Blog Archive: October 2008
Broad-winged Hawks can be found across the eastern part of the United States and into Canada. They migrate over 4,000 miles to Mexico and down to Southern Brazil, covering an average of 70 miles each day. During migration Broad-winged Hawks often concentrate into groups that number in the thousands! These large groups are called 'kettles'. When a hawks finds a column of warm air they stretch out their wings to rise with it. Using these warm air columns the birds can travel large distances just gliding on the power of the sun. Nature photographer M. Timothy O'Keefe theorizes that the word 'kettle' derives from the appearance of birds circling tightly in a thermal updraft "like something boiling in a cauldron." Have you ever seen a kettle of hawks?
Red-fronted Macaws are endemic to a small semi-desert mountainous area in Bolivia, between the cities of Santa Crus and Cochabamba, where they can be found in groups. They were thought to be a simple hybrid between a Blue-and-yellow Macaw and a Military, but in the mid 1970s were recognized as their own species. The Red-fronted Macaws have a very small natural distribuiton and are threatened with extinction. There are only about 150 birds left in the wild!
Cooper's Hawks live in dense evergreen and deciduous forests throughout southern Canada and the United States. It was named in 1828 after the American zoologist William Cooper, who collected the specimens that were used to describe the species. It is also called Chicken Hawk or Hen Hawk, as these birds can be a problem around poultry farms where they may help themselves to unwary chickens. These little daredevils will dash through dense vegetation and crowded trees while hunting to catch birds, but this is a rather dangerous lifestyle. A study found that 23 percent of all Cooper's Hawks examined had healed fractures in the bones of the chest! Cooper's Hawk is the answer to the last Spot the Birdorable.
We've added the Golden Eagle to Birdorable. These magnificent birds can be found across the northern hemisphere. It is common in western North America, where it is the third largest bird of prey, after the Bald Eagle and the California Condor. They are not typically found in the eastern part of the United States as they don't like to hang around largely populated areas. Unfortunately, habit destruction has caused a noticeable decline in Golden Eagle populations, especially across Europe. It used to be numerous and live on plains in temperate Europe, but humans have pushed the species to live in the mountains, where it is mostly restricted to the Alps and the Carpathian Mountains in Eastern Europe. The Golden Eagle is the national bird of Austria, Germany, Kazakhstan and Scotland. Golden Eagles can be trained for falconry and are still used by nomads in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to hunt foxes and wolves. The Kazakh and Kyrgyz nomads call the bird burkut or berkut. Here is an old photo of a Kazakh falconer with his eagle:
Two weeks from today is Halloween! Did you already get your costume? If you like cute birds then check out our cute Birdorable Halloween products. How cute are these Birdorable birds dressed up for Halloween?
These Halloween Tote Bags are perfect to put your candy in when you go Trick-or-Treating. They are made from 100% cotton and have plenty of room to carry lots of sweet candy. They include long handles for easy carrying.
We have lots of different Birdorable Halloween Cards and other stationery. Check out the cute Monk Parakeet, African Grey and Bald Eagle dressed up for Halloween. Send unique greetings to your bird-loving friends this Halloween with these original Birdorable cards!
If you don't want to get an elaborate costume and still want something nice to wear on Halloween then go check out our unique Birdorable Halloween T-Shirts and other apparel. We have unisex, women's and children's apparel with select Birdorable birds in Halloween designs. If you'd like to see other birds dressed up for Halloween on our products then please don't hesitate to contact us for a custom design request.
This Birdorable Rainbow Lorikeet in the wild is at Shark Bay in Western Australia. Deirdra is wearing a Birdorable Sweatshirt. Many thanks to Deirdra for sending in this great photo. Do you have a Birdorable product? Please send us a photo at info [at] birdorable.com and we'll feature it right here on the blog.
Last Sunday we participated as Team Birdorable in the 14th annual Big Sit birding event. The Big Sit involves observing as many different bird species as possible while remaining in a 17 foot diameter.
We are lucky enough to live within walking distance of a county preserve: Prairie Wolf Slough in Lake County in Illinois. Our first bird was a Mallard flying over, and then the first of many flocks of Canada Geese leaving the slough for the day. Other flyovers included Killdeer, Herring Gull, American Crow, Great Egret and Great Blue Heron. American Goldfinches and Red-winged Blackbirds were the most abundant species. Our total species count was 16, nowhere near fellow Illinois Big Sitters Birdfreak's impressive total of 42. We had a lot of fun during our first Big Sit and we are looking forward to participating again next year!
Check out our new Birdorable clocks. We now have clocks with U.S. birds, European birds, parrots and parakeets, water birds, birds of prey and budgies. Our great-looking and durable clocks are perfect for your office, kitchen, living room, or wherever you need to know when it's time to go birdwatching. You can find them all in our Birdorable Clocks section.
Red-bellied Parrot admiring the new parrots clock
This week we've added the Ruddy Duck as a new Birdorable bird. These ducks live throughout North America. As a result of escapes from wildfowl collections they are now also established in Great Britain from where they have spread widely into Europe. When we lived in the Netherlands we sometimes saw these birds with their beautiful blue bills and cute spiky tail. We saw this couple at Starrevaart, a bird lake north of the Hague:
Male and female Ruddy Duck at Starrevaart in the Netherlands