Top 25: Birds of America

The Americas have a rich and varied avifauna. The United States is home to 1107 different species of birds, while Canada and Alaska host 686 and 521 species respectively. Despite being a smaller country, Mexico has almost as many birds as the US, with 1118 species recorded here. However this pales in comparison to South America, which has more birds than any other continent, with an amazing 3389 species recorded here! This week we present just a few of birds that occur in the Americas, from bluebirds, to hummingbirds and trogons. Thank you to all the photographers who contributed this week, your efforts have brought the birds of America to us all.

The Eastern Bluebird is native to the open woodlands of eastern North America and central America (Sanjeev K Goyal)There are an estimated 1.5 million Anna’s Hummingbirds in North America (Judi Fenson)A Peregrine Falcon comes in to land in San Pedro, USA (Leslie Reagan)Anna’s Hummingbirds are expanding their range due to people planting exotic plants that provide nectar and putting out nectar feeders (Anirban Roychowdhury)The Yellow-shafted Flicker has been known to cause problems in human environments by excavating in unusual locations. One such instance was in the insulation of a fuel tank at the space station in Florida, which cost over one million dollars to repair (Zachary Vanier)The Virginia Rail is typically found in vegetated freshwater marshes, here one forages on the edge of a marsh in Quebec, Canada (Tony Campbell)Here in California, the Western Bluebird relies heavily on mistletoe berries during the winter (Barbara Wallace)A Bald Eagle soars over a lake in Alaska (Suranjan Mukherjee)A Black-capped Chickadee photographed in Malta, New York by Zachary VanierThe Black Phoebe is most closely related to the flycatchers (Sanjeev K Goyal)Black-chinned Hummingbirds are known to feed on nectar from 40 different species of plant. They also eat flies and mayflies to supplement their protein intake (Tim Nicol)During the breeding season the California Gull is found in inland habitats but during the winter they are more coastal (Mann P Arora)The Black-crested Coquette, a type of hummingbird, is native to central America. This female was photographed in Costa Rica by Antonis TsaknakisA male Greater Sage Grouse displays in Colorado (Christopher Ciccone)This little Magnolia Warbler migrates between Canada/northern USA and central America (Owen Deutsch)Mallard Ducks occur across the Northern Hemisphere. This one was photographed in New York by Zachary VanierThe Mountain Bluebird is the state bird of Idaho and Nevada (Jola Charlton)The Northern Cardinal is commonly parasitised by cowbirds (Arun Samak)A Red-tailed Hawk in California’s Yosemite National Park (Sanjeev K Goyal)A Rufous Hummingbird photographed in Republic, Washington by Jola CharltonThe Slaty-tailed Trogon is typically found in the canopies of damp tropical forests of central America (Antonis Tsaknakis)Stellar’s Jays are usually seen in pairs in patchy woodland habitats (Judi Fenson)This Tricolored Heron is usually found in coastal areas, like this one in Florida (Owen Deutsch)In the north of their breeding range, White-crowned Sparrows tend to have one brood per season but further south they may have multiple broods per season, as food conditions are favourable for longer (Tim Nicol)The endangered Whooping Crane has a very limited distribution. They breed in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada and over-winter in a small region of Texas and Mexico (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 Marine Birdlife

Originally posted 2018-06-01 13:55:29.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Black plumage

Many birds make use of black plumage, whole or only partially. In feathers it is melanin pigments that produce the black to reddish-brown colour, these pigments are enclosed in granular structures called melanosomes. The melanosomes make black feathers stronger and more resistant to wear than non-melanised feathers, and often birds that have mostly white plumage will have wing feathers, or wing tips that are black because these areas often experience the most wear.

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of  birds with black plumage, your pictures can create awareness about the variety and beauty of birds that make use of this type of plumage. Here we present the Top 25 photographs of birds with black plumage.

