Welcome to Week #18 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #18 challenge is Birds starting with the letter “A”. The letter “A” needs to be at the beginning of one or more of the names. For example, Anna’s Hummingbird, Smooth-billed Ani or American Goldfinch. Some of my favorite shots are going to be shared in this post. A few have made appearances before and some are new to my blog world.
This post begins the alphabet challenge that will be sprinkled in every few weeks or so. We may skip some letters unless I can get creative with the “X” birds.
Because I’m not feeling very well, you are going to see birds that I have blogged before because I just don’t have the strength to search my endless archives to meet this challenge. I want to stay on schedule so please forgive me for that.
No fever, no cough, just a nagging sore throat. My glands are swollen. I will call the doctor today. The only place I’ve been the past two weeks is the chiropractor & post office and donned with my mask.
Upcoming challenges can be found on my Bird Weekly Challenge Page.
The feature image is a photo of an Anhinga.
The American Robin is a wide-spread bird that can be found all over North America. They winter here in Florida and come by the flocks, usually flying alongside the Cedar Waxwings. They feast on earthworms and enjoy a tree full of berries. These birds can produce up to 3 broods per year, however only about 40 percent are successful.
The American Avocet is a sophisticated bird with an elegance other birds don’t possess. They are found in shallow wetlands like this guy. We captured this bird with others like him at the Henderson Birding Preserve in the City of Henderson, Nevada. Not too far from Las Vegas. The above photo shows an adult in breeding plumage. Females will sometimes lay eggs in the nest of another female who will incubate them without noticing the extra eggs. They may lay their eggs in other species nest too.
The male Anhinga is black with silvery white streaks on the back & wings. The feathers almost look iridescent at times. Females and juvenile Anhingas have a tan head, neck and breast. Anhingas feed on small to medium-sized fish, crustaceans and invertebrates catching its prey underwater. They typically spear fish and with a partially open bill, thrust to secure it.
Typically not seen in Northern Florida, this Smooth-billed Ani stopped in for about a 3-4 week visit to Little Talbot Island in Jacksonville last year. It was a rare bird sighting for us and he has been featured in more than one blog. Their habitat is tangled shrubs like in the photo above but in the tropics of South America and the Caribbean. They live year round in parts of southern Florida, but their numbers have been declining.
A couple of weeks ago I gave you a male American Redstart for Short-legged Bird Weekly and this week I am featuring a female American Redstart. Young male American Redstarts have gray and yellow plumage, like females, until their second fall.
American Oystercatchers are easy to spot with their red-orange beak and orange eye that stands out on a solid black head. They are found along the coastline of the United States, Mexico & South America, plus throughout the Bahamas & Puerto Rico. They prefer sandy, shelly beaches for nesting but will nest in salt marshes. Oystercatchers will seek refuge in agricultural areas when tropical storms or nor’easters prevent them from foraging.
The American White Pelican is found all over North America, Central American, Caribbean and has even been spotted in Bermuda. They breed mainly on isolated islands in freshwater lakes, in the northern Great Plains or ephemeral islands in shallow wetlands. They favor coastal bays and inlets in the winter and have been known to stop in aquaculture farms in Mississippi during spring migration. These pelicans don’t dive like the Brown Pelican. As they glide into a waterhole, they will often land with a plop. Not the most graceful at landing, but quite the contrary in the air with their 9 foot wingspan (2.74 meters).
Until next week…Week #18 – Birds Starting with an “Owls”