Bluer than a Bluebird

Birdorable Indigo Bunting

We recently added the Indigo Bunting to Birdorable. These birds are named for the striking bright blue plumage found in breeding males.

Indigo bunting
Indigo bunting by Henry McLin, on Flickr

Like many passerine birds, for safety the Indigo Bunting often migrates overnight. They use the stars as a directional tool in their travels. In captivity, since they cannot migrate, Indigo Buntings may experience disorientation in April and May and in September and October if they cannot see the stars from their cages.

Indigo Bunting
Indigo Bunting by drivebybiscuits1, on Flickr

We can expect Indigo Buntings to return here to northern Illinois very soon. They will visit back yard feeders and the males especially are hard to miss.

American Goldfinch and Indigo Bunting
American Goldfinch and Indigo Bunting by jackanapes, on Flickr

You can also listen for their song, which some birders describe as sounding like "fire! fire! where? where? here! here! see it? see it?"

Calling For Love
Calling For Love by Chad Horwedel, on Flickr

Indigo Buntings summer across much of the eastern part of the United States. Do you have Indigo Buntings where you live? Have they already returned? While you wait, be sure to check out our cute Birdorable Indigo Bunting t-shirts & gifts! :)

This week's featured t-shirt design is our I Love Budgies with three Birdorable Budgerigars in a row. They include the gray budgie, blue budgie and blue-and-yellow budgie. Cute gifts here for budgie lovers!

Birdorable I Love Budgies T-Shirt

Our 'old' coots

Birdorable Eurasian CootWhen we lived in Leiden, there were Eurasian Coots, also called Common Coots, living all over the Singel (the canal or moat surrounding the city). This was one species of bird we saw nearly every day. Here's an arial view of Leiden, from Google Maps. You can see the zig-zag shape of the Singel going around the city. The old city walls used to follow the water around the city. (Our house was in the upper right corner of the map, just outside of the Singel)

Anyway, if you walked along the Singel virtually any time of year, you could find coots in the water or in the parks just off shore. They stayed all year round, but in the spring you really noticed them because they were always fighting, aggressively defending their territory. And they were busy busy busy constructing nests, usually surrounded by water, attached to some piece of garbage in the water (most likely a sunken bicycle or shopping cart), or along the water's edge. It was fun to watch them build their nests, which would be made up of primarily vegetation, but also pieces of paper, plastic bags and other found garbage.

It was also so much fun to watch them with their babies. Coot babies (I call them cooties) are precocial, which means they are relatively mature from the moment they hatch. We would see very tiny coots swimming behind adults in the water, bouncing in the gentle wake of their parents. The very young ones would try to dive down for food like their parents, but they were too small and much too buoyant to stay under for any amount of time. They would just pop up immediately.

Once the breeding season was over, and the babies were taking care of themselves, the coots were more convivial. Large groups of adult and juvenile coots would feed together and no arguments would break out as they swam around the Singel. We would also see coots when we went birding out of Leiden. They don't call them Common Coots for nothing; they are fairly widespread all across Europe.

Eurasian Coot

Common Coots are one of our favorite birds and I'm glad we finally have a Birdorable version of this species! Be sure to check out our shop for the new Birdorable Eurasian Coot gear.

Birdorable Common Pheasant

The Common Pheasant, a bird famous for its striking plumage and adaptability, is the latest addition to our Birdorable family. This bird is truly a sight to behold with its vivid colors and intricate patterns, making it a standout among game birds.

Native to large parts of Asia and parts of Europe, the Common Pheasant has been introduced to various regions across the globe, showcasing its remarkable ability to thrive in diverse environments. These introductions have made the Common Pheasant one of the most widely recognized and, indeed, common species of pheasant worldwide. Its presence is so significant that, despite not being native to North America, it has been designated as the state bird of South Dakota, symbolizing its importance in local culture and wildlife.

