Scale-backed Antbird- Hylophylax poecilinota
This antbird belongs to a family of passerines known as Thamnophilidae.This small tropical bird is named " antbird " because many of the species engage in a "ritual" called anting, and their main diet also consists of various insects, including ants. There are approximately 220 species of antbird (!), the central habitat of the antbirds being the Amazon Tropical Rainforests, although they manage to survive as far north as Southern Mexico and as far south as Northern Argentina. Antbirds usually live in pairs or alone, although a small number of species actually do have a social order. Interestingly, the social "rank" of an antbird is determined by the size and strength of the ant columns that it owns. Since birds use " ant armies " for eating, they must compete for the best ones, and usually the adult male birds get the best armies, while the fledglings are forced into less productive areas. During the breeding season, the two partners, paired for life, both share "babysitting" duty, with the female usually brooding at night. At this time, the pair restricts its feeding range to near around is nest. In the jungles of South America, the antbird songs are said to be one of the most beautiful and harmonious sounds in the forest. These sounds are very different for the different species, ranging from flute-like melodies to the quacking and whistling calls of certain antshrikes.
Photographed by Jan Hein Ribot.
Lapland Longspur (Bunting)- Calcarius lapponicus
By far the most numerous and widespread of the Longspurs, this bird breeds in Tundra and coastal areas of the far North. In breeding plumage, this male has a black crown, face, throat and upper chest, with a white stripe behind the eye and down behind the ear-coverts, setting off the rufous-chestnut nape. The underparts are white, with black streakings on the flanks.
Females and winter males have the crown streaked with buff and black, partial rufous collar across the nape and a variable amount of black on the throat and neck. In flight, the Lapland is a long-winged, bulky, lark-like bunting, with a distinctive tail pattern : less white than other north american Longspurs have (Smith's, Chestnut-collared and McCown's), even when the bird flushes at close range. In Europe, Lapland must be distinguished from Little and Reed Buntings.
Photographed by Frode Falkenberg
Black Tern- Chlidonias niger
This marsh Tern is a common inland laridae nesting on lakeshores and coasts of North America and Europe. While breeding adults are mostly black, with dark grey back, wings and tail, and white undertail coverts, juvenile and winter birds are white below, with a grey mantle (not clear on this picture slightly altered by light :-). A dark ear patch extends from dark crown and a distinctive black shoulder patch can be seen on side of breast in flying birds. Dark on head is usually more extensive than on the Whiskered Tern - Chlidonia hybridus - and the bill is longer and heavier. Some juveniles show a contrasting pale rump and long black legs. This bird has been photographed in the Danube Delta, Romania.
Photographed by Stephane Moniotte
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