Blog Archive: June 2009

Birdorable Adelie Penguin

Fun Adelie Penguin Facts

June 29th, 2009 in New Birds, Penguins, Fun Facts 46 comments
Birdorable Adelie Penguin

Here are some fun facts about Adélie Penguins:

  • The Adélie Penguin is the smallest species of penguin to be found in the Antarctic;
  • Adélie Penguins breed and raise their young farther south than any other penguin;
  • Adélie Penguins can live to be up to 20 years old;
  • A colony of Adélie Penguins can be made up of 100 to 250,000 pairs of birds;
  • There are about 5 million Adélie Penguins in the world living in 38 different colonies (that seems like a lot, but in the last 25 years Adélie penguin populations have dropped by 65% due to sea ice reduction and scarcity of food);
  • The Adélie Penguin was named in 1840 by French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville after his wife, Adélie;
  • The penguins in the 2005 animated feature film Madagascar are presumed to be Adélie Penguins, and the main character in the 2006 film Happy Feet is an Emperor Penguin who befriends a group of Adélie Penguins with a Mexican accent.
Antarctic: Signy Island - Adelie penguins
Photo by Mark van de Wouw

Birdorable Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Introducing the Birdorable Eurasian Tree Sparrow

June 23rd, 2009 in New Birds, Sparrows 3 comments
Cute Birdorable Eurasian Tree Sparrow

We've added a few new Birdorable birds this week, the first one being this Eurasian Tree Sparrow. In eastern Asia this cute little bird is widespread in towns and cities, but in Europe, where the House Sparrow is occupying the cities, it is a bird of wooded areas and open countryside. It is not an endangered bird globally, but it is declining in western Europe due to change in farming practices and use of herbicides. There is also a small population of about 15,000 birds in the United States, around St. Louis and parts of Illinois and Iowa. These birds, believe it or not, are descendants of 12 birds taken over from Germany that were released in 1870 in an attempt to enhance the North American avifauna. The birds were set free in Lafayette Park in St. Louis by a local bird dealer. Other European birds were also released, including Goldfinches and Chaffinches, but only the Eurasian Tree Sparrow successfully established a breeding population. If you're ever in St. Louis and want to find a Eurasian Tree Sparrow you can find some good instructions here.

Photo of Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Common Kestrel Coloring Page

We present to you another Birdorable Coloring Page: the Common Kestrel, also known as the European Kestrel. These birds are so cute! When we lived in Europe we often saw them hovering next to the highway. Go to Coloring Pages to download these two new PDFs. You can check our Meet the Birds page to get some color guidance.

Birdorable Common Kestrel coloring page

Check here for more coloring pages. Subscribe to the Birdorable Blog by RSS feed or by email to get notified when new downloads like this are added. Have you used our coloring pages at home, in your classroom, or at an event? We'd love to hear about it! Send us photos of the pages in action, or the final result - we may showcase them on our blog!

Birdorable Baltimore Oriole

Our Backyard Birds

June 11th, 2009 in Personal, Backyard Birds 13 comments

Since we moved to our new home (in northern Illinois) we've been trying to attract birds to our backyard. The first few weeks we didn't see a single bird at our feeders. The first bird to visit was an American Goldfinch at the end of February. In the last 3 months we've seen 19 different species in our backyard. We now have eight feeders and a bird bath and it's busy every day. It's so much fun to sit outside and watch the birds. My favorite backyard birds are the Baltimore Orioles. We have some oranges out for them on our fence.

Baltimore Oriole (male)
Male Baltimore Oriole

Here are some pictures of our backyard birds. Most of these pictures were made with our Wingscapes Birdcam:

House Finch
House Finches
Common Grackle
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole (female)
Black-capped Chickadee
Northern Cardinal
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
American Goldfinch
Northern Flickr
Northern Flicker

What is your favorite backyard bird?