Greater racket-tailed drongos are an Asian species noted for its long outer tail feathers, in moulting birds these tail feathers may be absent (Ganesh Rao)Black eagles breed in tropical and subtropical Asia, and adults have all black plumage (Panthera Tigris)Blacksmith lapwings are distributed from Kenya to central Tanzania, and south and southwest Africa, they defend their territories by rushing at intruders while calling (Edwin Godinho)Ashy-crowned sparrow-larks are found across South Asia, males have a pattern of black and white plumage on their face (Jay Patel)Black bulbuls are distributed in southern Asia, they feed on insects and seeds, within this species there are ten subspecies that have varying plumage shades (Anupam Kamal)Long-tailed shrikes have mostly rufous plumage with a dark mask, photographed here in Darjeeling, India (Ajoy Kumar Dawn)Birds with mostly white plumage, like this black-headed gull, will have wing feathers, or wing tips that are black, these areas experience the most wear, and the black colouration makes the feathers stronger (Gur Simrat Singh)A rain quail in Maharashtra, India, males have a black breast patch, and black and white head pattern (Indranil Bhattacharjee)House crows have an Asian origin but have been introduced to many parts of the world, they feed on small reptiles, small mammals, and refuse in human habitats (Gargi Biswas)White-bellied minivets can be found in open, dry scrub, grassland, and dry cultivation in Nepal and India (Sandipan Ghosh)Eurasian collared dove preening its feathers in West Bengal, India, these birds are native to temperate and subtropical Asia, but have been introduced other areas over the last 100 years, increasing its range (Ritwick Bhattacharyya)White-spotted fantails are found in south and central India, they have slaty grey plumage and feed on insects (Praveen K Bhat)Dark-fronted babblers are found in the Western Ghats of India, and forests of Sri Lanka, their plumage is brown and white, with a black hood (Pradnya Paralkar)White-breasted waterhen photographed in Bangalore, India, they are found in marshes of tropical Asia (Arun Samak)The diet of the red-vented bulbul consists of fruits, insects, and flower petals; they have an aggressive nature, which, in combination with their fruit eating, makes them one of the world’s worst alien invasive species (Shalini Jain)Pied bush chats are found in central, south, and southeast Asia, males have mostly black plumage while females are mostly brown in colour (Gagan Bedi)Red-headed woodpeckers are found in pine savannas and open forests of temperate North America, due to habitat loss, and decreased food availability they are listed as near threatened by the IUCN (Rhonda Lane)Savanna nightjars are found in south and south east Asia in open forests and scrub areas, photographed here in Haryana, India (Sudhir Kadam)Grey-winged blackbirds feed on insects, fruits, and berries (Shantharama Holla K)Ayre’s hawk-eagles are distributed in the sub-Saharan region, their diet consists mainly of birds, as seen here, especially doves and pigeons (Andrew Keys)Black redstarts breed in south and central Europe, Britain and Ireland, males are dark grey to black on their upper parts with a red lower tail and rump, while females are grey brown with a red lower tail and rump (Nishith Dwivedi)Heart-spotted woodpeckers have mostly black plumage with heart shaped black spots, photographed here in Karnataka, India (Ramesh Aithal)The Masai ostrich in Kenya is a subspecies of the common ostrich which is native to Africa, the pink thighs and neck of this bird will get brighter during the breeding season (Subhamoy Das)Coal tits are found in temperate and subtropical Eurasia and northern Africa, their throat and neck feathers are glossy blue-black, a plumage colour that young birds lack (Halit Uzun)Black vultures have a Nearctic and Neotropic distribution, found in open lands, moist lowland forests, grassland, and shrubland. Like all other vultures they feed mainly on carrion (Jola Charlton)

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 Bird Photographs of the Week: Courtship Displays

Originally posted 2018-10-26 18:13:56.

Top 25 Birds with Red Plumage

Red plumage is quite common in the bird kingdom, especially in males, who use their red feathers to attract females. Scientists have recently pinpointed how a bird’s genetic code allows them to produce red feathers. Birds take in yellow pigments, called carotenoids from their diet, then an enzyme called ketolase allows the bird to convert these to red pigments for the feathers. Their research also showed that birds with red plumage have superior colour vision to other birds, in particular they are better at seeing the colour red.

Here we present the Top 25 Birds with Red Plumage. This week we were lucky enough to get submissions from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Australasia! Thank you to everyone who contributed to our theme this week and well done to all the finalists.

