Friday, March 25, 2016

BRL: Bird Request Live: Hummingbird and Pelican

Welcome to a new feature! You write in with your bird requests, I do a blog about them (provided I actually have the bird in question), and that's the whole thing. Realistically, I imagine this feature will repeat approximately never to once every 6 months, because that's the estimated level of interest here. Still, nearly at 20,000 clicks and on our 4 year anniversary, it doesn't feel bad to add a new feature. Happy Amateurniversity to me! If you'd like to request a bird, hit me up on the Twitter or just leave a comment.

Today's bird request is coming in live from Lia P. in Atlanta, GA. Lia writes:

Do you take requests? Like, maybe you could do a DJ Fly feature (get it? Because most birds fly) and do a post on requested birds. If so, this is Lia in Atlanta and I'm requesting the hummingbird and pelican, two of my favs.

I absolutely can, Lia, but I have to say I don't really understand that joke. Sense of humor has never been our strength here at The Amateurnithologist. You requested 'the hummingbird' and 'pelican', so I assume you just leave it up to me which type of hummingbird and pelican you'd like to see.

There are 338 known species of hummingbirds, but only 20 that are regularly found in North America. Even then, most of those are located south of or on the southern US border with Mexico. Narrowing things even further, the only hummingbird regularly seen on the east coast is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (covered on this blog here). We've also done Anna's Hummingbird, the most common on the West Coast. Today we have a new hummingbird to show you.
Costa's Hummingbird (slightly speculative, I find these very hard to tell from Anna's)
Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, California, USA
February 2016
Member of the Hummingbird Family
§A Bouquet of Hummingbirds§

~true bird fact~ You picked a really interesting bird in the hummingbird. It has many unique features, but I won't share them ALL today. Hummingbirds eat only flower nectar, generally only from very specific flowers. Often hummingbirds will co-evolve beaks that fit perfectly with the flowers they pollinate. That's how you sometimes see hummingbirds with extreme or unusual bills.

As always, here at Amateurnithologist, we maintain that hummingbirds are not actually birds, but rather malfunctioning machines, or perhaps bugs


Pelicans were the other bird requested. There are only two species of pelican that live in North America, and we've covered both of them here on the blog- American White Pelican and Brown Pelican. Impressively, I've managed to do 8 blogs that at least include images of pelicans despite there only being two types (well, two types here. There are still only 8 worldwide). A testament to the interestingness level of pelicans. And interesting they are- some of the worlds heaviest birds, they look like they should never be able to fly. However, their body structure is incredibly light for how bulky it is, as they have connected networks of air sack organs in their bones and skin that not only make them lighter, but let them float high in the water. Their strange bill is defined by an expandable pouch that usually catches fish, but can also hold rain water.

No comments:

Post a Comment