Everybody loves plovers, they are the cutest thing on the planet, and you can't spell Plovers without "Love". Happy Valentine's Day to everyone and if you're looking for some cute heart-themed gifts for your special birder then check out the designs with customizable products in our love and hearts section.
This week we'd like to highlight one of our newest designs featuring our home state and a bird that is very close to our heart. The Florida Scrub-Jay is the only endemic bird of the state of Florida and, with only a few thousand breeding pairs left, considered vulnerable to extinction. Show your support for this highly intelligent and beautiful bird. The design shows our cute Birdorable Florida Scrub-Jay in front of a faint outline of the state and the text "Save the Florida Scrub-Jay", shown here on a green unisex American Apparel t-shirt, which is made of 100% fine jersey cotton and made in the USA.
A Barred Owl in Bush's Pasture Park in the town of Salem, Oregon, has been stealing hats from joggers. The hat-loving owl swoops down and snatches hats right off the heads of unsuspecting runners. At least four people have been victimized in the last few weeks and are now forced to buy new hats.
One of the runners named Hilliard told Reuters that he was not hurt in the assault but "just dumbfounded". He said: "It was kind of amazing how it just swooped down and grabbed my hat like that. It just pulled it right off my head like it was nothing!"
The Stateman Journal, a local newspaper, asked their readers to send in names for the now-famous owl and they received more than 100 different suggestions. Our favorites are Hoodini and Owlcapone. The story of the Salem owl has been covered in the news across the country and even made it on the Rachel Maddow show where viewers were challenged to design a new owl warning sign.
The bird is believed to be collecting the hats to build a nest. Owls can be territorial and aggressive during nesting season. A new sign in the park now warns people to use caution from dusk to dawn and recommends people to wear a hard hat.
This week, we're celebrating the gulls of the world!
Today we're wrapping up the week with a little bit of gull humor!
What do you call a gull when it flies over a bay?
A bagel! (bay-gull)
"Haha! That's funny! Tell another!" (photo by Amy Evenstad)
What do you call a gull that works online?
An eagle! (e-gull)
"Wait, what? I don't get it." (photo by Amy Evenstad)
What did the gull say to the cat when its alarm clock went off?
"Kittiwake!" (kitty wake)
"Grooooaaaan!" (photo by Amy Evenstad)
Do you know any gull jokes? Let us know in the comments.
We're celebrating the world's gulls! Today we are sharing some FAQs about gulls.
Why do gulls stand on one leg?
Gulls aren't the only birds that stand on one leg. Many species exhibit this behavior, and the reason usually has to do with regulating body temperature. Feathers on a bird's body help to keep it warm in cold temperatures, but when the legs are unfeathered, as in gulls, the bird can lose precious body heat through the exposed skin. Keeping one leg tucked under body feathers while standing on the other helps the bird to keep warm.
Why are gull wingtips often black or dark?
Melanin is a natural pigment found in animals; it occurs in mammals, birds, reptiles, and other organisims. However, melanin isn't just about color. Melanin can also strengthen. The melanin in the wingtips of a bird helps to protect the feathers from wear and tear. And it also makes them black. Besides gulls, many raptor species have black wingtips, and some otherwise all-white birds like White Ibises, Snow Geese, American White Pelicans, and Wood Storks also have black wingtips.
Why do gulls stamp their feet?
It is thought that gulls tap their feet to imitate falling rain. The sensation of incoming rain "tricks" earthworms or other subterranean creatures to come to the surface to avoid drowning. When the worms reach the surface, they become an easy meal for the clever gull. This kind of "worm stomping" is the original "rain dance"!
What is the difference between a gull and a seagull?
Gull is the common name given to seabirds in the family Laridae. Often these birds are referred to as seagulls, but the term is not used by most biologists or ornithologists. The most common gull in Australia, the Silver Gull, is often called "seagull" by locals. But in taxonomical terms, there is no such bird as a seagull.
Do gulls have webbed feet?
Yes, gulls have webbed feet. Though some gulls live inland and may spend a lot of time away from large bodies of water, many gulls spend much of their time in and around water. Having webbed feet helps them maneuver efficiently in the water. However, this adaptation does limit their ability to carry items with their feet.
What is special about gull jaws?
Gulls are opportunistic feeders, meaning they are able to take advantage of a huge variety of food items. They may hunt for live prey, they might steal food from others, or they might scavange scraps from garbage dumps or dead animals (carrion). Something that helps them take the most advantage of eating opportunities is the fact that they have unhinging jaws. This gives them the ability to consume very large items.
What is the collective noun for gull?
A collective noun is used to name a group of something. A group of birds is commonly known as a flock. A group of crows is a murder, a group of finches is a charm, and a group of geese is a gaggle. What about gulls? A group of gulls is known as a colony.
Do you have any other questions? Let us know in the comments below or go to our Meet the Birds area and learn about each of our Birdorable gulls. And don't forget to check out our cute gull gifts. Here are some samples below.
We're celebrating the gulls of the world this week! These social, intelligent birds can be found all over the world. Today we're sharing some fun gull coloring pages!
Gulls tend to have a lot of black, white, and grey in their plumage. The breeding plumage Ross's Gull, for example, is pale grey above and white below. They also develop a pink wash to the breast that is absent other parts of the year. Their feet and legs are red! Heermann's Gull has a different look from other gulls. The body is grey with black-to-grey wings and a red bill with a black tip. We've also included a coloring page of the famous Lesser Black-backed Gull Pierre, who is wearing his distinctive green color band.
Direct links to the coloring pages:
Find more coloring pages for other species on our free coloring page downloads. And be sure to check out the color schemes for these and all of our birds by visiting the Meet the Birds section of our site.
Previous blog posts
- Cool facts about the Wild Turkey (11/25/2015)
- T-Shirts Tuesday: Cinereous Vulture (11/24)
- Bird Term: Sexual Dimorphism (11/12)
- Baby Birdorable: Barn Swallow (9/17)
- Fun Facts About Toucans (9/10)
- T-Shirt Tuesday: Pink Cockatoo Tank Top (9/8)
- Happy International Vulture Awareness Day (9/5)
- Glossary of Vulture Terms (9/4)
- Celebrate Vultures at a Vulture Day Event! (9/3)
- Vulture Week: Vulture Extremes (9/2)
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