Birds of the Week # 22

Muscovy Duck


Muscovy Duck (Male)
Muscovy Duck (Male)

Muscovy Duck (Female)
Muscovy Duck (Female)

The Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata) is a large duck native to the Americas. Small wild and feral breeding populations have established themselves in the United States, particularly in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, the Big Island of Hawaii, as well as in many other parts of North America, including southern Canada. Feral Muscovy ducks are found in New Zealand, Australia, and in parts of Europe.


Eastern Bluebird


Eastern Bluebird (Male)
Eastern Bluebird (Male)

The Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) is a small North American migratory thrush found in open woodlands, farmlands, and orchards. Eastern bluebirds are social, and will sometimes gather in flocks of over a hundred. However, they are territorial during the breeding season and may continue to defend a feeding area throughout the winter.


Blue Grosbeak


Blue Grosbeak (Male)
Blue Grosbeak (Male)

The Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), is a medium-sized North American passerine bird in the cardinal family Cardinalidae. It is mainly migratory, wintering in Central America and breeding in northern Mexico and the southern United States. This is a migratory bird, with nesting grounds across most of the southern half of the United States and much of northern Mexico, migrating south to Central America and in very small numbers to northern South America; the southernmost record comes from eastern Ecuador.


Song Sparrow


Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

The Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) is a medium-sized New World sparrow. Among the native sparrows in North America, it is easily one of the most abundant, variable and adaptable species.  Adult song sparrows have brown upperparts with dark streaks on the back and are white underneath with dark streaking and a dark brown spot in the middle of the breast. They have a brown cap and a long brown rounded tail. Their face is gray with a brown streak through each eye.


Savannah Sparrow


Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow

The Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) is a small New World sparrow. It was the only member of the genus Passerculus and is typically the only widely accepted member. This passerine bird breeds in Alaska, Canada, northern, central and Pacific coastal United States, Mexico and Guatemala. The Pacific and Mexican breeders are resident, but other populations are migratory, wintering from the southern United States across Central America and the Caribbean to northern South America.


Mourning Dove


Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the dove family, Columbidae. Most mourning doves migrate along flyways over land. On rare occasions, mourning doves have been seen flying over the Gulf of Mexico, but this appears to be exceptional. Mourning doves (Z. m. carolinensis) are native to the North Atlantic archipelago of Bermuda, approximately 1,044 km (649 mi) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (the nearest landfall); 1,236 km (768 mi) south of Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia; and 1,538 km (956 mi) due north of the British Virgin Islands, from which they had been migratory, but since the 1950s have become year-round residents.


Tufted Titmouse


Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

The Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) is a small songbird from North America. Tufted titmice nest in a hole in a tree, either a natural cavity, a human-made nest box, or sometimes an old woodpecker nest. They line the nest with soft materials, sometimes plucking hair from a live animal such as a dog. If they find snake skin sheddings, they may incorporate pieces into their nest. Eggs measure under 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) long and are white or cream-colored with brownish or purplish spots.


© HJ Ruiz – Avian101

Special Places # 38

Panoramic Photos


Photo Gallery



1 – Top Left – First Row: “Path into the woods” during Autumn in Paulding County, Georgia.

2 – Top Right – First Row: Vogel Lake up during sunrise in the mountains of Georgia.

3 – Second Row: View of the Grand Tetons Mountain Range, one of my favorite places in the world. Wyoming.

4 – Third Row: Man-made old dam for a Mill in Morris County, New Jersey.

5 – Bottom Left: View across the river bend at Little River canyon in Alabama.