Our Birdorable version of the Common Pheasant captures the essence of this magnificent bird in an adorable, stylized form. Whether you're a bird enthusiast, a lover of wildlife, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, our range of cute Birdorable Common Pheasant t-shirts and gifts is perfect for you. These items are not just a way to celebrate the beauty of the Common Pheasant but also a great way to share your passion for birds with the world. Explore our collection and find the perfect Common Pheasant-themed item to express your admiration for this stunning bird.

Photo of a Common Pheasant

Common Pheasant by Stefan Berndtsson (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Common Pheasant photo

Common Pheasant by Ron Knight (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Cute Common Pheasant Gifts

This week's featured t-shirt design is our cute Birdorable Northern Pintail, a beautiful large duck with a long pointed tail. The bird breeds across northern areas of North America, Europe and Asia and in winter migrates as far south as Hawaii, Central America, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The duck is shown here on a men's basic long sleeve shirt and women's EDUN LIVE t-shirt.

Birdorable Northern Pintail T-Shirts

After a season of uncertainty and no nesting activity last year, the Peregrine Falcons at the Rochester Falconcam are back in business with two eggs laid so far. I have been looking at the main view camera for a few minutes this afternoon and it appears Beauty might already been sitting on the eggs, so the third and final (??) egg might be laid soon. This is the first nesting attempt by the pair Archer and Beauty, and it will surely be an exciting website to keep your eye on as the season progresses! The Rfalconcam website has been updated with easy access to the five nestcams, forum, blogs and shops where you can buy Rfalconcam gear. Birdorable Archer and Beauty swag is available too, with 30% of the sell price on all merchandise being donated to Genesee Valley Audubon, who manage the nestcam.

Northern Bald Ibis

Birdorable Northern Bald Ibis

We recently added the Northern Bald Ibis to Birdorable. This bird is a non-wading species of Ibis with a feather-free head. Along with the Southern Bald Ibis, these birds prefer arid landscape over wetlands, and will breed on cliffs rather than in trees. These traits, along with their bald heads, separates these two species of ibis from all others. Unfortunately, the Northern Bald Ibis is a critically endangered species. Originally native to the Middle East, north Africa and south Europe, the species is no longer found in Europe and is declining in its remaining range. A group of 500 wild birds in Morocco make up the bulk of the population today. There are approximately 1100 Northern Bald Ibises living in captivity. The guidelines for conservation and reintroduction of the species were established at an International Advisory Group for Northern Bald Ibis (IAGNBI) conference in 2003. The release of captive birds into the wild has not been successful so far, but several different groups are hard at work on discovering a successful method of release to increase the wild population. Interestingly, the Northern Bald Ibis became one of the world's first protected species by decree of the Archbishop Leonhard of Salzburg in 1504. Despite this status the species still died out in Austria, along with the rest of Europe. And its struggles continue today. If you'd like to learn more about the Northern Bald Ibis and the work being done to save this critically endangered species, visit the IAGNBI website.

Northern Bald Ibis
Northern Bald Ibis by Luke Robinson, on Flickr

This week's featured t-shirt design is our Birdorable Common Loon. Loons are currently migrating north and passing through northern Illinois, where we live. This time of year, local bird clubs organize "Looney trips" where birders drive from lake to lake to spot these beautiful birds. Have you seen a Loon this year?

Birdorable Common Loon

New: Hooded Pitta!

Birdorable Hooded Pitta

The Hooded Pitta is a passerine that lives in eastern and southeastern Asia. Their habitat is typically forest and woodland or cultivated land (farms and plantations) adjacent to forest. They eat insects, larvae, worms, snails and berries. Both parents contribute to caring for eggs and raising hatchlings. They are widespread in their natural range and have a conservation status of 'least threatened.' Like most of our Birdorable birds, the Hooded Pitta was added to our collection of bird illustrations after a customer request. From exotic and rare beauties to your favorite backyard birds, we always love to hear customer suggestions. We can't always add a requested bird immediately, but we'll be sure to let you know when your request is added to products. I hope you like our new Birdorable Hooded Pitta!

This Birdorable American flag is made of Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals and White Doves. A great design for patriotic birdwatchers and bird lovers across America. The design is shown here on a Ladies Fitted Long Sleeve t-shirt.

Birdorable U.S. Flag