August 5, 2014 - Little Bee-eater (Merops pusillus)

Requested by: burkeshelley

These bee-eaters are found in sub-Saharan Africa. They eat insects, including bees and wasps, which they strike against their perches, removing the stingers. They often roost communally on branches, huddling together in a row. The male and female both incubate the eggs in a small burrow nest.

August 4, 2014 - Whiskered Screech Owl, Spotted Screech Owl, or Whiskered Owl (Megascops trichopsis)

Requested by: karrikut

These small owls live in Mexico and Central America, their range extending into Southern Arizona and Southwestern New Mexico. They eat flying insects, and some other invertebrates, usually hunting from a perch. These owls nest in tree cavities, often those made by woodpeckers. Their call is usually described as sounding like Morse code.

August 3, 2014 - Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus)

Requested by: karrikut

Red-throated Pipits are long-distance migrants found in Europe, Asia, Africa and parts of Alaska. They search for food mostly on the ground, eating insects and seeds, and build their nests on the ground from dry grasses. These birds only have their characteristic red throats while in their breeding plumage.

Other herons worth considering: purple heron + night heron. Herons are rad

They definitely are :) I’ll add both of those to the list.

you could totally make one of those tear-off-a-day calendars btw! The art is beautiful and the information is interesting!

I’m so glad you like it, I had a lot of fun drawing this beautiful bird. It’s so cool that you mentioned the calendar idea! I’ve recently been talking with my family about doing some kind of bird calendar. I’m definitely going to have to do some research on that!

August 2, 2014 - Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

Requested by: astockdoveisacompactpigeon

These herons are found from the United States through northern South America. They hunt for small fish, crustaceans, insects, spiders, rodents, reptiles, and amphibians, usually by standing near shallow water and lunging to catch or spear their prey. Green Herons use food, twigs, feathers and other objects as lures, placing them in the water to attract fish. The male usually starts building the nest before finding a mate, when the female takes over and finishes the construction.

August 1, 2014 - Sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)

Requested by: thegrish

These hummingbirds are found in the Andes from Venezuela to Bolivia. Their bills are longer than their bodies, not including their tails. They use these unusual beaks to reach nectar in tube-shaped flowers with very long petals. The flower Passiflora mixta is reliant on them for pollination, as its shape does not allow bees or other insect pollinators in. Like other hummingbirds, they eat tiny insects as well as nectar. Their genus and species name “ensifera” means “sword wielder” in reference to their bills.

July 31, 2014 - Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)

Requested by: confuzzledpigeon

Found in western North America, these jays are year-round residents of coniferous forests. They are omnivorous, eating a large variety of plant and animal foods, sometimes including garbage or food stolen from humans. They are very good at imitating sounds, including those of other birds, cats and dogs, and even mechanical objects. Steller’s Jays occasionally hybridize with Blue Jays where their ranges overlap.

July 30, 2014 - Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

Requested by: spoopyroggenrola

The Western Meadowlark is a member of the blackbird family found in grasslands of western North America. They eat seeds, including grain, and insects, prying holes in soil by sticking their beak in and opening it. This behavior is called “gaping” and is also seen in other varieties of blackbirds. The Eastern Meadowlark looks very similar to the Western, but the two rarely hybridize. The Western Meadowlark is the state bird of Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming, second only to the Cardinal in number of states.

July 29, 2014 - Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

Requested by: catsi-spiders

Ruddy Turnstones live in coastal areas around the world, migrating to coastal tundra to breed. They are named for their habit of overturning stones to find invertebrates beneath them. Their wedge-shaped beaks also allow them to dig holes and open barnacles. Males and females both care for the chicks, nesting in open areas near water. 

July 28, 2014 - Three-wattled Bellbird (Procnias tricarunculata)

Requested by: the-mad-hatteress

Three-wattled Bellbirds are native to Central America, from eastern Honduras to western Panama. They are important seed dispersers for trees in the Lauraceae, or wild avocado, family. These fruits make up a large part of the Bellbird’s diet. The birds regurgitate the seeds after eating the fruit, allowing them to sprout far from the original trees. The male’s call is extremely loud and often has a metallic sound. He spends much of the breeding season calling from an exposed perch high in the canopy. These birds are classified as Vulnerable, mostly due to habitat loss.

It’s definitely worth watching a video of the male calling:

July 27, 2014 - Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Requested by: melancholyflapper and ceruleanseabird

These birds are year-round residents of the northern United States and southern Canada. They eat insects, seeds, berries, and other plant material, often stashing food to eat later. They can remember the locations of hundreds of these hiding places. Chickadees use a variety of complex calls to communicate information such as threats and recognition of other flocks. Other species often join their flocks and are able to recognize their alarm calls, even when those species have no equivalent call.

Here’s an interesting article on how a certain part of the Chickadee’s brain expands in the fall: