Naturalized Immigrants – Reflections of the Pure World

By Jim Acquire

Be taught 100 Widespread Valley Birds is a photograph weblog sequence highlighting the 100 commonest Valley chicken species.

Put up #28 within the Be taught 100 Widespread Valley Birds sequence. (Species 47, & 48/100 + 1 BONUS chicken)

The next two species (plus the Bonus Hen) have established ranges within the Central Valley of California. They’ve been added to the California Hen Information Committee’s Official California Hen Listing and are thought-about Naturalized Exotics by eBird.

European Starling #47

The European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is a medium-sized, stocky chicken with a brief tail, chunky physique, and sharp, pointed invoice. They’ve shiny black feathers with iridescent purple and inexperienced tones, and white spots on the guidelines of their wings. Their invoice and legs are yellow within the breeding season, and switch a darker shade in winter.

Within the Central Valley of California, European Starlings are a typical sight in each city and rural areas. They have been launched to North America within the late nineteenth century, and have since change into probably the most considerable and widespread chicken species within the continent. They’re extremely adaptable and are capable of thrive in a variety of habitats, together with agricultural fields, parks, and residential areas.

European Starlings are omnivorous and feed on a wide range of meals, together with bugs, fruits, and seeds. They’re identified to type giant flocks, generally numbering within the 1000’s, and could be a nuisance to farmers as they’ll injury crops. Regardless of this, they’re thought-about an essential a part of the ecosystem as they play a task in controlling insect populations and dispersing seeds.

Home Sparrow #48

The Home Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a small, chunky chicken with a brief, conical invoice and a brownish-gray plumage with black and chestnut markings. Males have a particular black bib and white cheeks, whereas females are duller with a plain gray-brown breast. They’ve a wingspan of about 7 inches and weigh roughly 1 oz.

Within the Central Valley of California, Home Sparrows are generally present in city and suburban areas, in addition to in agricultural fields and grasslands. They’re opportunistic feeders, consuming a wide range of meals akin to seeds, bugs, and scraps of human meals. They sometimes breed from early spring by way of summer time, constructing their nests in man-made constructions akin to buildings, bridges, and birdhouses. Females lay 4-6 eggs, which hatch after roughly two weeks of incubation.

Home Sparrows are identified for his or her aggressive habits in the direction of different birds, typically competing for sources and displacing native species. Regardless of their abundance and flexibility, their populations have declined lately because of elements akin to habitat loss and modifications in agricultural practices.

BONUS BIRD – Scaly-breasted Munia

Picture by Rajukhan Pathan Artistic Commons License

The Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata), also called the Nutmeg Mannikin, is native to India and Southeast Asia. It has been added to the California Hen Information Committee’s Official California Hen Listing and has established populations within the Central Valley of California. These birds have a particular look, with a scaly sample on their breast and a brownish-grey plumage on their again and wings. In addition they have a black head with a white patch behind the attention, and a brief conical invoice.

Scaly-breasted Munias are social birds that type giant flocks and are sometimes seen foraging on the bottom for seeds and grains. They’re additionally identified to go to chicken feeders and are drawn to millet and different small seeds. These birds breed all year long, with males performing courtship shows to draw females. They construct their nests in timber and bushes, utilizing grasses, twigs, and different plant supplies.

Scaly-breasted Munias are thought-about an invasive species and might have destructive impacts on native chicken populations and agricultural crops. Regardless of their standing as an invasive species, Scaly-breasted Munias are fascinating birds to look at and might present an attention-grabbing topic for birdwatchers and nature fans within the Central Valley of California.

Earlier posts from the Be taught 100 Widespread Valley Birds sequence:

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