6 – Bottom Right: Serene view of salt marsh in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


© HJ Ruiz – Avian101

Red Art Gallery – Northern Cardinal # 47

Red Art Gallery


Photo Gallery


Northern Cardinal (Female)
Northern Cardinal (Female)

Northern Cardinal (Male)
Northern Cardinal (Male)

© HJ Ruiz – Avian101

Birds of the Week # 21

House Finch


House Finch (Male & Juvenile)
House Finch (Male & Juvenile)

House Finch (Male)
House Finch (Male)

The House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a bird in the finch family Fringillidae. It is native to western North America and has been introduced to the eastern half of the continent and Hawaii. House finches forage on the ground or in vegetation normally. They primarily eat grains, seeds and berries, being voracious consumers of weed seeds such as nettle and dandelion; included are incidental small insects such as aphids. They are frequent visitors to bird feeders throughout the year, particularly if stocked with sunflower or nyjer seed, and will congregate at hanging nyjer sock feeders. The house finch is known to damage orchard fruit and consume commercially grown grain, but is generally considered an annoyance rather than a significant pest.


Blue Grosbeak


Blue Grosbeak (Male)
Blue Grosbeak (Male)

Blue Grosbeak (Male, juvenile)
Blue Grosbeak (Male, juvenile)

The Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), is a medium-sized North American passerine bird in the cardinal family Cardinalidae. It is mainly migratory, wintering in Central America and breeding in northern Mexico and the southern United States. The male is blue with two brown wing bars. The female is mainly brown with scattered blue feathers on the upperparts and two brown wing bars. The blue grosbeak nests in a low tree or bush or a tangle of vegetation, usually about 1–2.5 m (3.3–8.2 ft) above ground, often at the edge of an open area.


Eastern Towhee


Eastern Towhee (Male, juvenile)
Eastern Towhee (Male, juvenile)

The Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) is a large New World sparrow. The taxonomy of the towhees has been under debate in recent decades, and formerly this bird and the spotted towhee were considered a single species, the rufous-sided towhee. Breeding begins in spring and continues to late summer. Reports of eastern towhees nesting as early as late March in Florida and Georgia, in mid- to late April in some midwestern states, and as late as mid-May in northern New England were summarized in a literature review. Literature reviews also report nest construction by the female, which takes about three to five days.


Northern Mockingbird


Northern Mockingbird (Juvenile)
Northern Mockingbird (Juvenile)

The Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is a mockingbird commonly found in North America.  These birds forage on the ground or in vegetation; they also fly down from a perch to capture food. While foraging, they frequently spread their wings in a peculiar two-step motion to display the white patches. There is disagreement among ornithologists over the purpose of this behavior, with hypotheses ranging from deceleration to intimidation of predators or prey.


European Starling


European Starling
European Starling

The European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), also known simply as the starling in Great Britain and Ireland, is a medium-sized passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae. Large flocks typical of this species can be beneficial to agriculture by controlling invertebrate pests; however, starlings can also be pests themselves when they feed on fruit and sprouting crops. Common starlings may also be a nuisance through the noise and mess caused by their large urban roosts. Introduced populations in particular have been subjected to a range of controls, including culling, but these have had limited success, except in preventing the colonization of Western Australia.


Brown-headed Cowbird


Brown-headed Cowbird (Female)
Brown-headed Cowbird (Female)

The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is a small, obligate brood parasitic icterid native to temperate and subtropical North America. It is a permanent resident in the southern parts of its range; northern birds migrate to the southern United States and Mexico in winter, returning to their summer habitat around March or April. The brown-headed cowbird is typical for an icterid in general shape, but is distinguished by its finch-like head and beak and smaller size. The adult male is iridescent black in color with a brown head. The adult female is slightly smaller and is dull grey with a pale throat and very fine streaking on the underparts.


American Goldfinch


American Goldfinch (Male)
American Goldfinch (Male)

The American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) is a small North American bird in the finch family. It is migratory, ranging from mid-Alberta to North Carolina during the breeding season, and from just south of the Canada–United States border to Mexico during the winter. The American goldfinch is a granivore and adapted for the consumption of seedheads, with a conical beak to remove the seeds and agile feet to grip the stems of seedheads while feeding. This finch has also been known to eat garden vegetation and is particularly fond of beet greens. It is a social bird and will gather in large flocks while feeding and migrating.


© HJ Ruiz – Avian101

%d bloggers like this: