The Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) is a North American bird species combining four closely related forms: the eastern myrtle warbler (ssp coronata); its western counterpart, Audubon’s warbler (ssp group auduboni); the northwest Mexican black-fronted warbler (ssp nigrifrons); and the Guatemalan Goldman’s warbler (ssp goldmani).
This is a mid-sized New World warbler, though it is one of the largest species in the genus Setophaga (formerly Dendroica) which comprises most of the species in the family. In total length, the species can range from 12 to 15 cm (4.7 to 5.9 in) long, with a wingspan of 19 to 24 cm (7.5 to 9.4 in). Body mass can vary from 9.9 to 17.7 g (0.35 to 0.62 oz), though averages between 11 and 14 g (0.39 and 0.49 oz). Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 6.3 to 8.4 cm (2.5 to 3.3 in), the tail is 5 to 6.6 cm (2.0 to 2.6 in)…
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Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Brownsville, Texas
North America boasts two very long-tailed flycatchers. The first is the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. It’s found in the summer throughout he southcentral United States, and year-round in Mexico and Central America. It’s a bit of bug-eating specialist, targeting mostly grasshoppers and beetles. The male’s tail is longer than the female’s and the colors on the female are duller and drabber.
While this species is reasonably adaptable – they are often seen perched on wires and fences – it prefers the mesquite habitat and there is some concern that loss of that habitat through human activities is jeopardizing the species. But, at least so far, populations appear stable.
For more bird photographs, please visit Frozen Feather Images.
Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Oaxaca, Mexico
This is a pretty wretched photo; WC includes it only because it’s the best image WC has of this distant cousin to last week’s Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, the Fork-tailed Flycatcher. It’s a vagrant species in the United States, but fairly common in Mexico and Central America, and much of South America. The tail is even longer than the Scissor-tailed’s. It’s difficult to confuse the two species: the Scissor-tailed has a white head; the Fork-tailed has a black cap and lacks the buffy wash on the sides of the body.
This is a bird of open habitats, including forest edges, secondary vegetation, savannas, pastures, residential areas, lawns, woodlands, cerrado, and mangroves. It hunts on the wing, and that long tail flutters and streams behind the bird as swoops to nab flying insects.
The species has adapted to human disturbances well; we may have even increased its population and distribution…
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Breeding endangered species in captivity and releasing them after proper preparation has worked to keep many species alive–California Condor for example.
The release part is still not a guaranteed for the Hawaiian Crow (Alala), however. Click here to read about their current status, with most Alala living still in captivity. Their threats in the wild include endangered hawk, endangered owl (Pueo) and toxoplasmosis from feral cat feces. There are fewer than 200 of these birds alive.
One pioneer of captive breed and release as programs for endangered species was Gerald Durrell. The TV series, “Durrells in Corfu”, is fun viewing those of us who enjoy animals as much or more than other people.
The robin is one of my favourite birds because they are so obliging and friendly. One of the easiest garden birds to photograph. And I’m not the only fan – the nation voted the robin its favourite bird.
Here are some of the photos I’ve managed to capture of robins this winter. Currently the robin in our garden regularly greets me as I come back from my daily walk and he sits there on the bush near the front door as I struggle to get the pram through. I’ve started offering a hand of seeds to him – with a little patience, I hope to have him feeding out of my hand.
Here’s a nearly Christmas present for WC’s loyal readers.
The Peregrine Fund has an educational mission and performs it very well. Whether it is environmental hazards for birds or habitat loss or climate change, The Peregrine Fund teaches well, wrapping the message in the spectacular birds it houses. The Free Flight programs have probably educated as many non-birders on the astonishing powers of birds as anyone in the country.
But education isn’t the primary mission of TPF; that’s preserving and developing populations of raptors. TPF was a major force in bringing its namesake falcon back from the very bring of extinction. It’s a leading force in captive breeding of the California Condor. And it has international programs involving a dozen other species of endangered raptors.
WC had a chance to get a visit to the back rooms of TPF. Photos were taken.
Harpy Eagles are arguably the Western Hemisphere’s largest…
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