Wild Birds of the Night

Wild Bird Trust present the Top 25 “Wild Birds of the Night”. Nocturnal birds are often lesser known and seldom seen. They tend to be drab since in low light there is little benefit to having brightly coloured plumage. They also have larger eyes than diurnal species which allows maximum light to penetrate to their retina. This week we present a variety of nocturnal birds from owls, to nightjars, patoos and night-herons. Thank you to all the dedicated photographers who have allowed us a window of opportunity into the lives of these secretive birds. If you would like to submit photographs for next week’s Top 25, watch our Facebook page for the announcement of the theme and then upload your image with species, photographer and location as the caption.

The Antillean Nighthawk is native to the Caribbean islands. In autumn they leave these areas, however it is not known where they spend the winter (Sonia Longoria)A beautiful little Northern Saw-whet Owl in Pennsylvania, USA (Melissa Penta)The Barn Owl occurs on almost every continent. Their screeching, eerie call is rather distinctive (Dr Malay Mandal)Brown Fish Owls mainly hunt at waterbodies at night, catching fish, crabs and frogs (Ramesh Aithal)A Buffy Fish Owl photographed in Pasir Ris, Singapore (Ananth Ramasamy)Most Eurasian Eagle Owls are dark, like this one photographed in England. However the one sub-species in Russia is much lighter, this is no doubt an adaptation, to make them less visible in snowy habitats. During the summer in Russia when it is light for most of the night, these owls will hunt during daylight, making this camouflage all the more necessary (Edwin Godinho)A sleepy Grey Nightjar perched on a tree in Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary, India (Suranjan Mukherjee)The female Indian Eagle Owl does not build a nest but simply lays her eggs in a scrape on the ground which makes them vulnerable to predation by civets and mongooses (Vipul Trivedi)The Asian Barred Owlet is fairly common across south-east Asia (Shivayogi Kanthi)A Common Pauraque snoozing in Texas, USA. These birds occur from Texas down to Argentina (Melissa Penta)Nocturnal birds, like this Indian Nightjar, tend to have large eyes which allows maximum light onto the retina in low light conditions (Vinayak Yardi)Spotted Owlets sometimes hunt insects near electric lights (Sandipan Ghosh)Owls and nightjars are what come to mind when we think of nocturnal birds, however others like this Indian Stone-curlew are also most active at night (Udaya Kumar)These small Jungle Owlets, stand at 20 centimetres high, they eat mainly insects (Ajay Singh Rajawat)A Long-eared Owl preening in Novara, Italy (Carlo Galliani)The Mottled Wood-owl is endemic to the woodlands of India (Soumitra Ghosh)The Black-crowned Night Heron becomes active at dusk, when they can often be heard calling (Mainak Ray)The Eurasian Scops Owl breeds in Eurasia before migrating to central Africa for the winter (Antonis Tsaknakis)The Short-eared Owl can be found in the Americas, Eurasia and Africa (Gaurav Budhiraja)Spot-bellied Eagle Owls have magnificent ear tufts (Vinayak Yardi)A male and female Sri Lankan frogmouth side by side. The rufous bird is the female (Soumitra Ghosh)A Tawny Owl photographed in Surrey, England (Edwin Godinho)A magnificent Ural Owl in Finland (Anthony Roberts)The Verreaux’s Eagle Owl is the largest owl in Africa. This one was photographed in Tarangire, Tanzania (Sharon Templin)An amazingly camouflaged Common Potoo in Honduras (Christopher Ciccone)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Endemic Wild Birds

Originally posted 2018-03-29 23:18:34.

Top 25 Birds of Asia

Wild Bird Trust presents the Top 25 Birds of Asia. Out of all the continents, Asia has one of the highest bird diversities, particularly in India and south-east Asia. Here we present just 25 of these fascinating birds. Our Facebook page has a particularly strong following from Asia which meant that we had a massive influx of images for this week’s theme. Hence, these 25 images represent the real cream of the crop! If you would like to submit pictures for next week’s Top 25, keep a look out on our Facebook page for the announcement of the next theme.

