Blog Archive: May 2010
The White-crowned Sparrow is a beautiful sparrow that can be found across most of North America, where it breeds roughly in Alaska and northern Canada and spends the winter in most parts of the USA. The birds that breed in Alaska will migrate about 2,600 miles to winter in southern California. They are easily recognized by their bold black-and-white stripes on the head and pale grey chest. They'll come to backyard feeders to eat sunflower and other seeds, although they often prefer to stay on the ground eating seeds dropped by other birds.
Photo by Ananda Debnath (source: Flickr)
The Common Yellowthroat is one of our favorite warblers. They have been arriving here in northern Illinois these last few weeks and we see and hear them every time we go on a walk. This morning we saw several of them at the Magic Hedge in Chicago. These beautiful birds breed in large parts of the United States and southern Canada and they spend the winter in Mexico and Central America. Males stand out with their large black mask and you can often hear their musical "Witchety, witchety, witchety" song.
Check out our cute Birdorable Common Yellowthroat apparel & gifts.
This week's feature t-shirt design is our Birdorable Dunlin, a medium-sized sandpiper that lives across much of the northern hemisphere. They are common shorebirds for many birders around the world. Like many other wading birds, they display different plumage in breeding season versus winter. Our cute Birdorable Dunlin is shown here in full breeding plumage, including the conspicuous black belly patch.
Cedar Waxwings boast a range of unique features and behaviors that set them apart in the bird world. From their distinctive appearance to their unusual dietary habits, here are some cool facts about the Cedar Waxwing, offering a glimpse into their lives and habits:
- Waxy Red Tips: Cedar Waxwings are named for the distinctive waxy red tips on their secondary feathers, which increase in number and size as they age.
- Fruit Lovers: These birds have a strong preference for fruit and can survive on a fruit-only diet for several months.
- Cowbird Chicks Struggle: Brown-headed Cowbirds that hatch in Cedar Waxwing nests often don't survive due to the high-fruit diet of the Waxwings.
- Intoxicated Behavior: Waxwings can become drunk from eating overripe, fermenting berries, sometimes leading to flocks colliding with windows.
- Unique Vocalization: Cedar Waxwings don't sing traditional songs but communicate with quiet trilling or buzzing sounds.
- Tail Band Coloration: While typically yellow, some Cedar Waxwings developed orange tail bands in the 1960s in the northeastern U.S., a change attributed to non-native honeysuckle berries in their diet.
- Polite Eating Habits: These birds eat in shifts, with one group feeding first before giving way to the next, displaying more courteous behavior than most birds.
- Group Names: A group of waxwings is called an "ear-full" or a "museum" of waxwings.
- Birdorable Feature: The Cedar Waxwing has been a part of the Birdorable collection since September 2006. Check out our cute waxwing t-shirts and gifts!
The beautiful Princess Parrot is one of the latest new birds we have added to Birdorable. Princess Parrots are colorful birds with green bodies, pink throats, blue crowns, green shoulders, reddish bills, and blue rumps. They are native to Australia.
The Princess Parrot has several alternative names, including Queen Alexandra Parrot, Queen Alexandra Parakeet, Alexandra's Parakeet, and Princess of Wales Parakeet. These all refer to the Princess Alexandra of Denmark, for whom the species was named. [In case you don't know your royalty: Alexandra was mother to King George V, who was father to King George VI, who was father to the current Queen Elizabeth II.] If you love these beautiful parrots, be sure to check out our Princess Parrot gifts in the shop!