Daily Archives: March 11, 2018

One more Troupial

troupial1

They feed birds a little differently in Curacao. This Venezualan Troupial is eating sugar crystals and drinking sugar water at the Hemingway Beach Bar.

We visited Curacao a month ago but I had these last few photos on my desktop and meant to post them, so here we go.

troupial2

A fantastic bird.

iguana

And nearby, a fantastic beast. This iguana watched us eat lunch.

More on the Venezuelan Troupial at Neotropical Birds Online.

The three troupial species have in the past all been lumped under one species. However, the Venezuelan Troupial is the largest and in some ways the visually most unusual of all orioles. It is in shape a big and very bulky oriole with a large and long bill. It has thick and strong legs as well as a well developed long and broad tail. In some ways it looks like an Oriole trying to be a Cacique! The body is largely bright orange, with a black back, black tail and a black hood. The wings have a very big white wing stripe that is noticeable on the perched bird. The head has an odd adornment for an oriole, a patch of bare blue skin behind the eye, also unusual is that the eye is yellow.

Catbirds are songbirds

catb

Gray Catbird perches on the birdbath behind Audubon of Martin County yesterday at the Possum Long Nature Preserve in Stuart, FL.

I am still learning year-round vs. winter residents. Looks like catbirds are snowbirds in Florida.

32308651-1280px

Resident along the Atlantic Coast; otherwise migratory. Catbirds from across North America spend winters along the Gulf Coast from Florida through Texas and all the way down Central America and the Caribbean.

They would arrive at our old house in coastal New Hampshire in early May, when tree flowers were blooming and insects were out. Contrary to popular opinion they were not shy. But I did serve them a fine feast at the feeders.

Scroll down for catbird photos from days of yore: GRAY CATBIRD – Amy’s Birds.

IMG_1198-2

Catbirds are mimids, members of the Mimidae family which includes mockingbirds and thrashers, notable for their vocalizations and ability to mimic other birds and outdoor sounds.

Yesterday I attended an Audubon class on Songbirds and Woodpeckers. Catbirds are songbirds or, more scientifically, Passeriformes or perching birds. Of the 10,000 species of birds in the world, about half of them are “songbirds” possessing the vocal cords and brains that allow them to sing, not just vocalize or call.

IMG_1200-2

From Cornell Lab Bird Academy: How and Why Birds Sing.

I went outside to get the Sunday paper during this morning’s dawn chorus and heard and saw two noisy catbirds in the bushes across the street.

If I could understand the language of the birds, I might hear them saying: “Write about us, write about us! We are leaving soon to fly north for the summer. See you next fall.”