Custom Search

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Male Indigo Bunting

The Indigo Bunting, Passerina cyanea, is a small seed-eating bird in the family Cardinalidae.

Adult males have deep blue plumage; the wing and tail are black with blue edges. Adult females are brown: darker on the upperparts, faintly streaked underneath.

Their breeding habitat is brushy edges across eastern North America and the southwest United States. They nest relatively low in dense shrub or a low tree. These birds are monogamous but not always faithful to their partner. In the western part of their range, they often hybridize with the Lazuli Bunting.

They migrate to southern Mexico, the West Indies and Central America. They occur in western Europe as an extremely rare vagrant.

These birds forage on the ground or in trees or shrubs. They mainly eat insects and seeds. In winter, they often feed in flocks.

The song of this bird is a high-pitched buzzed sweet-sweet chew-chew sweet-sweet.

The Indigo Bunting will migrate during the night, using the stars to direct itself. In captivity, since they cannot migrate, they experience disorientation in April/May and in September/October if they cannot see the stars from their enclosure.

Orange Cheeked Waxbill

The Orange-cheeked Waxbill Estrilda melpoda is a common species of estrildid finch native to western and central Africa, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 3,600,000 km².

Orange cheeks like a lot of grass. They eat the seed heads, they forage at its roots for tiny insects, and build their nests directly in it. Some open tall shrubbery and dead, scraggly branches should be provided for roosting. The floor should be composed of a good, dry substrate. Otherwise, the enclosure should have stands of clump and/or runner grasses and reeds which grow 40 cm or taller. Care should be taken to establish walkways through the grass for maintaining the habitat so nests will not be stepped on.

White Tern, Midway Atoll, Hawaii

Midway Atoll (also known as Midway Island or Midway Islands, Hawaiian: Pihemanu) is a 2.4 square mile (6.2 km²) atoll located in the North Pacific Ocean (near the northwestern end of the Hawaiian archipelago) at [show location on an interactive map] 28°12′N 177°21′WCoordinates: [show location on an interactive map] 28°12′N 177°21′W, about one-third of the way between Honolulu and Tokyo. It is less than 140 nautical miles east of the International Date Line, about 2,800 nautical miles (5,200 km) west of San Francisco and 2,200 nautical miles (4,100 km) east of Tokyo. It consists of a ring-shaped barrier reef and several sand islets.

The atoll, which has a tiny population (40 in 2004, but no indigenous inhabitants), is an unincorporated territory of the United States, designated an insular area under the authority of the U.S. Department of the Interior. It is a National Wildlife Refuge administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The visitor program closed in January 2002 and there are no facilities at the present time for receiving visitors. However, visitors who are able to provide their own transportation can contact the refuge manager for information on visiting the atoll. The economy is derived solely from governmental sources. All food and manufactured goods must be imported.

Midway, as its name suggests, lies nearly halfway between North America and Asia. It also lies almost halfway around the earth from Greenwich, England.

Midway is best known as the location of the Battle of Midway, fought in World War II on June 4, 1942. Nearby, the United States Navy defeated a Japanese attack against the Midway Islands, marking a turning point in the war in the Pacific Theater.