A curious White-crested Laughingthrush photographed in Sattal, India by Rick ToorA White-browed Fulvetta darts through the vegetation in search of their favourite food, caterpillars (Sujoy Sarkar)Spot-billed Ducks have strong pair bonds, while the female incubates, the male guards her and the eggs (Anvita Paranjpe)Green Magpie range in colour from grass green to turquoise. This turquoise individual was photographed in the Jim Corbett National Park in India (Ramesh Aithal)Male Knob-billed Ducks like this one have large protrusions on their bills, while females have plain bills. Stark differences between male and female generally indicate that the characteristic is important for mate selection (Vishwas Thakker)A crystal clear shot of a Himalayan Woodpecker. These woodpeckers only occur in a small band along the himalayas, despite this limited range they are quite common (Jasvir Faridkot)This beautiful Sir Lanka Blue Magpie is endemic to central Sri Lanka. Because of their small range and fragmentation of their forest habitats they are considered vulnerable to extinction (Marios Mantzourogiannis)The scarce Spot-winged Starling breeds in the Himalayas and winters in Myanmar and Thailand (Shantanu Bhattacharya)Rufous-capped Babblers flit around the middle and lower reaches of the forest, foraging on insects (Sujoy Sarkar)These Red-breasted Parakeets are declining due to the caged bird trade (Goutam Mitra)Malay Banded Pittas are only found in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. This little female was photographed in Thailand’s Si Phang Nga National Park (Ananth Ramasamy)An exchange between two Indian Skimmers. These skimmers occur along the major rivers in India, preferring sand banks. With the damming of rivers and human development along the watercourses, the population has suffered and is declining (Pranesh Kodancha)An Indian Roller showing off a flash of turquoise as he takes flight (Hitesh Chawla)In many parts of their range Egyptian Vultures rely on man for their food sources, which include livestock carcasses (Preety Patel)The Rufous-necked Snowfinch is native to the steppes of the Tibetan plateau (Subhendu Khanra)A male Rufous-collared Kingfisher in Malaysia, these kingfishers are found in the dense forests of south-east Asia
(Bharath Srinivasan)A Chestnut-shouldered Petronia perched on a rock in Bhopal, India. These birds feed mostly on seeds and occasionally nectar and berries (Goutam Mitra)White-crested Laughingthrushes are very vocal. here you can listen to their loud, carrying call, this bird would not be hard to miss in the forest! (Preety Patel)The Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush only occurs in the Himalayan mountains, up to 2000 metres above sea level (Satyajit Ganguly)An Oriental Pied Hornbill, mid song (Gur Simrat Singh)The Little Spiderhunter eats nectar and insects, they have a habit of taking insects off spiderwebs, hence their name! (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)The Greater Racket-tailed Drongo has impressive tail streamers. In the bird kingdom, long ornamental plumage like this, will usually only be present in males but in this species both sexes have tail streamers (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)The Blue-faced Malkoha belongs to the cuckoo family but it is not a brood parasite, they build their own nest of twigs (Paneendra BA)A vibrant Rufous-bellied Niltava photographed in West Bengal. These little birds are usually found flitting around the forest undergrowth (Sujoy Sarkar)A collection of Asia’s top birds would not be complete without the magnificent Indian Peacock! This photograph was snapped in Ranthambhore National Park, India by Abhaya Shukla

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Birds of Australasia

Originally posted 2018-06-29 14:33:16.

Top 25 Woodland Birds

Wild Bird Trust presents the Top 25 Woodland Birds. Woodlands come in many shapes and forms from snow covered conifer forests of the Northern Hemisphere, to the humid mangroves of India, to dry savanna woodlands of Africa. What these woodlands all have in common is that they are teeming with birdlife. Birds favour forests because they are multi-dimensional habitats, they have many different levels at which to feed and breed. These allow many different species to live together. Here we present 25 of best photographs of bird from woodlands throughout the globe. Thank you to everyone who submitted photographs this week!

