1000s of Purple Martins in Summer Staging Flock

Thank you to the Houston Audubon for sharing this great photo of a flock of Purple Martins near the Old Navy store near Fountain Lake Circle here in Houston, Texas. Purple Martins are a native insect eating bird that people can help provide homes for with Purple Martin Nesting boxes.

In mid-summer to early fall, they stage in large numbers in the Southern United States, after finishing breeding and raising young, as a prelude to migration to South America.

(via: Texas Parks and Wildlife - Houston Urban Wildlife)

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne coronata)

…is a species of treeswift found throughout Southeast Asia and parts of Australasia. Unlike true swifts these treeswifts nest in and perch on trees. However like swifts, the crested treeswift feeds almost exclusively on the wing catching insects in mid-flight. The distinct crest which gives the species its name is not dimorphic and is found on both males and females.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Apodiformes-Hemiprocnidae-Hemiprocne-coronata

Image Source(s)


Black Swift (Cypseloides niger)
The high-flying Black Swift is the largest swift found in the United States, at over seven inches long. It is black overall with a pale gray head, and appears very long-winged while in flight. Like other swifts, it spends most of its life on the wing, where it feeds exclusively on flying insects. Its feet are tiny and weak, so this bird does not perch, but clings to the vertical cliff walls where it nests.

A recent study conducted by the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory has revealed that at least some Black Swifts migrate about 4,300 miles to winter in lowland rainforest in western Brazil.
 Black Swifts usually lay a single egg in a shallow nest made of moss bound with mud, usually close to or behind waterfalls. Clutches consist of a single egg. This species has one of the most prolonged nestling periods of North American birds, beginning nesting in June, with young birds leaving the nest in September, immediately before migration begins. Adult birds often leave their young for the entire day, returning to feed them near dusk; the young birds spend the day in a state of torpor, or “suspended animation” awaiting their return…
(read more: American Bird Conservancy)       (photo: Natureserve)
(Read more on about this groundbreaking study)

Black Swift (Cypseloides niger)

The high-flying Black Swift is the largest swift found in the United States, at over seven inches long. It is black overall with a pale gray head, and appears very long-winged while in flight. Like other swifts, it spends most of its life on the wing, where it feeds exclusively on flying insects. Its feet are tiny and weak, so this bird does not perch, but clings to the vertical cliff walls where it nests.

A recent study conducted by the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory has revealed that at least some Black Swifts migrate about 4,300 miles to winter in lowland rainforest in western Brazil.

 Black Swifts usually lay a single egg in a shallow nest made of moss bound with mud, usually close to or behind waterfalls. Clutches consist of a single egg. This species has one of the most prolonged nestling periods of North American birds, beginning nesting in June, with young birds leaving the nest in September, immediately before migration begins. Adult birds often leave their young for the entire day, returning to feed them near dusk; the young birds spend the day in a state of torpor, or “suspended animation” awaiting their return…

(read more: American Bird Conservancy)       (photo: Natureserve)

(Read more on about this groundbreaking study)