الأحد، 13 مارس، 2016

Black Scoter


Black Scoter

Melanitta nigra

Description

ADULT MALE Has uniformly black plumage. Otherwise dark bill has a striking bulbous yellow knob at base. First-winter male is similar to adult male although plumage is browner and bill color is duller. ADULT FEMALE Mainly dark brown plumage, but with well-defined pale buff cheeks and throat. JUVENILE Resembles an adult female.

Dimensions

Length: 17 to 21" (43 to 53 cm)

Habitat

Locally common. Nests beside tundra pools in Canadian Arctic. Outside breeding season, almost entirely marine and quite at home in rough seas. Winters on North Atlantic seaboard.

Observation Tips

In winter, flying Black Scoters are seen in long, trailing lines snaking along horizon. During migration vast flocks may be observed.

Range

Florida, Eastern Canada, Alaska, Southeast, California, Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Mid-Atlantic, Texas, Western Canada, Plains, New England, Northwest

Voice

Displaying males utter whistling calls.

Discussion

Rather uniformly dark diving duck. Male is only duck in the region with all-black plumage and female's nearly all dark plumage is relieved only by her contrasting pale cheeks. Relatively long tail is sometimes elevated when swimming. Outside breeding season, Black Scoters are highly gregarious. In flight, all birds look mainly dark, although in good light paler flight feathers can sometimes be discerned.

Photo Credits:

FWS

الخميس، 10 مارس، 2016

American Copper


American Copper

Lycaena phlaeas

Description

The Small Copper, American Copper, or the Common Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) is a butterfly of the Lycaenids or gossamer-winged butterfly family.

The upperside forewings are a bright orange with a dark outside edge border and with eight or nine black spots. The hindwings are dark with an orange border. Some females also have a row of blue spots inside the orange border and are known as form caeruleopunctata. The undersides are patterned in a similar way but are paler. The black spots on the forewings are outlined in yellow and the dark colouring is replaced by a pale brownish, gray. The hindwings are the same brown/grey colour with small black dots and a narrow orange border. The caterpillars (larvae) are usually green, but some have a purple stripe down the middle of the back and along each side.

It is widespread and common across Europe, Asia, and North America, and also found in North Africa south through to Ethiopia.

It can be found almost anywhere in south/central England and Wales although never, it seems, in large numbers. Its distribution becomes more patchy in northern England, Scotland and Ireland.

Dimensions

7/8 to 1 1/8" (22 to 28 mm).

Habitat

Alpine & subalpine habitats, Canyons & caves, Cities, suburbs & towns, Meadows & fields, Scrub, shrub & brushlands.

Range

Great Lakes, Florida, Alaska, Northwest, Western Canada, Eastern Canada, California, Rocky Mountains, Plains, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, New England, Southeast.

Photo Credits:

Ettore Balocchi, Ettore Balocchi

Acadian Hairstreak


Acadian Hairstreak

Satyrium acadica

Description

The Acadian Hairstreak (Satyrium acadica) is a butterfly of the Lycaenidae family. It is found from British Columbia east to Nova Scotia and south to Idaho, Colorado, the northern Midwest, Maryland and New Jersey.

The wingspan is 29 to 38 mm. There is one tail on each hindwing. The upperside is brown-grey, while the underside of the hindwings is grey. Adults are on wing from June to August in one generation per year. They feed on flower nectar of various flowers.

The larvae feed on the leaves of Salix species, including Salix nigra and Salix sericea. The species overwinters as an egg.

Dimensions

1 1/8 to 1 1/4" (28 to 32 mm).

Habitat

Canyons & caves, Meadows & fields, Scrub, shrub & brushlands.

Range

Western Canada, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountains, New England, Eastern Canada, Plains.

Photo Credits:

Tom Peterson, Fermilab

الأربعاء، 9 مارس، 2016

American Avocet


American Avocet

Recurvirostra americana

Description

ADULT In summer, has orange-buff flush to head and neck. Underparts are white and upperparts are black with white on scapulars and upper back. In winter, buffy elements of plumage become whitish. JUVENILE Similar to dull summer adult with washed out orange-buff coloration and pale edges to back feathers.

