Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing the color green. In honor of the Irish holiday, let’s check out some North American birds who are always wearing their green.
Monk Parakeets are birds from South America. They were first spotted in North America in the 1960s. You can find Monk Parakeets in feral colonies around urban and suburban environments in the Northeast, Texas, Florida, parts of the Midwest, and Washington. They build large stick nests that may have up to 6 pairs of birds living in it. They are also known as the “Quaker Parrot”.
Green Jays are found primarily in South America and Mexico, but also live in Southern Texas near the Rio Grande Valley. They have bright green bodies/tails, black heads/chests, yellow on the sides of their tail, and a blue face. They tend to live in groups and are very vocal. Green jays are part of the intelligent Corvid family, which includes other jays, crows, ravens, and magpies.
Green Herons can be deceiving. They look all dark from a distance but as you get closer you can see their dark green crowns/backs and brown chests. These small herons spend their summers in the Eastern United States and are residents year round in California, parts of Mexico, and South America. They are one of the few bird species to use tools to lure fish as they hunt in shallow waters.
Calliope Hummingbirds are the smallest bird in North America. They are also the smallest long-distance migrant in the world. They spend their summers in the mountains of the Northwest and Western Canada and migrate to Southern Mexico for the winters. Size doesn’t matter to these little birds; they are brave enough to chase away large birds such as hawks during breeding season. Males have brilliant magenta feathers on their necks.
And speaking of the color green, you can learn about Green-winged Teals at our latest Waterfowl Wednesday post!