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A Tale of 7 Feathered Friends in the Heart of Surrey

Surrey, a picturesque county in southeast England, is famous for its diverse wildlife and natural beauty.

Birds are perhaps the most conspicuous Among the many creatures that call Surrey their home, filling its skies and woodlands with their symphonies of calls and songs.

From majestic birds of prey like the peregrine falcon, red kite, and buzzard to tiny garden birds like the blue tit, robin, and wren, the county boasts a remarkable variety of avian species that provide a visual and aural treat for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts.

Whether you’re an experienced birder or just someone who loves spending time outdoors, exploring the incredible bird diversity of Surrey is an enriching experience that’s worth undertaking.

1. American Wigeon

American wigeon

The American Wigeon, also known as the Baldpate, is a species of dabbling duck found throughout North America.

It closely resembles its Eurasian counterpart and was formally described in 1789 by German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin.

This medium-sized bird has an overall grey body with white feathers on its face and belly, giving it a distinctive bald appearance.

Its wings are brownish black with green speculum markings on them, while the tail is dark brown or black at the base and gradually lightens near the tips to become chestnut-colored.

The male wigeons have purple patches on their heads during the breeding season and yellow eyes, which helps differentiate them from females, who have duller colors around their faces instead of bright ones like males.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae
Genus Mareca
Species M. americana

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2. Belted Kingfisher

Belted kingfisher

The belted kingfisher is a large, eye-catching bird native to North America. It belongs to the family Alcedinidae and has been divided into three subfamilies by recent research.

The species was first described in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae.

This water Kingfisher stands out for its size and striking plumage; males are bright blue on top with white below, and females have rusty brown backs and wings with a thick black breast band across their chest.

They also possess an impressive call that can be heard from quite far away.

Belted kingfishers feed mainly on small fish but will sometimes also eat crustaceans, insects, or even amphibians if they come across them while hunting around rivers or streams.

All in all, this is truly one remarkable bird that deserves our admiration.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Coraciiformes
Family Alcedinidae
Subfamily Cerylinae
Genus Megaceryle
Species M. alcyon

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3. American Bushtit

American bushtit

The American bushtit is a small, social bird found in the New World. It’s the only species of its genus and family, Psaltriparus minimus.

First described by John Kirk Townsend in 1837, it inhabits forests and coasts from Alaska to Mexico.

Their tiny size (4-5 inches) makes them easily identified by their gray or brown backs with white underparts.

Bushtits have long wings, allowing them to travel quickly between trees; they form flocks that move together through branches looking for food, such as insects, spiders, eggs, and fruit while emitting soft chirps or squeaks.

They build beautiful, large, pendulous nests made of mosses that hang from tree branches high above ground level, where they sleep at night.

These charming birds make delightful company during outdoor activities like hiking or camping trips.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Aegithalidae
Genus Psaltriparus Bonaparte, 1850
Species P. minimus

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4. Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

The Brown Creeper is a small songbird from the Certhiidae family and native to North America. It has brown upperparts with light spotting that resembles tree bark and white underparts.

Its bill is long and thin with a slight downward curve, while its tail is also long yet stiff; this helps it creep up trees.

This bird feeds mainly on insects, which can be found in crevices of barks or dead plants, thanks to its curved bill, allowing access to these hard-to-reach places.

When searching for food, they move diagonally upwards around their trunks so their camouflage blends in perfectly with the background, making them difficult to spot.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Certhiidae
Genus Certhia
Species C. americana

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5. Ring-Billed Gull

Ring-billed gull

The Ring-billed Gull is a medium-sized seabird that can be seen throughout North America. Its head, neck, and underparts are white, while its back and wings are silver-gray in color.

It has a relatively short yellow bill with a dark ring around it and yellow legs.

The genus name for this species of gull comes from the Latin word ‘Larus,’ which refers to large sea birds or gulls, while the specific delawarensis refers to the Delaware River where these birds were first discovered.

These beautiful creatures thrive near coasts, lakeshores, and other bodies of water but have also been known to inhabit urban areas such as parks close by those watersides due to their adaptability towards human habitats.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Laridae
Genus Larus
Species L. delawarensis

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6. Double-Crested Cormorant

Double-crested cormorant

The double-crested cormorant is a majestic bird with an impressive wingspan, found across North America from the Aleutian Islands all the way down to Mexico.

Its black plumage stands out against its bright orange-yellow facial skin and some extended patches of white feathers on each side of its throat.

It measures 28 – 35 inches in length and has webbed feet that enable it to swim gracefully through rivers, lakes, and coastal areas.

These birds are known for their voracious appetite for fish, sometimes diving over 100 ft deep into water looking for food. Despite this reputation, they also feed on crustaceans, amphibians, and insects when available.

Cormorants have been part of many cultures throughout history due to their remarkable ability to fly long distances, making them valued messengers or companions during fishing expeditions at sea.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Suliformes
Family Phalacrocoracidae
Genus Nannopterum
Species N. auritum

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7. Red-Breasted Sapsucker

Red-Breasted Sapsucker

The red-breasted sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker native to the forests of the west coast of North America.

It has a striking appearance with its bright red head and upper chest, white lower belly, black back, and wings with bars, and a large white wing patch.

These birds nest in tree cavities during mating season, while northern specimens migrate south for winter months.

They are often seen tapping trees to drill holes into them to feed on sap or bark insects that live beneath them.

Additionally, they have been observed feeding from birdfeeders, which makes them great additions to backyard bird-watching activities.

Overall, the red-breasted sapsucker is an interesting species worth discovering.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Piciformes
Family Picidae
Genus Sphyrapicus
Species S. ruber

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the seven birds found in Surrey present a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich avian diversity. Each species, from the melodious Nightingale to the majestic Buzzard, contributes uniquely to the ecological tapestry of Surrey.

The Nightingale’s enchanting songs fill the air in spring, while the enigmatic Kingfisher adds a splash of vibrant color to the waterways. With its impressive wingspan, the Buzzard soars gracefully above, embodying the wild spirit of Surrey’s skies.

The Sparrow, Robin, Blue Tit, and Woodpecker, though smaller, play critical roles in the ecosystem, from pest control to seed dispersal.

Together, these birds not only enhance the natural beauty of Surrey but also serve as vital indicators of the local environment’s health.

Their presence and well-being are essential for maintaining the ecological balance, prioritizing their conservation to ensure a thriving and vibrant natural world in Surrey.

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