Return of Bird of the Week: Lesser Violetear

Wickersham's Conscience

You can never have too many hummingbirds.

Green Violetear, Costa Rica Lesser Violetear, Costa Rica

The Lesser Violetear was formerly lumped with its Mexican cousin as the Green Violetear. In 2016, the Green Violetear was split into the Mexican Violetear (Nicaragua north to Mexico) and the Lesser Violetear (Costa Rica south to Bolivia). If you’re a lister, it’s an armchair bird added to your life list. Lesser Violetear inhabits highland humid forest borders, clearings and highland pastures, and is resident throughout its range. It’s a pretty common feeder bird.

Green Violetear, Panama Lesser Violetear, Panama

Like most hummingbirds, this is a nectar feeder, adding insects to its diet primarily when feeding young. It lays two eggs and all maternal duties are performed by the female: nest-building, incubation and feeding the young. The male, apparently, is in charge of looking handsome.

So far as is known, the species is doing well. Human activity probably has little direct effect…

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Can You See The Difference Between The Cedar Waxwing And The Bohemian Waxwing?

Birder's News

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Above is a Cedar Waxwing, notice the narrow dark mask and throat, the yellow underside and short crest. They are found throughout the US, Canada and into Mexico.

Both species of Waxwings have crests and yellow on the tips of their tails.

Below are Bohemian Waxwings, they are larger and grayer with chestnut under-tail coverts and a yellow and white pattern on their wings. They are found mostly in Alaska and Canada, but occasionally wander down into Northern USA.

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I found these cuties a few years ago while I was hiking through an apple orchard in New Hampshire, USA. I had looked up on the Audubon birding app to see what birds were in the area and someone had listed the Bohemian Waxwings. I was very excited, but doubtful that I would actually see them, since I have been birding in New England for many years and had never seen…

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Last Day Of January, I’m At 156

Birder's News

Okay, so today is the last day in January and I’m currently at a total of 156 species for the month/year… I added a few more yesterday. One of the birds I saw was a Ross’s Goose. There was a group of Snow Geese foraging in a farmer’s field too far away for me to really get a good look at them. Suddenly something spooked them and off they flew, high into the sky then they circled around and landed in a pond closer to me…

I was able to take a few photos before they decided they would rather fly back to the fields. When I got home I downloaded my photos onto my iPad for a better look and I was able to find the Ross’s Goose among the flock of Snow Geese.

The Ross’s Goose is smaller than the Snow Goose, with a smaller bill, rounded head…

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Don’t Look At These Photos Unless You’ve Already Eaten!

Birder's News

We all know about the circle of life, but that doesn’t mean that we enjoy looking at other animals being eaten! Sometimes when you are out birding or just enjoying the great outdoors you happen upon the reality of the wild kingdom, some birds eat animals and other birds!

Here is a Peregrine Falcon I spotted flying by with a pigeon in his talons. He found a nearby pole to perch on and have his meal, that’s when I walked away…

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Next is a parent Osprey bringing what I believe to be a fish to its young.

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Here’s a Great Blue Heron flying over the lake looking for the perfect spot to stop and enjoy the fish he just caught. I have stayed and watched the Great Blue Heron eating a fish and they make sure it is very wet before lining it up in their bill and swallowing…

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The White-tailed Kite Is Quite The Hunter!

Birder's News

A member of the Hawks and Eagle family this ghost like bird is beautiful to watch, especially when they are hunting.

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There is a park that I know where every time I go there I see a pair of White-tailed Kites. The last time I was there, I think I saw them within the first 5 minutes of walking into the park! I did however find another pair at a different park where I had never seen them before.

This pair was hunting, they would fly over open country, pause frequently, hover and look around to see what’s on the ground below. When they saw its prey, the Kite dove down and caught it in their talons.

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715AA334-0B5F-4FEC-86A0-0AA5B73B9B92The Kite used to eat mostly voles, but since the introduction in the US of the European house mouse, they eat mostly mice. In the 1940s the White-tailed Kite was considered endangered and…

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