October 5, 2014 - Harlequin Duck or Sea Mouse (Histrionicus histrionicus)

Requested by: io-kj

These ducks are found in turbulent waters along the coast of Canada, parts of the northern United States, and northern Asia. In the summer they are often seen around inland rivers and streams in forested areas. The squeaky calls of the males have led to the common name sea mouse. They eat insects, fish, and other marine life, diving from the surface of the water to capture their prey.

October 4, 2014 - ‘I‘iwi or Scarlet Hawaiian Honeycreeper (Vestiaria coccinea)

Requested by: coramatus

These rare birds are native to Hawaii, found most often on the islands of Maui, Hawai’i, and Kaua’i. They eat mostly nectar, serving as pollinators for some plants, and also occasionally eating insects. Both parents build the nest together and defend a small area around it. The ‘I‘iwi is in danger of extinction from mosquito-borne diseases, development, and predation and competition from nonnative species.

Q

griseus asked:

Hi Renata, can I ask for Enicognathus leptorhynchus? please :)

A

Of course, I’ll definitely add that one to the list! I had never heard of those parrots before, but I’m excited to draw one. I love discovering interesting birds through requests :)

October 3, 2014 - Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)

Requested by: coramatus

These flycatchers are found in the eastern United States during the summer, migrating through the Caribbean to winter in northern South America. They hunt for insects from a perch, taking flight to catch their prey, then landing again. They build a well-camouflaged nest of grasses or other plant materials covered with lichen. Western Wood-Pewees look almost identical to the eastern species, but can be distinguished by their calls in the area where their ranges overlap.

October 2, 2014 - Orange Bishop, Northern Red Bishop, Grenadier Weaver, Orange Bishop Weaver, or Orange Weaver (Euplectes franciscanus)

Requested by: karrikut

Native to sub-Saharan Africa, these birds have been introduced to parts of the Caribbean and the United States. They eat seeds, grains, and insects and build round woven nests in grass or reed beds. Males have bright orange and black plumage during the breeding season, but molt to a brown sparrow-like coloration that is similar to the female the rest of the year. Males build a nest for each of several females. The females incubate the eggs and care for the chicks alone.

October 1, 2014 - Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)

Requested by: io-kj

These seabirds are found in the north Pacific. They eat fish, mollusks, and cephalopods and can hold up to 20 small fish in their beaks at at time, carrying them to the nest to feed to their chicks. They nest in burrows on cliffs, which can be over five feet (1.5 meters) deep. Tufted Puffins are good fliers, but need a running start to take off.

September 30, 2014 - Hyacinth Macaw or Hyacinthine Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

Requested by: veganprimatologist

These parrots are found in South America. At over three feet (100 cm) long, they are one of the largest parrots, lighter than the Kakapo, but longer from beak to tail. Their strong beaks allow them to break open very hard seeds and nuts, such as those from various palms and brazil nuts. They also eat fruit. Hyacinths are classified as Endangered due to habitat loss and collection for the illegal pet trade.

September 29, 2014 - Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys)

Requested by: La Rita

These sparrows are found in the Great Plains of the United States as well as in parts of Canada and Mexico. They eat insects, seeds, and occasionally fruits. Lark Buntings nest on the ground, using grasses to build a cup-shaped nest, usually near a tree or bush. The males lose their bold black and white plumage outside of the breeding season and look similar to the females with darker throats and patterning. They are the state bird of Colorado.

September 28, 2014 - Star Finch, Red-faced finch, or Rufous-tailed finch (Neochmia ruficauda)

Requested by: astockdoveisacompactpigeon

Native to northern Australia, these finches are found in grassy areas, usually near fresh water. They eat mostly grass seeds, along with some insects. The males have a larger and brighter red face mask than the females. Both sexes perform a courtship display. They are popular in captivity, where several color mutations have been bred, including a yellow faced variety.

September 27, 2014 - Parasitic Jaeger, Arctic Jaeger, Arctic Skua, or Parasitic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus)

Requested by: karrikut

These birds have an extremely large range and can be found in parts of North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. They breed mostly in Arctic Tundra and spend much of their winters at sea, often within a few miles of land. There are light and dark morphs of Parasitic Jaegers, as well as birds with intermediate plumage. Their name refers to their habit of stealing food from other birds, a behavior known as kleptoparasitism. They harass terns, gulls, and auks until they drop their catch, often catching the stolen fish in the air. Small birds, eggs, and rodents make up the rest of their diet.

September 26, 2014 - Rose-ringed Parakeet or Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)

Requested by: hipsterarpaca

These parrots are found in parts of Africa and Southern Asia, with feral populations on several continents. There are four subspecies, two native to Africa and two to south Asia. They eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, sometimes foraging on crops in agricultural areas. Rose-ringed Parakeets are common in captivity and may have been kept as pets by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

September 25, 2014 - Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)

Requested by: coramatus

These flycatchers are found in the western United States, Mexico, Central America, and western South America, usually around water. They mostly eat insects, but may sometimes catch small fish from the surface of ponds. Females build nests from mud and line them with plant fibers. They often attach these to building walls and other human-made structures, although they originally used rock faces, boulders, and tree cavities.