ABC Bird of the Week:  Swainson’s Hawk
This handsome western buteo, which occurs in both light and dark morphs (color variations), was named for British naturalist William Swainson. Some of its folk names—“grasshopper hawk” or “locust hawk”—reflect this bird’s tastes in prey. 
Starting in late August, nearly the entire population of Swainson’s Hawks migrates south to Argentina and Brazil in huge “kettles” or flocks. Over 800,000 Swainson’s Hawks can pass by single hawk-watching sites in Veracruz, Mexico, in a single fall day.
The species’ migration is a round trip of more than 12,000 miles—the longest of any North American raptor.
In the 1990s, Swainson’s Hawks showed an alarming decline in the western U.S., which was traced to heavy mortality on their wintering grounds. An estimated 35,000 birds had died in Argentina in one season alone, carpeting the ground with dead birds in some places…
(read more: American Bird Conservatory)
photograph by Ian Maton

ABC Bird of the Week:  Swainson’s Hawk

This handsome western buteo, which occurs in both light and dark morphs (color variations), was named for British naturalist William Swainson. Some of its folk names—“grasshopper hawk” or “locust hawk”—reflect this bird’s tastes in prey.

Starting in late August, nearly the entire population of Swainson’s Hawks migrates south to Argentina and Brazil in huge “kettles” or flocks. Over 800,000 Swainson’s Hawks can pass by single hawk-watching sites in Veracruz, Mexico, in a single fall day.

The species’ migration is a round trip of more than 12,000 miles—the longest of any North American raptor.

In the 1990s, Swainson’s Hawks showed an alarming decline in the western U.S., which was traced to heavy mortality on their wintering grounds. An estimated 35,000 birds had died in Argentina in one season alone, carpeting the ground with dead birds in some places…

(read more: American Bird Conservatory)

photograph by Ian Maton

The white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, found in Europe and northern Asia. Measuring 66–94 cm (26–37 in) in length, the species 1.78–2.45 m (5.8–8.0 ft) wingspan is on average the largest of any eagle. Although they often scavenge, the eagles may also hunt prey such as fish, birds and mammals.
 Photograph by Yathin S Krishnappa
(via: Wikipedia)

The white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, found in Europe and northern Asia. Measuring 66–94 cm (26–37 in) in length, the species 1.78–2.45 m (5.8–8.0 ft) wingspan is on average the largest of any eagle. Although they often scavenge, the eagles may also hunt prey such as fish, birds and mammals.

Photograph by Yathin S Krishnappa

(via: Wikipedia)

libutron
libutron:

Crested Eagle - Morphnus guianensis 
With large size and slender form, the Crested Eagle, Morphnus guianensis (Accipitridae), is a South and Central American raptor that lives primarily in tropical and subtropical forest. 
These eagles reach up to 84 cm in length and wingspan up to 176 cm. The underparts are variable, there are dark morph and pale morphs.   
Crested Eagles take medium-sized birds, mammals such as monkeys and opossums, reptiles, and frogs. They still-hunt from a perch, and may forage by flying slowly above the canopy. 
This species is regarded as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. 
Other common names are Guianan Crested Eagle, Águila Crestada, Águila Monera, Arpía Menor.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Thierry Montford | Locality: French Guiana (2009)

libutron:

Crested Eagle - Morphnus guianensis 

With large size and slender form, the Crested Eagle, Morphnus guianensis (Accipitridae), is a South and Central American raptor that lives primarily in tropical and subtropical forest. 

These eagles reach up to 84 cm in length and wingspan up to 176 cm. The underparts are variable, there are dark morph and pale morphs.   

Crested Eagles take medium-sized birds, mammals such as monkeys and opossums, reptiles, and frogs. They still-hunt from a perch, and may forage by flying slowly above the canopy. 

This species is regarded as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. 

Other common names are Guianan Crested Eagle, Águila Crestada, Águila Monera, Arpía Menor.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Thierry Montford | Locality: French Guiana (2009)

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Chimango Caracara (Milvago chimango)

…a species of Caracara (Polyborinae) which occurs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Chimango caracaras typically inhabit subtropical and tropical dry shrubland, temperate grassland, Patagonian steppe, and heavily degraded former forests. Like other caracaras Milvago chimango is omnivorous and will feed on reptiles, amphibians, other small animals and carrion. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Falconiformes-Falconidae-Polyborinae-Milvago-M. chimango

Images: E. Schreurs and Cláudio Dias Timm

ABC Bird of the Week:  Snail Kite
The Snail Kite has one of the most specialized tools among raptors: a long, deeply curved beak designed to pull snails—the birds’ main food—out of their shells. This specialized diet restricts the Snail Kite to wetlands, so if that habitat is destroyed, the bird declines.
When hunting, Snail Kites fly low over marshlands, plunging down to snatch snails from just under the water or from vegetation. They then return to a favorite perch to feed. Although common in Latin America, the species is a federal and state endangered species in the United States.
Snail Kites are gregarious and may congregate in flocks at roost sites (as this recording from Brazil demonstrates) or while foraging for food. The birds also nest in colonies in low trees and bushes, usually over water. This species is markedly dimorphic: males are a dark blue-gray with striking red legs and females are streaked brown and white, with a white eyebrow line…
(read more: American Bird Conservancy)
 photograph by R.J. Wiley

ABC Bird of the Week:  Snail Kite

The Snail Kite has one of the most specialized tools among raptors: a long, deeply curved beak designed to pull snails—the birds’ main food—out of their shells. This specialized diet restricts the Snail Kite to wetlands, so if that habitat is destroyed, the bird declines.

When hunting, Snail Kites fly low over marshlands, plunging down to snatch snails from just under the water or from vegetation. They then return to a favorite perch to feed. Although common in Latin America, the species is a federal and state endangered species in the United States.

Snail Kites are gregarious and may congregate in flocks at roost sites (as this recording from Brazil demonstrates) or while foraging for food. The birds also nest in colonies in low trees and bushes, usually over water. This species is markedly dimorphic: males are a dark blue-gray with striking red legs and females are streaked brown and white, with a white eyebrow line…

(read more: American Bird Conservancy)

 photograph by R.J. Wiley

Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus)
… are the fastest members of the animal kingdom. When preying on other birds, peregrines can dive through the air at speeds of over 200 mph! Usually, the impact from the dive (or stoop) will kill or stun the prey, and then the peregrine will retrieve the prey in mid-air. This fearless species also happens to be one of the most common and widespread birds of prey in the world. 
(via: Grand Teton National Park - WY, USA)

Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus)

… are the fastest members of the animal kingdom. When preying on other birds, peregrines can dive through the air at speeds of over 200 mph! Usually, the impact from the dive (or stoop) will kill or stun the prey, and then the peregrine will retrieve the prey in mid-air. This fearless species also happens to be one of the most common and widespread birds of prey in the world.

(via: Grand Teton National Park - WY, USA)