I get a good picture of one.  Mostly, I get a lot of blurry, gray or brown blobs.  This particular warbler migrates through the Gulf Coast and heads up to the southeast.  I took this picture at Estero Llano Grande State Park on February 11, 2012.