World's Cutest Parrot?

The Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot was recently filmed for the first time in the wild by a BBC film crew. These parrot are tiny - measuring just 9cm long as adults! They live in the rain forests of Papua New Guinea and may very well be the cutest parrots on earth! Here's a screen shot from one of the clips:
screenshot
Read all about it at the BBC and watch both impossibly cute videos too!

Yes, vultures can be cute - our Birdorable vultures prove just that! Although vultures may be known for eating dead things, using projectile vomit as a defense measure and even cooling themselves by urinating on their own legs, these carrion-eating baldies aren't all about the ick-factor. For example:

Egyptian Vulture
  1. The Egyptian Vulture is one of the few species of bird to use tools. It will lift small rocks in its beak and smash them into ostrich eggs to crack the hard shell. Clever birds!
  2. While Lammergeiers don't use tools, they do have a clever way to get at their favorite food. They will drop large bones while flying in order to crack them into pieces. With clever strategies like that, who needs tools?!
  3. Several vulture species lack vocal organs so they are only able to hiss or grunt. No screaming banshees here!
  4. Several species including the Turkey Vulture are extremely gregarious. Birds will roost in large community groups which may include several hundred individuals. The vulture's motto: We Are Fa-mi-ly!
Birdorable California Condor
  1. California Condors are especially fastidious and may spend hours a day preening their feathers. Beauty queens!
  2. Courting Turkey Vultures will gather in a circle to perform hopping movements around the perimeter, with wings spread. Yes, they put on the dance moves to attract a sweetheart!
  3. The Rüppell's Vulture holds the height record for avian flight, with the ability to fly up to an altitude of 37,000 feet. These birds have their place in the avian extreme games!
  4. Vultures often remain inactive until the sun has warmed up the air with sufficient thermals to support soaring. These sleepyheads need the sun to get going on their day's work. I know some people like that!
  5. The Palm-nut Vulture is so named because its favorite food is the nut of the Oil Palm tree. A veg-loving vulture!
  6. The Cinereous Vulture is also known as the Monk Vulture, because its ruff of neck feathers resembles a monk's cowl. Even vultures get funny nicknames.
  7. Often vultures gorge so much they can’t fly. Vultures know how to pig out, and they aren't afraid to do it!
  8. The Turkey Vulture can glide for over six hours without flapping a wing. Another extreme avian sports contender, category: endurance.
  9. California Condors and several other vulture species mate for life. How romantic!
  10. The Hooded Vulture is abundant through most of its range and is usually unafraid of humans. They are sometimes called "garbage collectors" by locals. In fact all vultures are nature's original waste managers!
  11. Like many wildlife species vultures have suffered from loss of habitat and illegal hunting. Several vulture species have suffered up to a 99% population decrease in India and neighboring countries due to poisoning from livestock pharmaceuticals.

That last trivia point is not actually one of our favorites, but it is an unfortunate fact. Today is International Vulture Awareness Day 2009, which promotes vulture conservation. This post is part of the Blog for Vultures carnival coinciding with IVAD09. Learn more about vultures, vulture conservation and awareness by visiting the other participants in today's virtual event. Click on the nifty badge below to learn more!

Birdorable Great Egret

Cute Birdorable Great Egret

The Great Egret is one of the latest birds we've added to Birdorable. It is widely distributed across the tropical and temperate regions in the world and can be found on all continents. We see these beautiful white birds regularly here in Illinois, where they are quite common. This was however not always the case. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the birds were hunted to near extinction by plume hunters, as they were a popular addition to lady's hats. North American populations of Great Egrets were reduced by more than 95 percent! Fortunately, Great Egrets have recovered as a result of conservation measures. In 1953, the Great Egret was chosen as the symbol of the National Audubon Society, which was formed in part to prevent the killing of birds for their feathers.

Great Egret at Viera Wetlands in Florida
Great Egret at Viera Wetlands in Florida

This is a our cute Birdorable version of the Great Egret. For more birds like this see Egret & Other Waders in our Meet the Birds area.