The colourful Asian Paradise Flycatcher inhabits a variety of different types of forest, including plantations (Unmesh Jadav)Stork-billed Kingfishers can be found along forested streams and mangroves (Mainak Ray)Brown-headed Barbets are endemic to India. Like most barbet species, they excavate a hole in a tree to nest in (Michal Richter)Clark’s Nutcracker specialises in eating conifer seeds such as pine cones, hence they spend mots of their time in conifer forests (Tim Nicol)Coppersmith Barbets are generally found on forest edges, here you can see one looking out of its hole nest (Unmesh Jadav)A Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher photographed in Bangalore, India by Mukesh MishraThe low cooing call of the Emerald-spotted Wood-doves can often be heard in savanna woodlands in Africa. They are not always easy to see however, they are quite secretive and hide in the branches or undergrowth. This was one spotted in the Kavango region of Namibia by Judi FensonEurasian Nuthatches prefer mature woodland habitats, particularly those with oak trees (Mohit Ghatak)Great Barbets are primarily fruit eaters, they are especially partial to figs and berries (Rick Toor)This cute little bird is a Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker, this one was photographed in Tokyo by Mohit Kumar GhatakMalabar Grey Hornbills nest in tree cavities, they will excavate a rotting tree and the female then seals herself in, remaining there until the chicks are ready to fledge (Paneendra BA)Slaty-headed Parakeets are found in sub-tropical woodlands, they frequently use the nesting holes of other species to breed (Ajay Singh Rajawat)The Western Capercaillie inhabits the confierous forests of Europe and northern Asia. This male was photographed in Slovakia by Michal RichterThe Laughing Kookabura of eastern Australia gets its name from its call which sounds much like raucous laughter (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)You don’t often come across a bird as brilliantly red as the Vermillion Flycatcher! This one was photographed in California, USA by Leslie ReaganThe Cinereous Tit is a sub-species of the Great Tit, one of the best studied birds in the world (Goutam Mitra)Indian Pittas prefer forests with dense undergrowth, here they forage on the ground, moving aside leaf litter to find insects underneath (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)The Dark-eyed Junco breeds in a variety of woodland types. The female builds the nest which is a cup made of grass and lined with hair and moss (Tim Nicol)Jerdon’s Leafbird is endemic to India, here they inhabit open forests (Soumitra Ghosh)Superb Fairy-wrens are naturally found in the eucalypt forests of eastern Australia, however as these are cleared for agriculture, these birds have adapted to living amongst exotic shrubs and in gardens (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)The Bali Staling is Critically Endangered but thanks to a captive breeding program the population is doing well (Vasanth Kumar)This brightly coloured Chestnut-headed Tesia prefers broad leafed forest habitats (Gaurav Budhiraja)The Pileated Woodpecker of North America prefers to live in mature forests where trees are 5 years old or older (Melissa Penta)The White-browed Robin-chat can be found on the edges of forests ad thickets in sub-Saharan Africa. They are readily seen foraging on the ground for insects (Edwin Godinho)This Whitehead is endemic to New Zealand. They prefer native forests but in areas where they have been cleared they have adapted to conifer forests (Tony Stoddard)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Urban Birds

Originally posted 2018-05-03 21:32:43.

Top 25 Wild Birds Photographs of the Week: Birds in Flowers

The wonderful colours often observed when birds interact with flowers have inspired many works of art; from a painting style in Chinese history based entirely on this theme, to modern day bird photography. Often the relationship between birds and flowers is mutualistic; birds obtain nesting material and food, and flowering plants are pollinated. Some bird species such as hummingbirds have co-evolved with particular flower species to become specialised pollinators; this ensures that the flowers always have a pollinator, and reduces competition for nectar between nectivorous bird species.

Thank you to all the photographers who submitted birds in flowers photographs this week, your pictures can bring greater awareness to the variety of birds that make use of flowers. Here we present the Top 25, we had an amazing response to this week’s theme and selection of the Top 25 was not easy!

An American goldfinch collects plant down from a musk thistle in New Jersey, USA (Kelly Hunt)This crimson sunbird photographed in SIngapore is a nectar feeder (Senthil Kumar Damodaran)Rose-ringed parakeet feeding in Faridkot, Punjab, India (Gagan Bedi)A colourful shot of a ruby-throated hummingbird, which has amazing control of its flight, hovering here in Louisiana, USA (Rhonda Lane)Close up of a scaly-breasted munia photographed by Panthera Tigirs in Kotagiri, IndiaAnna’s hummingbirds, found along the Pacific coast of the US, have increased their range since the early 20th century from northern Baja in California due to planting of exotic flowering plants in gardens (Sutapa Karmakar)Red-tailed minla in Darjeeling, India (Ajoy Kumar Dawn)Loten’s sunbirds are endemic to Peninsula India, and Sri Lanka (Malay Mandal)A black-bellied bustard in Tanzania peeks out from amongst the flowers (Edwin Godinho)Broad-billed hummingbird feeding on the nectar of a flower in Arizona, USA (Jola Charlton)Black redstarts are found in rocky areas, and have adapted to urban environments, here photographed in Nubra Valley India by Sandipan Ghosh.Jerdon’s leaf bird feeding on flower nectar in Bangalore, India (Ramesh Aithal)Black-headed oriole perched on an aloe plant in South Africa (Sharon Templin)Brown-throated sunbird hangs from a branch in Singapore (Ananth Ramasamy)Cape spur fowl in amongst the flowers (Owen Deutsch)Purple sunbirds range across the Asian continent, and will defend their territory by singing and mobbing intruders (Sanjeev Kumar Goyal)Brahminy starlings feed on nectar, fruit, and insects (Indranil Bhattacharjee)Olive-backed sunbird perches in a flower in Singapore, they feed on nectar and have adapted to live in urban areas (Bharath Srinivasan‎)Green bee eater in flight in Kushilian Wildlife Sanctuary, India (Vishesh-Kamboj)Purple-rumped sunbird photographed in Pondicherry, India (Pallavi Sarkar)White wagtails are found near water, but have adapted to foraging in urban areas, photographed here in Gujarat, India (VishwasThakker)Sapphire-spangled emerald hummingbird taking nectar from a flower in Brazil (Adriana Dinu)White-cheeked barbet perching on a flower in Bangalore, India (Ganesh Rao)A verditer flycatcher perched on a branch in Sattal, India (Preety Patel)Yellow-rumped warbler flying away, in California, USA (Barbara Wallace)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Laurie Johnson, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Wild Birds Photographs of the Week: The Cranes

Originally posted 2018-09-07 17:15:15.

