Band-tailed Seedeater – Bird of the Day #199

Band-tailed Seedeater / Catamenia analis

Today’s Bird of the Day is the aptly-named Band-tailed Seedeater.

Bird of the Day - Band-tailed Seedeater

Seedeaters are small passerines that feed on… wait for it… seeds. They were originally thought to be relatives of sparrows, but further study places them with Tanagers in the Thraupidae family.

Or at least that is true of the seedeaters of Central and South America. There are also seedeater species in Africa, but they are members of the finch family Fringillidae.

Confused yet? Not to worry. You can just appreciate them for their understated elegance and industriousness.

We spotted this one in the Laguna de Siecha, a former gravel pit in the Eastern Andes. (To birders, gravel pits are almost as exciting as sewage lagoons!). The target bird was the rare and endangered Bogotá Rail. Were we successful in our quest? Stay tuned! 🙂

Laguna de Siecha, Cundinamarca District, Colombia, December 2017.

Bird of the Day #6 – House Wren

Originally posted to Facebook on 14 April 2020.

Bird of the Day - House Wren

Spring migration seems to be about a week early this year. Whilst walking home in a socially-distant way last week I spotted one of these wee beasties – a House Wren – hopping around in a shrub. They are common birds in southern Ontario, normally arriving towards the end of April.

One authority claims that they are the most widespread bird species in the Americas. They can be found from the southern tip of South America up to as far as Fort McMurray.

To be precise the bird in this photo is a member of the Northern subspecies of House Wren population. Southern House Wrens live in Central and South America and are non-migratory.

Kingston, Ontario, April 2020.

Southern House Wren, Senda Mitú Cachivera, Vaupes District, Colombia, January 2020

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