Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bahama Mockingbird

The Bahama Mockingbird (Scientific name - Mimus gundlachii) is a fairly large mockingbird, larger than the more common Northern Mockingbird.  Its range is confined to the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos, southern Jamaica and a few islands near Cuba.  It is sometimes a vagrant to the southeastern part of Florida. It does not mimic other species but does have a beautiful song of varied notes.  It is mostly brown in colour with streaking on the breast and two white strips on its wings.  Photos were taken at Little San Salvadore Island (Halfmoon Cay) in the Bahamas in March 2014.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

European Starling

The European Starling (Scientific name - Sturnus vulgaris) is also known as the Common Starling. Their name comes from the fact that they have short wings and resemble stars in flight.  They are found throughout North America, having been introduced in New York in the nineteenth century by Shakespeare enthusiasts.  They are also found throughout Europe and into the Middle East. They have been introduced in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. They look black, but have a purplish green iridescence. In winter they are brown with white spots.  Photos taken in Vancouver in December 2013 (top) and April 2014 (middle) and Surrey in March 2014.

Purple Gallinule

The Purple Gallinule (Scientific Name - Porphyrio martinica) is also sometimes known as a "swamp hen". These birds are in the rail family and resemble coots and moorhens. They range from the southern U.S, through the Caribbean and Central America and down into South America, as far south as Argentina. They  have large feet and can be seen walking across floating vegetation.  They have a dark purple neck and underside and a green back. Their bill is red with a yellow tip and they have a blue forehead. Legs and feet are yellow. Photos taken in March 2014 in the Florida Everglades near Weston, Florida.

Palm Warbler

 The Palm Warbler (Scientific name - Setophaga palmarum) is a small songbird that is found in the eastern part of North America as far north as Canada and south into the Caribbean. It has a rusty cap and yellowish underparts. These birds are distinctive as they are always wagging their tails. These photos were taken in March 2014 on Little San Salvadore Island 
(Half Moon Cay) in the Bahamas.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Green-winged Teal

The Green-winged Teal (Scientific name - Anas crecca) is a small dabbling duck found throughout North America. It breeds in Canada and Alaska and winters in the southern Caribbean and Mexico.  It is a beautiful duck with the male having a distinctive rufous coloured head with a dark green ear patch. Photos were taken in March 2014 at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, B.C. and at Blackie Spit, Crescent Beach, Surrey, B.C.