At first glance male and female European Goldfinches look very similar. But if you look closer, the red patch is smaller on females than males, indicating the size of the red patch may be important in mate selection (Anthony Roberts)here we have a Scarlet Finch photographed by Mohit Kumar Ghatak at Baihualing, ChinaA Black-collared Barbet perches on an aloe in the Kruger National Park, South Africa (Brian Culver)A Black-throated Sunbird takes a drink of nectar in Da Lat, Vietnam (Mohit Kumar Ghatak)A true work of art! A pair of Sarus Cranes photographed by Indranil Bhattacharjee in Keoladeo, IndiaA Great Spotted Woodpecker drums on a tree in Helsinki, Finland (Oana Badiu)The Red-crowned Parakeet, or Kākāriki in Māori, is endemic to New Zealand (Adriana Dinu)A male Acorn Woodpecker peeks out from behind his tree in Irvine, USA (Barbara Wallace)This Black-cheeked Woodpecker can only be found in the forests of central America. Adriana Dinu photographed this one in Pico Bonito National Park in HondurasThis Scarlet-faced Liocichla was photographed in Thailand by Saravanan KrishnamurthyWhite-capped Redstarts are strongly associated with streams and marshy areas (Ganesh Rao)Male Common House Finches need to eat foods with plenty of carotenoids during their moulting period in late summer so they can maintain their red plumage through winter (Anirban Roychowdhury)Up close you can really appreciate the brilliant colours of this Crimson Sunbird’s plumage (Gur Simrat Singh)Here we have a male Common Rosefinch. Red plumage is an important part of mate selection for Common Rosefinches, during the breeding season the males’ plumage becomes a brighter red, to attract females (Jasvir Faridkot)an Indian Pitta forages on the ground, pushing aside leaf litter to find insects and other invertebrates (Indranil Bhattacharjee)A male Malabar Trogon photographed in Kotagiri, India (Panthera Tigris)This Maroon Oriole is rather eye catching! Pradnya Paralkar photographed this beautiful bird in Taipei, TaiwanA female Red-naped Sapsucker brings food to her chicks (Tim Nicol)A group of Mitred Parakeets in California, USA. These parakeets are native to South America but have been introduced to California, Florida and Hawaii. In Hawaii they are considered invasive and a threat to local biodiversity (Leslie Reagan)A male Red-headed Finch sunning himself in Kimberley, South Africa (Brian Culver)The Red Munia’s bright red plumage has unfortunately made these birds popular in the pet trade (Jasvir Faridkot)This Red-capped Robin is an Australian endemic, Jamie Dolphin photographed this one in KalgoorlieThis vibrant bird is a Red-tailed Minla, found mainly in China but also as far west as Nepal (Shantanu Bhattacharya)A collection of birds with red plumage would not be complete without the vibrant Northern Cardinal! (Jola Charlton)

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 with a Sugar Rush

Originally posted 2018-08-03 23:23:11.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Feathers

Feathers vary widely in their shape and size and are one of the defining characteristics of birds. Feathers perform many functions for birds which include flight in most species, thermoregulation, waterproofing in marine species, and communication and camouflage via their colour.

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of bird feathers, your pictures can create awareness about the variety of feathers that birds use. Here we present the Top 25 photographs from this week’s theme.

A different view of the tail feathers of an Indian peacock (Vishwas Thakker)Black-naped terns are found in tropical and subtropical areas of the pacific and Indian Oceans, the length of their wings is 21-23cm (Lil’tography Lilian Sng)The green-breasted mango is a hummingbird species found in tropical America, they feed on insects and nectar, and males have glossy green upperparts (Ganesh Rao)Close up of a purple sunbird preening its feathers (Shayan Bose)The Himalayan vulture is found in the Himalayas and is one of the two largest Old World vultures, they are listed as near threatened due to ingestion of livestock meat that has had certain anti-inflammatory drugs given to the livestock (Jyotsana Jetley Nirula)Ring-billed gulls breed in Canada and the northern United States, their head, neck and underparts are white, and their long wings extend past the tail when perched (Kelly Hunt)Grey breasted prinia males and females have similar plumage, they are found in open woodland and scrub jungle where they feed mainly on insects (Jasvir Faridkot)The White-throated mountain-gem is a hummingbird species that breeds in the mountains of western Panama, the males have bright colours while the females lack the bright crown and throat (Anne Harlan)Black-tailed godwit ruffling its feathers in Mangalajodi, Orissa, India (Binit Chatterjee)A close up view of the variety of colours seen on the backside of a green-tailed sunbird in Lava West Bengal, India (Soumya Chakraborty)Egyptian vultures have overall white plumage with black flight feathers in their wings, they are listed as endangered due to reduced food availability and habitat change (Ajay Singh Rajawat)Calliope hummingbirds are native to the United States and Canada and the males have red streaks on their throats as seen here (Tim Nicol)An Indian peafowl can look beautiful even when photographed from behind while dancing (Deepak Singla)Grey-headed swamphens are native to southern Asia, photographed here in Pune, Maharashtra, India (Anvita Paranjpe)Mallard duck burying its head in its feathers, photographed in Louisiana, USA (Rhonda Lane)Martial eagles have a wingspan range of 188 to 260 cm, they have dark brown upperparts, with white underparts with black-brown spotting, photographed in Masai Mara, Kenya (Raghavendra Joshi)Portrait of a Himalayan monal and its beautiful iridescent feathers, males have multi-coloured plumage while female plumage is more subdued (Kalyani Kapdi)Crimson sunbirds are 11cm in length and only adult males have the crimson breast and maroon back, these birds are nectar feeders found in southern tropical Asia (Ananth Ramasamy)The wingspan of the sarus crane ranges from 220 to 250 cm, their body and wing feathers are grey, while their head is mostly red (Kumar Kumud Gangesh)The yellow-brown feathers of the scaly laughingthrush as seen from behind (Saptarshi Mukherjee)Mandarin duck males in breeding plumage are quite colourful, the females are dull in comparison, after breeding the males moult into eclipse plumage and have plumage colouration similar to females (Leslie Reagan)White Bellied sea eagles have dark feathers on their back and wings, and white on their head, rump and underparts (Avijit Dutta)Shining sunbird photographed in Salalah, Oman (Dr SS Suresh)White-spotted fantail spreading its tail feathers in Conoor, Tamilnadu, India (Ravi Muthuswamy)Colourful wood duck photographed in Orange, 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!!

