Wildlife

Top 25: Birds of America

The Americas have a rich and varied avifauna. The United States is home to 1107 different species of birds, while Canada and Alaska host 686 and 521 species respectively. Despite being a smaller country, Mexico has almost as many birds as the US, with 1118 species recorded here. However this pales in comparison to South America, which has more birds than any other continent, with an amazing 3389 species recorded here! This week we present just a few of birds that occur in the Americas, from bluebirds, to hummingbirds and trogons. Thank you to all the photographers who contributed this week, your efforts have brought the birds of America to us all.

The Eastern Bluebird is native to the open woodlands of eastern North America and central America (Sanjeev K Goyal)
There are an estimated 1.5 million Anna’s Hummingbirds in North America (Judi Fenson)
A Peregrine Falcon comes in to land in San Pedro, USA (Leslie Reagan)
Anna’s Hummingbirds are expanding their range due to people planting exotic plants that provide nectar and putting out nectar feeders (Anirban Roychowdhury)
The Yellow-shafted Flicker has been known to cause problems in human environments by excavating in unusual locations. One such instance was in the insulation of a fuel tank at the space station in Florida, which cost over one million dollars to repair (Zachary Vanier)
The Virginia Rail is typically found in vegetated freshwater marshes, here one forages on the edge of a marsh in Quebec, Canada (Tony Campbell)
Here in California, the Western Bluebird relies heavily on mistletoe berries during the winter (Barbara Wallace)
A Bald Eagle soars over a lake in Alaska (Suranjan Mukherjee)
A Black-capped Chickadee photographed in Malta, New York by Zachary Vanier
The Black Phoebe is most closely related to the flycatchers (Sanjeev K Goyal)
Black-chinned Hummingbirds are known to feed on nectar from 40 different species of plant. They also eat flies and mayflies to supplement their protein intake (Tim Nicol)
During the breeding season the California Gull is found in inland habitats but during the winter they are more coastal (Mann P Arora)
The Black-crested Coquette, a type of hummingbird, is native to central America. This female was photographed in Costa Rica by Antonis Tsaknakis
A male Greater Sage Grouse displays in Colorado (Christopher Ciccone)
This little Magnolia Warbler migrates between Canada/northern USA and central America (Owen Deutsch)
Mallard Ducks occur across the Northern Hemisphere. This one was photographed in New York by Zachary Vanier
The Mountain Bluebird is the state bird of Idaho and Nevada (Jola Charlton)
The Northern Cardinal is commonly parasitised by cowbirds (Arun Samak)
A Red-tailed Hawk in California’s Yosemite National Park (Sanjeev K Goyal)
A Rufous Hummingbird photographed in Republic, Washington by Jola Charlton
The Slaty-tailed Trogon is typically found in the canopies of damp tropical forests of central America (Antonis Tsaknakis)
Stellar’s Jays are usually seen in pairs in patchy woodland habitats (Judi Fenson)
This Tricolored Heron is usually found in coastal areas, like this one in Florida (Owen Deutsch)
In the north of their breeding range, White-crowned Sparrows tend to have one brood per season but further south they may have multiple broods per season, as food conditions are favourable for longer (Tim Nicol)
The endangered Whooping Crane has a very limited distribution. They breed in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada and over-winter in a small region of Texas and Mexico (Christopher Ciccone)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Marine Birdlife

Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.

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