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2014 MAY Bird of the Month – Glossy Ibis

(Please see picture gallery below – if you have any pix please send to sheilaelliot@yahoo.com)

May Bird of the Month – Glossy Ibis

From Ben Kolstad’s article in the May-June Kite: “May’s bird of the month is the darker version of last month’s bird, although it’s in a different genus from the white; Glossy . . . → Read More: 2014 MAY Bird of the Month – Glossy Ibis

2014 APRIL Bird of the Month – White Ibis

(Please see picture gallery below – if you have any pix please send to sheilaelliot@yahoo.com)

April Bird of the Month – White Ibis

From Ben Kolstad’s article in the April Kite: “

April’s bird of the month was known to early settlers of southwest Florida as “the Chokoloskee chicken” because of its size, . . . → Read More: 2014 APRIL Bird of the Month – White Ibis

2014 March Bird of the Month American Coot

(Please see picture gallery below – if you have any pix please send to sheilaelliot@yahoo.com)

March Bird of the Month – American Coot

From Ben Kolstad’s article in the March Kite: “

Although you’ll hear many spectators at our local wetlands boardwalks call these birds “ducks,” you of course know better: the bird of . . . → Read More: 2014 March Bird of the Month American Coot

2014 February Bird of the Month Purple Gallinule

(Please see picture gallery below – if you have any pix please send to sheilaelliot@yahoo.com)

February Bird of the Month – Purple Gallinule

From Ben Kolstad’s article in the February Kite: “

This month’s bird is one of the stars of our local wetland areas. It’s always fun to see this . . . → Read More: 2014 February Bird of the Month Purple Gallinule

2014 January Bird of the Month Gallinule

(Please see picture gallery below – if you have any pix please send to sheilaelliot@yahoo.com)

January Bird of the Month – Common Gallinule (Common Moorhen)

From Ben Kolstad’s article in the January Kite: “What’s that? You’ve never heard of the Purple Gallinule’s cousin, Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata)? That must mean you’ve started birding within the . . . → Read More: 2014 January Bird of the Month Gallinule

Dec 2013 Ruby-throated Hummingbird Bird of the Month

(Please see picture gallery below – if you have any pix please send to sheilaelliot@yahoo.com)

December Bird of the Month

Anyone who has the native plant called firebush (Hamelia patens) or other bright tubular flowers in their back yard is a candidate for a visit from this tiny winter resident of Palm Beach County, . . . → Read More: Dec 2013 Ruby-throated Hummingbird Bird of the Month

Birds of the Month for 2014

January – Common Gallinule (Common Moorhen) February – Purple Gallinule March – American Coot April – White Ibis May – Glossy Ibis June – Roseate Spoonbill July – Green-winged Teal August – Blue-winged Teal September – Northern Pintail October – American Wigeon November – Northern Shoveler December – Ring-necked Duck

Nov 2013 WILD TURKEY Bird of the Month

(Please see picture gallery below – if you have any pix please send to sheilaelliot@yahoo.com)

November Bird of the Month

Wild Turkey. Our bird for this month of Thanksgiving is the star attraction on a few of our county’s wilder wildlife management areas. Meleagris gallopavo is a striking bird, both its outrageous good looks and . . . → Read More: Nov 2013 WILD TURKEY Bird of the Month

October 2013 Red Headed Woodpecker Bird of the Month

(Please see picture gallery below – if you have any pix please send to sheilaelliot@yahoo.com!) …

October Bird of the Month, concluding our woodpecker series, is the Red-headed Woodpecker, another fairly scarce bird locally, although some have been sighted recently in previously unexpected locales. “Melanerpes erythrocephalis” is a striking bird — the scientific name means . . . → Read More: October 2013 Red Headed Woodpecker Bird of the Month

September 2013 Red Cockaded Woodpecker

(Please see picture gallery below – if you have any pix please send to sheilaelliot@yahoo.com!) September Bird of the Month is the Red Cockaded Woodpecker, the rarest of our local species. Picoides borealis is a scarce bird because of their habitat requirements. Like our Scrub Jay, the RCW depends on fire to maintain its home, . . . → Read More: September 2013 Red Cockaded Woodpecker