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Forest Birds

Wildlife

bird photography, birding, birdlife, feathers, wildbird

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Courtship Displays

Energetic and colourful courtship displays are used by many bird species to attract a mate and show readiness to copulate. These displays vary widely and include the use of colourful and ornate breeding plumage; melodious songs; energetic dances; and gift giving. Once a mate is chosen pairs may strengthen bonds using behaviour such as allopreening, and feeding each other.

Some of these displays are a sight to behold, and we were lucky to have submissions for a wide variety of species. Thank you to everyone that submitted photographs for this week’s theme; here we present the Top 25 photographs of courtship displays.

Lesser florican male performing a display leap in which the head is arched and the legs are folded, in Pradesh, India (Praveen K Bhat)Brahminy starling male displaying for a female, he will sing, and stand erect while puffing out his feathers (Sandeep Beas)Black-headed gull males will feed females as part of their courtship, as shown here in Surrey, UK (Edwin Godhino)Lesser flamingos perform ritualised group displays involving small movements of the neck, head wagging, and broken-neck posture (Wishwas Thakker)Male peafowl displaying his tail feathers to attract the attention of a female (Mann P Arora)Laughing dove pair in Patiala, India allopreening; usually feathers that are hard to reach for an individual will be preened by its mate (Tarika Sandhu)Green bee-eater displaying in Punjab, India (Baljinder Pal Singh)Great egret displaying breeding plumage, males will choose the display area which later becomes the nesting area (J Bernardo Sanchez)Mississippi kite pair feeding each other in Green Cove Springs, Florida, USA (Jola Charlton)Pin-tailed wHydah male in breeding plumage coming in to land on a branch in Punggol Barat Island, Singapore (Ananth Ramasamy)Sarus crane pair calling and posturing together, pairs will jump and bow together as part of the courtship display (Hitesh Chawla)Atlantic puffins are monogamous; pairs will strengthen their bond upon returning to land by approaching each other, wagging their bills side to side, and then rattling their bills together (Anthony Roberts)In waved albatrosses of the Galapagos Archipelago, courtship involves bill circling and bowing, and beak clacking (Dot Rambin)Yellow-crowned night-heron males will display for females by raising and lowering their heads, and fanning their shoulder plumes (Teri Franzen)White-bellied treepie pair in Thattekad, Kerala, India, preening each other (Shantharama Holla K)Scaly-breasted munia males perform soft and complex songs in the breeding season, when a partner is chosen he will land close and bend towards her to wipe his bill (Baljinder Pal Singh)Red munia male in breeding plumage in Uttar Pradesh, India (Vijay Madan)Northern gannet stretching its head vertically, females will use this posture to let males know that they’re available for courtship, mated pairs will then engage in a fencing display using their beaks (Owen Deutsch)Black-rumped flameback pairs will feed together, photographed here in Bangalore, India (Ramesh Aithal)Grey crowned cranes are monogamous for life, and both males and females perform a courtship dance using bobbing and bowing movements as shown here (Edwin Godinho)Ashy prinia calling to its partner (Vivek Sharma)Male baya weavers will spend approximately 18 days building a nest, before it is complete he will hang from the nest flapping his wings and calling to passing females (Jasvir Faridkot)Anhinga female, with male in breeding plumage. Males initiate courtship by soaring and gliding (Leslie Reagan)Wood stork males are aggressive to females in the breeding season, once the female is accepted however the male will offer her sticks and preen her feathers (Jola Charlton)Intermediate egret pair performing flap flight together in Haryana, India (Sanjay Solanki)

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 Bird Photographs of the Week: Migratory Birds 2

Originally posted 2018-10-19 18:34:19.

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