BIRD OF THE WEEK — PINYON JAY — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD has over 1,500 members and over 112,000 photos and videos.

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SIERRA CLUB

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * American Bird Conservancy

BIRD OF THE WEEK

PINYON JAY

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus
POPULATION: 690,000
TREND: Decreasing
HABITAT: Pinyon-juniper, pine, and pine-oak forests.

The gregarious Pinyon Jay, known by the folk name Blue Crow, is so closely tied to the life cycle of coniferous trees that it’s even named for its favorites, the pinyon pines.

This crestless jay of southwestern pine and juniper forests is the only representative of its genus, Gymnorhinus, which means “bare nostrils.” Unlike many of its close relatives such as the Blue Jay and Common Raven, the Pinyon Jay lacks feathers at the base of its bill to cover its nostrils.

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PERUVIAN PLANTCUTTER — BOSQUE de POTOMAC NATIONAL SANCTUARY — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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Sierra Club* United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * American Bird Conservancy

All PLANET EARTH groups supports:PERUVIAN PLANTCUTTER

The Peruvian Plantcutter is a cotinga, part of a diverse group of Neotropical birds that includes the Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Palkachupa Cotinga, and Andean Cock-of-the-rock.

Female-Peruvian-Plantcutter-in-Tumbesian-habitat_Photo-by-Jean-Paul-Perret-and-Dan-Lebbin

The Peruvian Plantcutter has a short, conical bill like a Northern Cardinal’s, but with an important addition — serrated edges. These tooth-like ridges allow the plantcutter to chew vegetation into a pulp before swallowing, which is something quite rare in the bird world. Plus, this bird has extra-efficient intestines that process large amounts (for a songbird) of plant material in a short time.

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HISPANIOLA’S HIDDEN TREASURE — BLACK-CAPPED PETREL — PLANET EARTH ARCHITECTURE group

PLANET EARTH ARCHITECTURE has over 6,000 members and over 270,000 photos and videos. 

BLACK-CAPPED PETREL

The “little devil,” or Black-capped Petrel, is among the rarest and most secretive seabirds in the Western Hemisphere. Extreme habitat loss on their breeding grounds was thought to have driven the bird extinct until its rediscovery in 1963. This species remains in danger of extinction, with fewer than 2,000 pairs in existence.

These seabirds spend most of their lives in flight over open water, returning to land only to breed. One reason Black-capped Petrels remain little known is that their breeding sites are hidden in the rugged mountains of Hispaniola, the Caribbean island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

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BIRD OF THE WEEK — BLUE-BILLED CURASSOW — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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Sierra Club* United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * American Bird Conservancy

PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD has over 1,500 members and over 110,000 photos and videos. 

BIRD OF THE WEEK

The Blue-billed Curassow is one of the birds closest to extinction in the Americas. It belongs to a group of large, ground-dwelling tropical birds that are closely related to turkeys. Some say the birds are just as tasty as domestic turkeys, and unfortunately, harvesting the birds and eggs for food is an ongoing problem.

Blue-billed Curassow populations have also declined dramatically due to habitat loss. Huge areas of lowland forest in the bird’s former range have been razed for livestock and crops, illegal coca farms, oil extraction, and mining. Although the species has been seen infrequently at other sites in Colombia, the Alliance for Zero Extinction has recognized a small portion of the Magdalena Valley as most critical for the curassow’s survival. This appears to be home to one of the last viable populations for the species.

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RISE OF THE INTERIOR LEAST TERN — PLANET EARTH LANDSCAPES group

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Sierra Club* United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * American Bird Conservancy

PLANET EARTH LANDSCAPES has over 7,000 members and over 300,000 photos and videos.

The Interior Least Tern, once considered rare, may soon be taken off the Endangered Species list, thanks to a partnership of ABC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

The success is in part due to management techniques that keep predators off nesting sandbars on the Lower Mississippi River.

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