Monday, April 25, 2011

Bird of the Week - XXlX - Monday, April 25th, 2011

This was taken in a backyard on Springvale Rd. in Reading
 This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Eastern Screech owl. This small owl, about 10", has ear tufts and can be found in either a brownish-gray color or a reddish-brown color. The male and female birds look alike, with the female slightly larger. Believe it or not, the Screech owl is common in Reading, however, because it is nocturnal, we don't often see or hear it. They found in most habitats with trees, including urban and suburban areas. If you are careful, patient, and lucky enough, you may spot a Screech owl sitting in a hole in a tree. You may hear one of it's two common calls at night; a descending whistled whinny, or a whistled trill on one pitch.

The Screech owl hunts and eats large insects, small rodents, crayfish, earthworms, and small songbirds. They nest in tree cavities (holes) and will readily nest in man-made nest boxes.

Photos from All About Birds and Roger Tory Peterson print from Bird Watchers Digest.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bird of the Week - XXVll - Monday, April 4th, 2011

This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Mallard duck. The Mallard is one of the most common of all ducks, and is found throughout North America. It is found in all kinds of wetlands and is a familiar inhabitant of urban park ponds. If you have wetlands near you, there is a good chance you have seen these ducks occasionally in your yard.
The Mallard is a large (almost 2 feet long) dabbling duck. Dabbling means that it tips upside down to feed on aquatic ( water) vegetation. They weigh between 2 -3 pounds and have a wing span of about 3 feet. The male has an iridescent green head, rusty chest, and gray body. The female is mottled brown.

Mallards will eat insects and larvae, aquatic invertebrates, seeds, acorns, aquatic vegetation, and grain.