Bird, bug, butterfly and a wild variety of photos from Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and Spain by Irish wildlife photographer Patrick J. O'Keeffe and invited guests

Saturday, 31 December 2016

CATTLE EGRET [WESTERN] (Bubulcus ibis) Pollença, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a species of heron of the family Ardeidae which is in the genius Bubulcus. Originally native to parts of Asia, Africa and Europe, it has undergone a rapid expansion and has successfully colonised much of the temperate zones of the world. There are two geographical races which are sometimes classified as full species, the Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis ibis) and the Eastern Cattle Egret (B. ibis coromandus). The eastern subspecies breeds in Asia and Australasia, and the western form occupies the rest of the range, including the Americas. Some authorities recognise a third subspecies, (B. i. seychellarum) which occurs on the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. 

 Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_egret

Saturday, 24 December 2016

BALEARIC WARBLER [Male] (Sylvia balearica) Boquer Valley, Formentor Peninsula, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Balearic Warbler (Sylvia balearica) is a small passerine of the family Sylviidae which is in the genus Sylvia. It is endemic to the Balearic Islands (but is absent from Menorca), Spain. It is very closely related to and is similar in appearance to Marmora's Warbler (Sylvia sarda) who together with Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata) and Tristram's Warbler (Sylvia deserticola) form a super group within the genus Sylvia. This insectivorous species occurs in open rocky coastal habitat with thorny bushes, broom and heather which provide cover and nesting areas.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

Monday, 19 December 2016

SQUACCO HERON [Male] (Ardeola ralloides) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


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The Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) is small heron of the family Ardeidae which is in the genus Ralloides. It is resident south of the Sahara Desert in western, eastern and south eastern Africa, including Madagascar. There is also a small population in Morocco and Algeria on the North West African coast. In addition, this heron occurs as a summer resident in central and southern Europe as well as in western central Asia. In the autumn, it migrates back to Africa to spend the winter months there. Its diet includes frogs, lizards, small fish and a wide variety of invertebrates. 

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Rawbirds.com

Saturday, 17 December 2016

CHUKAR PARTRIDGE (Alectoris chukar subspecies A. c. cypriotes) Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece

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The Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) or more commonly called Chukar is in the pheasant family Phasianidae which is in the genus Alectoris. It has a widespread distribution which stretches in a wide band from south eastern Europe to eastern China. There are many subspecies recognised including Alectoris chukar cypriotes which occurs on the islands of Crete, Rhodes, Cyprus as well as in parts of Bulgaria and Syria.This gamebird has been widely introduced, for hunting purposes, in many countries including the USA and New Zealand where feral populations have become established.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / rawbirds.com

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

COMMON CUCKOO (Cuculus canorus) Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece


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The Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, Cuculiformes, which includes the roadrunners, the anis and the coucals. This species is a widespread summer migrant to Europe and Asia, and winters in Africa. It is a brood parasite, which means it lays eggs in the nests of other bird species, particularly of dunnocks, meadow pipits, and reed warblers. Although its eggs are larger than those of its hosts, the eggs in each type of host nest resemble the host's eggs. The adult too is a mimic, in its case of the sparrowhawk; since that species is a predator, the mimicry gives the female time to lay her eggs without being seen to do so.

Text reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_cuckoo