August 2013 Pileated Woodpecker Bird of the Month

(Please see picture gallery below) August Bird of the Month will be the Pileated Woodpecker. It’s hard to mistake August’s woodpecker, the Pileated, whether you’re “only” hearing it, or you have it in sight. The boldly patterned face, large size, and bright flash of white in the wings all shout “here I am!” It has . . . → Read More: August 2013 Pileated Woodpecker Bird of the Month

July 2013 DOWNY WOODPECKER Bird of the Month

(Please see picture gallery below) The bird of the month for July is the Downy Woodpecker. The smallest and, arguably, cutest, of our local hammerheads, Picoides pubescens is a relatively common bird in the urban environment; they make their living probing dead wood for insects and spiders. They have a cheery little chirp call. If . . . → Read More: July 2013 DOWNY WOODPECKER Bird of the Month

2013 June RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER Bird of the Month

(Please see picture gallery below) The bird of the month for June, the Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) is sometimes mistaken for the Red Headed Woodpecker. The Red-Bellied does indeed have red in its head, but only in a stripe from neck to crown (female) or from neck to bill (male). The redhead’s head is entirely . . . → Read More: 2013 June RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER Bird of the Month

2013 May PURPLE MARTIN Bird of the Month

(Please see picture gallery below) The bird of the month for May, Progne subis, has been called “America’s most wanted bird,” because they are so popular. Palm Beach County has our share of them, but if you want to see a huge population, check out http://www.gonetothebirdsrva.com. A common spring and summer resident here in Palm . . . → Read More: 2013 May PURPLE MARTIN Bird of the Month

2013 April Bird of the Month – BARN SWALLOW

(Please see picture gallery below) The bird of the month for April, Hirundo rustica, is the most widespread swallow in the world. A common spring and fall migrant in Palm Beach County, it is a fairly rare winter bird here. No other North American swallow shows such a deeply forked tail, so if the cobalt . . . → Read More: 2013 April Bird of the Month – BARN SWALLOW

2013 March Bird of the Month CEDAR WAXWING (next month Barn Swallow)

(See member picture gallery below). The bird of the month for March, Bombycilla cedrorum, is one of only three species worldwide in the family Bombycillidae. This starling-sized bird with a vaguely flycatcher appearance looks like neither bird when seen adequately, and sounds like nothing else. This black-masked brown gray and lemoncolored bird enjoys eating fruit; . . . → Read More: 2013 March Bird of the Month CEDAR WAXWING (next month Barn Swallow)

2013 Feb COMMON LOON Bird-of-the-Month (CEDAR WAXWING will be in March 2013)

(See member picture gallery below). Back in 2007, February’s bird of the month, Common Loon (Gavia immer), was removed by the American Ornithological Union from its long-standing place at the beginning of our field guides, to be replaced by the Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, Swans). Nevertheless, it is still a regular winter visitor to Palm Beach . . . → Read More: 2013 Feb COMMON LOON Bird-of-the-Month (CEDAR WAXWING will be in March 2013)

2013 Jan AMERICAN ROBIN Bird-of-the-Month

(See member picture gallery below). January’s bird of the month, Turdus migratorius, is the largest North American thrush (related to the Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, Swainson’s Thrush, etc.). It’s also one of the most puzzling migratory mysteries left in our continent’s avifauna—where you might see thousands of them one winter, you’ll see none the next! . . . → Read More: 2013 Jan AMERICAN ROBIN Bird-of-the-Month

2012 December HERRING GULL Bird of the Month

(See member picture gallery below). December’s bird of the month, Larus argentatus, is one of two fairly large gulls in Palm Beach County. Herring Gulls are large gulls with hefty bills and robust bodies. In flight, they look barrel-chested and broad-winged compared to smaller species such as Ring-billed Gulls.Adults have light-gray backs, black wingtips, and . . . → Read More: 2012 December HERRING GULL Bird of the Month