In honor of International Vulture Awareness Day coming up later this week, we're featuring our I Love Vultures design for this week's T-Shirt Tuesday. This design features three of our Birdorable vultures: the California Condor; the Turkey Vulture; and the Black Vulture. The design is shown here on a baby fine jersey t-shirt, but is also available on dozens of other apparel styles and colors.

Birdorable I Love Vultures T-Shirt

Reminder: International Vulture Awareness Day is coming up very soon! The purpose of IVAD is to highlight and promote vulture conservation and awareness. As part of this special day there will be a blog carnival which welcomes anyone and everyone to participate. We are very proud to have our Birdorable Black Vulture featured on the blog carnival's badge!

IVAD09 Badge

Earlier this month the American Ornithologists' Union had their annual meeting in Philadelphia. During the event, the 4th annual student quiz bowl took place, and Birdorable was proud to donate three of our Great Auk tote bags to be used as prizes. The Great Auk is part of the logo of the AOU and their quarterly journal is The Auk. According to AOU Student Affairs Committee member Nicholas Block, "The quiz bowl went really well overall! We had hundreds of people in attendance, and a great time was had by all. The team of students from Auburn University, named A Flock of Steven Seagals, won the title." Here are two of the winning team members showing off their Birdorable Great Auk totes.

Birdorable Great Auk tote bags

Thanks for the update, Nick! It sounds like the quiz bowl was a lot of fun!

Again this week we're featuring a cute Birdorable vulture for T-Shirt Tuesday in honor of International Vulture Awareness Day 2009. This time we've got our Birdorable Egyptian Vulture baseball jersey.

Reminder: International Vulture Awareness Day 2009 is coming up on September 5th! The purpose of this event is to highlight and promote vulture conservation and awareness. As part of this special day there will be a blog carnival which welcomes anyone and everyone to participate. We are very proud to have our Birdorable Black Vulture featured on the blog carnival's badge!

IVAD09 Badge

Today's featured Birdorable cute bird t-shirt is this Turkey Vulture organic women's top. We recently added several new organic apparel styles like this one; you can see all of our organic apparel here.

Speaking of vultures, International Vulture Awareness Day 2009 is coming up on September 5th. The purpose of this event is to highlight and promote vulture conservation and awareness. As part of this special day there will be a blog carnival which welcomes anyone and everyone to participate. We are very proud to have our Birdorable Black Vulture featured on the blog carnival's badge!

IVAD09 Badge

This video from the Ventana Wildlife Society gives an update on the 2009 nesting season for the endangered California Condors they monitor.

You can help the society by volunteering to help clean up the condor habitat or by making a donation. A portion of proceeds from some of our own Birdorable California Condor sales will also be donated to the Ventana Wildlife Society.

We had a lot of fun doing the Birdorable Bonanza last month and will definitely do it again once. Until our next bonanza we'll continue to add new species on a regular basis as usual. We still have quite a few suggestions and special requests on our list of birds to do. Here's a Birdorable retrospective of the 17 birds we added. Which one is your favorite?

184: Scarlet Ibis

Cute Birdorable Scarlet Ibis

185: Andean Cock-of-the-rock

Cute Birdorable Andean Cock-of-the-Rock

186: Golden-winged Warbler

Cute Birdorable Golden-winged Warbler

187: Green Aracari

Cute Birdorable Green Aracari

188: Greater Roadrunner

Cute Birdorable Greater Roadrunner

189: Galah

Cute Birdorable Galah

190: Rockhopper Penguin

Cute Birdorable Rockhopper Penguin

191: Harpy Eagle

Cute Birdorable Harpy Eagle

192: Horned Guan

Cute Birdorable Horned Guan

193: Masked Booby

Cute Birdorable Masked Booby

194: Red-bellied Woodpecker

Cute Birdorable Red-bellied Woodpecker

195: Golden-breasted Starling

Cute Birdorable Golden-breasted Starlings

196: Willow Ptarmigan

Cute Birdorable Willow Ptarmigan

197: Resplendent Quetzal

Cute Birdorable Resplendent Quetzal

198: Northern Pintail

Cute Birdorable Northern Pintail

199: Rainbow Bee-eater

Cute Birdorable Rainbow Bee-eater

200: Dodo

Cute Birdorable Dodo

To see all our 200 birds visit our Meet the Birds page.