Additional New Birds – Part One

During the course of time I’ve dedicated to photograph birds for my blog I’ve also seen many birds which I didn’t get the opportunity of using my camera to document my find because several unintended reasons. Those birds I do not count on my List of Birds. However, I have a group of birds that I shot only one or two frames, they will be added to my list.

I will start with two species for today’s post.

Bird # 192

The Ruddy Duck – Latin name: Oxyura jamaicensis

This a duck from North America and the Andes Mountains of South America, one of the stiff-tailed ducks.

Their breeding habitat is marshy lakes and ponds. They nest in dense marsh vegetation near water. The female builds the nest out of grass, locating it in tall vegetation to hide it from predators. A typical brood contains 5 to 15 ducklings. Pairs form each year.

Ruddy Duck

Ruddy Duck

Adult males have a rust-red body, a blue bill, and a white face with a black cap. Adult females have a grey-brown body with a greyish face with a darker bill, cap and a cheek stripe. The southern subspecies ferruginea is occasionally considered a distinct species. It is separable by its all-black face and larger size. The subspecies andina has a varying amount of black coloration on its white face; it may in fact be nothing more than a hybrid population between the North American and the Andean Ruddy Duck. As the Colombian population is becoming scarce, it is necessary to clarify its taxonomic status, because it would be relevant for conservation purposes.

They are migratory and winter in coastal bays and unfrozen lakes and ponds.

These birds dive and swim underwater. They mainly eat seeds and roots of aquatic plants, aquatic insects and crustaceans.

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Bird # 193

The American Golden Plover – Latin name: Pluvialis dominica is a medium-sized plover.

Adults are spotted gold and black on the crown, back and wings. Their face and neck are black with a white border; they have a black breast and a dark rump. The legs are black.

It is similar to two other golden plovers, Eurasian and Pacific. The American Golden Plover is smaller, slimmer and relatively longer-legged than European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) which also has white axillary (armpit) feathers. It is more similar to Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) with which it was once considered conspecific under the name “Lesser Golden Plover”. The Pacific Golden Plover is slimmer than the American species, has a shorter primary projection, and longer legs, and is usually yellower on the back.

American Golden Plover

American Golden Plover

These birds forage for food on tundra, fields, beaches and tidal flats, usually by sight. They eat insects and crustaceans, also berries.

The breeding habitat of American Golden Plover is Arctic tundra from northern Canada and Alaska. They nest on the ground in a dry open area. They are migratory and winter in southern South America. They follow an elliptical migration path; northbound birds pass through Central America about January–April and stage in great numbers in places like Illinois before their final push north. In fall, they take a more easterly route, flying mostly over the western Atlantic and Caribbean Sea to the wintering grounds in Patagonia. The bird has one of the longest known migratory routes of over 25,000 miles. Of this, 2,400 miles is over open ocean where it cannot stop to feed or drink. It does this from body fat stores that it stocks up on prior to the flight. It is a regular vagrant to western Europe.

Text excerpts © Wikipedia – Photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101

11 thoughts on “Additional New Birds – Part One

  1. Perfect timing! A ruddy duck was just spotted at a nearby pond. I hope it’s still there this week-end when I can get there during daylight. Now I’ll know what I’m looking for.

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