2013 Bird-of-the-Month list

For all you photographers out there, here’s the Bird Of The Month List for 2013:

· January – American Robin

· February – Cedar Waxwing

· March – Common Loon

· April – Barn Swallow

· May – Purple Martin

· June – Red-bellied Woodpecker

. . . → Read More: 2013 Bird-of-the-Month list

2012 November Ring-billed Gull Bird-of-the-Month

(See member picture gallery below). November’s bird of the month, Larus delawarensis, is one of two fairly common gulls in Palm Beach County. It’s slightly larger than Laughing Gull, our other common larid, although both are considered medium-sized gulls. The bill of the adult is yellow with a black ring (hence the common name), whereas . . . → Read More: 2012 November Ring-billed Gull Bird-of-the-Month

2012 October Sandwich Tern Bird-of-the-Month

(See member picture gallery below). October’s bird of the month, Sterna sandvicensis, SANDWICH TERN, is a medium-sized tern with a yellow-tipped black bill. It occurs more regularly on the west coast of Florida than our Atlantic beaches. There is, though, a Caribbean and South American (Atlantic) subspecies, the Cayenne Tern, that has an all-yellow bill. . . . → Read More: 2012 October Sandwich Tern Bird-of-the-Month

2012 September Brown Pelican Bird-of-the-Month

(See member picture gallery below). September’s bird of the month is a familiar sight to beachgoers here, a large, graceful soarer that is ever so ungainly on land: the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis). A large bird, it is nevertheless the smallest of the seven species worldwide; its cousin the American White Pelican is substantially larger. . . . → Read More: 2012 September Brown Pelican Bird-of-the-Month

Bird of the Month for May: American Bittern

American Bittern. Photo by Don Mullaney.

American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus, is May’s bird of the month. Another shy skulker of the wetlands, American Bittern can sometimes be seen “camouflaging” itself with its beak in the air in plain sight on a manicured lawn!

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American Bittern. Photo by Don Mullaney

American Bittern. Photo by Don Mullaney.

American Bittern. Photo by Helen Beers.

Bird of the Month for April: Least Bittern

Least Bittern, Ixobrychus exilis, is our bird of the month for April. Shy and secretive most of the time, at this time of the year it can often be seen flying around our two constructed wetlands in Delray/Boynton Beach: Wakodahatchee and Green Cay.

Least Bittern, Green Cay. Photo by Don Mullaney. Note the eye . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month for April: Least Bittern

Bird of the Month for March: Fish Crow

Fish-crow from Audubon's Birds of North America

Fish Crow, Corvus ossifragus, is a common resident in SE Florida, but it hasn’t always been that way according to Cornell’s Birds of North America online:

Florida. Bailey (1925) stated that Fish Crow in Florida was found mostly in vicinity of brackish and salt waters, although flocks sometimes moved inland in search of food. Howell . . . → Read More: Bird of the Month for March: Fish Crow

February’s Bird of the Month: Indigo Bunting

The bird of the month for February is Passerina cyanea, Indigo Bunting. In its winter dress it resembles a small sparrow and frequents weedy areas in Palm Beach County. It seems to love the feeders at the Okeeheelee Nature Center as well.

From the All About Birds website at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, here . . . → Read More: February’s Bird of the Month: Indigo Bunting

Bird mortality

According to a New York Times article yesterday,

“Five billion birds die in the U.S. every year,” said Melanie Driscoll, a biologist and director of bird conservation for the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi Flyway for the National Audubon Society. That means that on average, 13.7 million birds die in this country every day.

That’s . . . → Read More: Bird mortality

Indigo Bunting pictures for display?

Do any of our talented ASE photographers have any pictures of next month’s BOTM, Indigo Bunting, that they would like to email me? I will use them in the article about the Indigo Bunting and provide attribution, of course.

American Kestrel take-off

Don Mullaney sent in the flight sequence below featuring January’s bird of the month (American Kestrel). Thanks, Don!

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I’m particularly taken with photo 3, which shows how long the wings are in relation to the body; it’s quite amazing what these little raptors can do.