Blog Archive: November 2008

Birdorable Snowy Plover

The Snowy Plover

November 27th, 2008 in New Birds, Plovers 1 comment
Birdorable Snowy Plovers

One of the latest birds we added at Birdorable is the Snowy Plover. There are five separate races of Snowy Plovers throughout the world. The one in Europe is known as the Kentish Plover. In North America, the Snowy Plover can be found along the western coast from Washington to California and along the Gulf coast from Mexico to Florida.

western-snowy-plover-9450e Charadrius alexandrinus
Photo by mikebaird

Young Snowy Plover chicks leave their next within three hours of hatching! They can walk, swim and look for food unassisted by their parents. How cute is that?

Snowy Plover Chick #1
Photo by singraham

Unfortunately, studies have found declines in plover populations in the United States, with an estimated 20% decline in breeding birds from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. The decline is caused by habitat alteration and increased recreational use of beaches.

Birdorable White Stork

The White Stork

November 22nd, 2008 in New Birds, Storks 2 comments
Birdorable White Storks

We've added a new species to Birdorable: the White Stork. These beautiful large black-and-white birds are a great sight across Europe where they build nests on rooftops and on tall posts near highways. The last time we saw many of them was earlier this year, visiting Munster in the Alsace area of France. Dozens of White Storks were on nests on the rooftops all across the small town:

White Storks in Munster, France
White Storks in Munster, France

White Storks breed across Europe and migrate south as far as South Africa to spend the winter. They use thermals of hot air to travel large distances as they migrate between Europe and Africa. The shortest route would be to cross the Mediterranean Sea, but thermals only work over land, so most storks take one of two detours. Some cross into Africa from Spain to Morocco, but most of them take the eastern route over Turkey and Egypt.

White Storks migration map

On these migration routes the birds get together at specific locations to rest in large groups. Obviously, these are extremely popular birding locations for birdwatchers! We were lucky enough to see thousands of White Storks at the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt when we were on a scuba diving holiday in Sharm-el-Sheikh in October 2007. During autumn, at least 500,000 storks pass through Egypt (or 80% of the European population), the majority flying through Eastern Sinai. At a popular watering hole the birds were 'falling' out of the sky by the dozens as they came flying in from the mountains:

White Storks in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt

As we watched the storks on the other side of the pond, a squadron of White Pelicans came gliding in and set down among the tight pack of storks. It was a day we'll never forget.

White Storks in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt
Birdorable White Stork

___ Source of map:

Birdorable Spix's Macaw

Birdorable Parrots Christmas Tree

November 21st, 2008 in New Designs, Parrots, Parakeets 2 comments
Birdorable Parrots and Parakeets Christmas Tree design

A huge flock of totally cute Birdorable parrots and parakeets perch together to make up a Christmas tree in this original holiday design. Macaws, Conures, Cockatiels, Budgies, Linnies, Cockatoos and other cute birds make up this festive flock! An original design that would make a perfect holiday-themed gift for any parrot lover! It is available on many different products.

For more original Birdorable Christmas designs visit our Christmas page.

Birdorable Barn Swallow

What kind of bird is that? Barn Swallow!

November 18th, 2008 in New Birds, Swallows 5 comments
Birdorable Barn Swallows

This new Birdorable spends much of its time in the air catching flying insects. It even gets its water while flying by skimming over the surface and scooping up water with its bill. The Barn Swallow can be found almost all over the world, from Europe to Asia and Africa to the Americas. The title of this article is actually a quote from a movie in which James Stewart goes out birdwatching and every time he asks his companion "What kind of bird is that?", the answer is always "Barn Swallow!". Do you know what movie I'm talking about? Barn Swallows build cup-shaped nests in accessible buildings such as barns, stables and under bridges. Look at these cute babies in their nest waiting for mom or dad to come back with a snack:

Barn Swallow By George W Bowles Sr
Photo by georgesr58

Barn Swallow is the answer to yesterday's Spot the Birdorable.