Birdorable Blog

Birdorable Bar-headed Goose

2020 Bonanza Bird #7: Bar-headed Goose

November 30th, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Geese No comments
Birdorable Bar-headed Geese flying

Today we’re introducing the Bar-headed Goose to Birdorable! This mid-sized species of Anser goose is easy to recognize due to the namesake black bars found on the back of the head.

Birdorable Bar-headed Goose

Bar-headed Geese are known to be one of the highest flying species in the world. They spend the breeding season on high altitude lakes and migrate across Asia to reach their wintering grounds to the south. Using tracking data, Bar-headed Geese have been recorded at flying at altitudes of up to 21,000 feet! They have also been noted to fly over Mount Makalu at over 27,000 feet, and even over Mount Everest at over 29,000 feet! Wow!

Tomorrow we’ll introduce an African species with crazy long toes. Is this clue and the silhouette enough for you to guess the correct bird?

Birdorable Grey-hooded Parakeet

2020 Bonanza Bird #6: Grey-hooded Parakeet

November 29th, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Parakeets 1 comment
Birdorable Grey-hooded Parakeet

Today’s new species is found in scrubland habitat in parts of Argentina and Bolivia. Welcome the Birdorable Grey-hooded Parakeet!

This cute species is known by other names in aviculture: Aymara Parakeet or Sierra Parakeet. Aymara refers to people local to part of the birds’ range, in the high plateau region around Lake Titicaca. A Sierra is a chain of mountains, again referring to the type of habitat where these parakeets are found in the wild.

Grey-hooded Parakeets feed on plant material, including seeds, fruits, nuts, and berries.

Grey-hooded Parakeets
Grey-hooded Parakeets in Capilla del Monte, Córdoba, Argentina by Nes (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow we’ll introduce an extremely high-flying species of goose found in parts of Asia. This bird is named for a pattern found on the back of its head. Can you guess what it is?

Birdorable Australian Ibis

2020 Bonanza Bird #5: Australian White Ibis

November 28th, 2020 in Ibises, Birdorable Bonanza 2020 1 comment
Birdorable Australian White Ibis

Today’s new bird is an Australian wading species, native to the island nation and now widespread across a variety of habitats. Our second bird in the 2020 Birdorable Bonanza is the Australian Ibis!

This species is also known as the Australian White Ibis. Like other ibis species, this bird has a long, down-curved bill. Its white plumage is highlighted by fluffy black feathers over the tail, which are actually secondary wing feathers.

Australian Ibis feed on aquatic prey, like frogs, fish, and mussels. They also eat worms and, having adapted to living in areas near human habitation, will also feed on carrion and even food scraps found in trash.

Australian White Ibis
Australian White Ibis by James Niland (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow we will reveal a new species of parrot found in high elevation scrubland in parts of South America, including around Lake Titicaca. Can you guess the bird?

Birdorable Purple Finch

2020 Bonanza Birds #1-4: North American Finches

November 27th, 2020 in Finches, Birdorable Bonanza 2020 No comments
Birdorable North American Finches

Today we start our 2020 Birdorable Bonanza with a bang! Actually… make that an IRRUPTION! We’re kicking off 29 days of new birds by dropping four finches in this “finch invasion” winter season. A bright spot in 2020, many birders are delighting at seeing these and other finches visit their feeders for the first time in many years or for the first time ever.

Northern finches follow the food, and when they have a good season, large flocks of them might congregate farther south than in other years; their gregarious groups are a delight to see.

Today’s new Birdorable finches are the Pine Siskin; the Red Crossbill; the White-winged Crossbill; and the Purple Finch.

Pine Siskins are extremely gregarious and may be found in feeding flocks of hundreds of individuals. Wow!

Crossbills are named for their specialized bills, crossed at the tip, which allows them to feed on conifer seeds by stripping cones down to reach the food inside. Different crossbills specialize in different kinds of conifer seeds. Isn’t that neat?

Male Purple Finches have a beautiful bright raspberry red, streaky plumage. Females and juveniles are duller, with little to no red, though you can see the same face mask pattern on adult females.

Purple Finch
Purple Finch by John Benson (CC BY 2.0)

Find our new finches in a variety of new designs on a great assortment of apparel and other products, available in our shop.

Tomorrow our 2020 Birdorable Bonanza will continue with a bird native to Australia with a long, curved bill and a bare head. Birds of this family are found nearly all around the world. Can you guess tomorrow’s new species?

Birdorable Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing: The ABA Bird of the Year for 2020

January 13th, 2020 in Announcements, Waxwings 1 comment
Birdorable Cedar Waxwing

Recently the American Birding Association announced their Bird of the Year for 2020. The Cedar Waxwing holds the honor for the first year of this new decade.

The Cedar Waxwing is an excellent choice to be a "bird ambassador" for the ABA in 2020. These gregarious birds are known for their beauty, with striking plumage that includes a dramatic black mask and wax-like red tips to their secondary wing feathers.

These migratory songbirds can be found in much of North America -- summer-only across parts of Canada and only in the winter across roughly the southern half of the continent. Here in Florida, we enjoy flocks of them feasting on berries throughout the late winter and early spring.

Cedar Waxwing by Ron Knight via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

The Cedar Waxwing is the 10th Bird of the Year from the organization. Previously honored birds are as follows, with links to our Birdorable version when available.

If you want to learn more about Cedar Waxwings, have a look at these links:

Birdorable Grey Wagtail

2019 Bonanza Bird #10: Grey Wagtail

December 12th, 2019 in Birdorable Bonanza 2019, New Birds 1 comment
Birdorable Grey Wagtail

Today our Birdorable 2019 Bonanza concludes as we reveal the 10th bird of the series: the Grey Wagtail!

Grey (or Gray) Wagtails are songbirds in the wagtail family with a wide distribution across Asia and parts of Europe and Africa where both migratory and resident populations can be found.

The Grey Wagtail can be recognized by its handsome (and more than grey) plumage, which includes grey upperparts and yellow underparts, black chin, and striking white eyeline. True to their family name, they can often be found wagging or bobbing their tails as they walk and forage for food.

Grey Wagtails prefer a habitat near running water, especially during the breeding season, where they can feed on aquatic insects and other small aquatic animals.

Thank you for following along with our 2019 Birdorable Bonanza!

Grey Wagtail photo
Grey Wagtail by ianpreston (CC BY 2.0)