Dimensions

Length: 16 to 20" (41 to 51 cm)

Habitat

Locally common in breeding season but mostly outside range of this book; favors shallow lakes, muddy ponds, and marshes. In winter, mainly coastal, found on pools and mudflats along Gulf coast and on Atlantic coast to North Carolina.

Observation Tips

Easy to observe and identify.

Range

Southeast, California, Eastern Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Florida, Great Lakes, Northwest, Western Canada, Plains, New England, Texas, Rocky Mountains, Southwest

Voice

Utters a sharp kweet.

Discussion

Elegant wading bird. Despite seasonal differences in plumage, unmistakable with black and white plumage overall, extremely long pale bluish legs, and slender, upcurved bill. Long, thin bill is swept from side-to-side in shallow water, collecting tiny invertebrate prey. Looks striking in flight: seen from above, black wingtips, outer wing coverts, and scapular stripes contrast with otherwise white plumage. Sexes are similar, but male's bill is straighter than female's.

Photo Credits:

Kevin Cole, Dan Pancamo, donjd2, Ingrid Taylar

Alder Flycatcher


Alder Flycatcher

Empidonax alnorum

Description

ADULT Has dull olive-green upperparts. Note narrow white eyering and broad-based bill with pinkish orange lower mandible. Wings are dark with pale inner flight feather fringes and two bold white wing bars. Underparts are pale with olive-gray wash on chest. JUVENILE Similar to adult, but with buffy wing bars.

Dimensions

Length: 5 to 6" (13 to 15 cm)

Habitat

Common and widespread summer visitor (mainly Jun-Aug) to damp, deciduous woodland with alders and willows. Winters in South America.

Observation Tips

Hard to separate from Willow with certainty, unless song is heard; with practice, call is a good clue too.

Range

Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Alaska, Western Canada, Southeast, Texas, New England, Plains, Great Lakes, Eastern Canada

Voice

Song is a harsh, repeated rrr'BEE-eh; call is a sharp piip.

Discussion

Confusingly similar to Willow, and both species favor damp woodland. Best identified by voice; silent birds are often not separable. See Willow's entry for discussion of subtle structural differences. Engages in aerial sorties from perches near top of tree after flying insects; also hovers and gleans insects from foliage. Sexes are similar.

Photo Credits:

Cephas

السبت، 9 مايو، 2015

الأحد، 3 مايو، 2015

المغرب يطلق مشروعا لتتبع "غزال المهرّ البرية


المغرب يطلق مشروعا لتتبع "غزال المهرّ البرية"

أعادت مندوبية المياه والغابات ومحاربة التصحر، وهي مؤسسة حكومية مغربية تعني بالمحافظة على المياه والغابات، يوم الخميس الفارط، أحد أفراد "غزال المهرّ البرية" المهددة بالانقراض، إلى موطنه الأصلي.

وسيتم تتبع هذا الغزال بنظام تحديد المواقع "جي بي اس"، في أول تجربة من نوعها في منطقة الصحراء والساحل.

عملية إعادة هذه الحيوانات إلى مواطنها الأصلية ، ينطلق من تربيتها في محميات المراقبة (غابات مراقبة)، وذلك من أجل التكاثر والتوالد، والحفاظ على الحيوانات بالصحراء", وكانت العملية الأولى لإطلاق هذا القطيع كانت عامي 2008 و2010، وذلك بإدخال هذه الحيوانات في مواطنها الأصلية".

وغزال المهرّ هو صنف من الغزلان الإفريقية المرتحلة التي تعيش في الصحراء الكبرى، بشمال إفريقيا، وتهاجر جنوبا خلال فصل الجفاف بحثا عن الطعام، ومن ثم تعود إلى الشمال مجددا عند هطول الأمطار وعودة ازدهار النباتات.

وقد امتد موطنه في السابق في كامل شمال افريقيا إلا أن الصيد المكثف أدى إلى تقليص موطنها لينحصر حاليا في المغرب، وفي المنطقة بين السنغال وموريتانيا والسودان وكانت آخر مرة شوهد في الجزائر سنوات الستينات من القرن الماضي.