Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bird of the Week XXXlll - Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

This weeks "Bird of the Week" is the Chimney swift. A "flying cigar," the Chimney Swift is rarely seen perched. Its high-pitched twittering is a familiar sound during summertime as it flies high above, catching small flying insects. The Chimney swift has a fast, erratic flight. They are among the most aerial of birds, flying almost constantly except when at the nest or roosting at night. The Chimney Swift bathes in flight, gliding down to water, smacking the surface with its breast, then bouncing up and shaking the water from its plumage as it flies away. Chimney swifts feed on flying insects by pursuing the flying insects and catches them in their bill. They feeds in flocks or alone. Chimney swifts can devour over 1,000 insects in a day!

It's nest is a half saucer of woven small twigs held together with saliva. It's glued with saliva to inside wall of chimney.
Photos from All About Birds.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bird of the Week - XXXl - Monday, May 9th, 2011

This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Baltimore oriole. This is the time of the year that the Baltimore oriole returns to Reading from it's wintering grounds in Central and South America. The male Baltimore oriole has brilliant orange and black plumage. It's wings, throat, back, and tail are black while it's underparts, shoulders, rump, and the tip and edges of tail are orange.

The Baltimore oriole breeds along woodland edges and open areas with scattered trees, especially deciduous trees. They also frequent parks and wooded urban areas. There nest is gourd-shaped and woven from hair, plant fibers, and synthetic fibers. It is hung by the rim from thin branches or a fork in a tall tree.

The Baltimore oriole eats caterpillars, fruits, insects, spiders, and nectar. They can sometimes be attracted to your backyard by putting out halved of oranges or grape jelly!

It's song is a series of rich whistled notes interspersed with rattles. It's call is a chatter.
Photos from All About Birds

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bird of the Week - XXX - Monday, May 2nd, 2011

This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Northern flicker. This large woodpecker is the fourth woodpecker to be on the Bird of the Week, along with the Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied woodpeckers. Flickers are large, distinctive woodpeckers that are often seen on the ground in open areas, eating ants and beetles. In flight, these large brown, woodpeckers have a white rump that is very visible and a flash of yellow in the wing. The face is gray and there is a black patch just below the throat. The male has a red "moustache". There call is a long, loud, "laughing-like" sound. Look for flickers in open habitats near trees, including woodlands, edges, yards, and parks.
Photos from All About Birds.