Blog Archive: December 2010

Birdorable Kirtland's Warbler

T-Shirt Tuesday: Warbler Fan

December 28th, 2010 in Warblers, T-Shirt Tuesday No comments

We can't wait for the warblers to return this spring! While it's almost too cold to go birding here now, the warblers that breed here and north of us are spending the winter in warmer climes. They know what's good! ;) But in just a few months they'll be passing through here again and we'll be out looking for birds like the Northern Parula, Prothonotary Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Kirtland's Warbler and Nashville Warbler that are featured on today's highlighted t-shirt design. Warbler Fan is shown here on a Ladies Twofer Fitted T-Shirt.

Birdorable Anna's Hummingbird

Baby Birdorable: Anna's Hummingbird

December 27th, 2010 in Baby Birds, Hummingbirds 3 comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Anna's Hummingbird. Female Anna's Hummingbirds select the nesting site after a territory is established (often based on a nectar source). They build the cup-shaped nest alone. Two eggs are laid and incubation takes about 16 days. The baby hummingbirds fledge about three weeks after hatching.

Anna's hummingbird eggs in nest
Anna's hummingbird eggs in nest by Michael Layefsky
bird babies in Sean's back yard (11961)
bird babies in Sean's back yard (11961) by ehoyer
Thanks, Rob!
Thanks, Rob! by iwasfixin2
Anna's Hummingbird babies about 1 week old.
Anna's Hummingbird babies about 1 week old. by Callahan, Tom
Anna's Hummingbird and kids
Anna's Hummingbird and kids by Callahan, Tom
Their eyes have opened
Their eyes have opened by Michael Layefsky
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird by lselman
Feathers developing
Feathers developing by Michael Layefsky
Hummingbird chicks
Hummingbird chicks by Michael Layefsky
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird by Victoria,BC. Birds
Birdorable Black Skimmer

Ten facts about Black Skimmers

December 22nd, 2010 in Skimmers, Fun Facts 3 comments
Birdorable Black Skimmer

1. Black Skimmers use their elongated lower mandibles to feed by skimming it over the water.

2. Baby Black Skimmers are born with their upper and lower mandibles the same length. The longer lower mandible grows during fledging.

3. There are three species of skimmer in the world; the Black Skimmer is the only skimmer found in the Americas.

4. Black Skimmer pairs share parental duty. Males and females both incubate the eggs - in fact, male Black Skimmers even have brood patches. Both parents also brood the newborn chicks and feed the nestlings.

5. Folk names for the Black Skimmer include Seadog, Scissor-bill, and Cutwater.

6. Black Skimmers are active throughout the day, but are mainly crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk.

7. Black Skimmers have large vertically-oriented pupils like cats. Such pupils are unique in the bird world.

8. Although Black Skimmers spend most of their life near water, they do not swim.

9. Black Skimmers nest along the Gulf Coast and thus are one of the species directly threatened by the BP Oil Spill Disaster of 2010. Their unique feeding method - skimming the water - makes them uniquely vulnerable to the spilled oil. As of November 30th, 192 dead skimmers were noted by the FWS in the area of the spill.

10. The Black Skimmer is one of our cute Birdorable birds! The Black Skimmer was added to Birdorable on December 2nd, 2010.

Photo of a Black Skimmer
Birdorable Pied-billed Grebe

10 Facts About the Pied-billed Grebe

December 17th, 2010 in Grebes, Fun Facts 3 comments

1. Although flighted, to escape danger, Pied-billed Grebes prefer to dive under water.

2. Migratory Pied-billed Grebes fly at night. They are strong fliers, but are thought to only take off from water, and they need a long "runway" prior to "take-off."

3. Male and female Pied-billed Grebes have similar plumage, but males are usually bigger and may have bigger, heavier bills than females.

4. The toes of Pied-billed Grebes are lobed rather than webbed.

Pied-billed Grebe-IMG_6053-Campbell-crop
Pied-billed Grebe-IMG_6053-Campbell-crop by gimlack

5. When the incubating female Pied-billed Grebe leaves the nest, she covers the eggs in order to conceal them from predators.

6. Chicks spend their first days after hatching on the back of a parent. The chicks leave the nest shortly after hatching, but are unskilled swimmers for the first week or so.

7. Baby Pied-billed Grebes have a wildly different plumage than their parents, especially on the face, which is striped in black, white, and reddish-brown.

Pied-billed Grebes
Pied-billed Grebes by Adam R. Paul

8. Pied-billed Grebes are known to eat their own feathers as a digestive aid.

9. Pied-billed Grebes have several folk names, including "water witch" and "hell-diver."

10. The Pied-billed Grebe is one of our Birdorable cute birds! The species was added to Birdorable on December 3rd, 2010.

Birdorable Pied-billed Grebe