Wild Birds with a Splash of Colour

Wild Bird Trust presents this week’s Top 25, Wild Birds with a Splash of Colour. Birds are amongst the most colourful in the animal kingdom. Given that having colourful plumage makes you more vulnerable to being spotted by predators it begs the question, why are so many birds colourful? The age old theory is that colour in birds evolved due to sexual selection, females, or in some cases, males pick a mate with brightly coloured plumage as it signals that the individual is healthy and fit. Whatever the evolutionary drivers were, today we can appreciate the amazing diversity of bright colours in the bird kingdom!

If you would like to submit photographs for our Top 25 contest next week, keep a eye on the Facebook page, the next theme will be announced on Sunday. Then you can simply submit your photograph to the Facebook page with species, location and photographer as the caption, good luck!

The male and female Blue-throated Barbet are both brightly coloured. Studies show that in these cases, it is thought to be an adaption for females in monogamously breeding birds. The females of these species are thought to be colourful as they need to compete for males (Ganesh Rao)The European Goldfinch is primarily a seedeater, their beaks are perfectly designed to pick seeds from flowerheads (Suranjan Mukherjee)This Anna’s Hummingbird is a good example of colour sexual dimorphism, driven by sexual selection. The males have a metallic purple throat but the females lack this. During the breeding season the males display energetically to attract females  (Sutapa Karmakar)A Black-lored Tit photographed in Sattal, India (Deepak Sharma)This beautiful Hyacinth Macaw is vulnerable to extinction, mainly due to capture for the pet trade and habitat loss. A number of conservation actions have been put in place, including artificial nests and raising awareness among cattle ranchers (Sharon Templin)The Indian Peafowl has extreme sexual dimorphism. The males have elaborate tails and plumage which attracts the females to their harems (Vishwas Thakkar)The Atlantic Puffin has a beautifully colourful and ornate bill. Sadly they are vulnerable to extinction due to overfishing and disturbance at nesting sites (John Parkinson)During the non-breeding season Long-tailed Broadbills are highly sociable, travelling in large groups of up to 40 birds (Deepak Sharma)Much like flamingoes, Painted Storks stir up the mud so as to disturb prey (Vishesh Kamboj)Red-and-Green Macaws displaying their technicolour plumage in Peru (Antonis Tsaknakis)The Venezuelan Troupial is native to Venezuela, Colombia and surrounding islands, this vibrant bird was photographed in Puerto Rico (Sonia Longoria)The Red-whiskered Bulbul has charming red patches on the ear coverts (Subham Chowdhury)A colourful male Red Avadavat alongside a drab female in Sultanpur National Park, India (Anirban Roychowdhury)The Red-billed Leiothrix is native to eastern Asia but has also established feral populations in Hawaii, Japan and Europe (Suranjan Mukherjee)This Silver-eared Mesia, photographed in Malaysia, is closely related to the Red-billed Leiothrix featured above (Arun Samak)The beautiful iridescent plumage of the Rüppell’s Starling is an example of structural colouration in birds. This is formed by structures in the feather barbules that refract different lights depending on what angle you look at it from (Edwin Godinho)The Shining Honeycreeper can be found in the humid forests of central America, this strikingly blue male was photographed in Panama by Owen DeutschOnly the male Siberian Rubythroat has a red throat, the female’s throat is white. Many birds have colourful throat patches, it is not clear why but the throat region is definitely a visible place to display colourful plumage! (Swarnava Nandi)The Superb Starling is fairly common across East Africa, this stunning individual was Photographed in the Serengeti, Tanzania by Edwin GodinhoThe White-capped Redstart also goes by the name White-capped Water-redstart as they are primarily found along streams and canals (Gaurav Budhiraja)White-breasted Kingfishers are generally diurnal but during India’s monsoon season they can be seen foraging at lights during the evening (Tandel Neel)It is rare to come across a bird with plumage as vividly purple as the Violet-backed Starling! (Shantharam Holla)The strikingly iridescent Himalayan Monal is the national bird of Nepal (Shivayogi Kanthi)The Crimson Sunbird feeds on nectar and insects, they are known to ‘rob’ flowers of their nectar by piercing the base, instead of reaching into the flower (Sudhir Kadam)A group of Greater Flamingoes in the snow in Camargue, France (Christian Bagnol)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Backyard Birds

Originally posted 2018-02-23 17:46:05.

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