The King of Birds

Birdorable Winter Wren as King

The Eurasian Wren is found several times in European and Asian folklore.

The Wren, as it simply known in English-speaking parts of its range, is the star of the Grimm fairy tale "The Willow-Wren and the Bear." The Wren is called "King of the Winds" in Japan. The Druids considered the Wren to be a supreme bird, and Aristotle also had high praise for this little bird. According to one of Aesop's fables, the Wren is the "King of the Birds." The Wren earned this title by outsmarting the other birds, namely the high-flying Eagle.

The regal little Eurasian Wren has been on Birdorable since June, 2015. Prior to that time it was included on Birdorable as a lumped species with the Pacific Wren and the Winter Wren, both of North America. This post has been edited to reflect these changes.

Be sure to check out our collection of cute Wren t-shirts & gifts!

Birdorable Nashville Warbler

We recently added a few new wood-warblers to Birdorable, including the Nashville Warbler. Nashville Warblers are one of the more widespread North American warblers, migrating through much of the United States from their breeding grounds in southern Canada to their wintering grounds in Central America. Although named for the city where they were first noted for science, Nashville Warblers do not breed in Nashville - they only pass through during migration. Nashville Warblers are relatively easy to identify; although their grey-olive top and yellow bottom plumage is similar to the Tennessee and Orange-crowned Warblers, Nashvilles have prominent white eyerings which the others lack. Adult males also have an orange patch at the top of the head which is not always visible in the field, even though it's clear to see on our Birdorable. Have you ever seen a Nashville Warbler?

nashville-warbler-1
nashville-warbler-1 by bmajoros

This week we are proud to highlight four new t-shirt designs created to help Gulf Coast wildlife. All of Birdorable's profits on all sales of these four designs from creation until the end of 2011 were donated to organizations working to help Gulf Coast birds suffering from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. All of the designs feature our revamped Birdorable Brown Pelican.


Team Gulf Coast with a flying Birdorable Brown Pelican

Brown Pelicans are a symbol of survival, having just been removed from the federal endangered species list in November 2009. The species faces a new threat with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster now soiling the Gulf Coast shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.


A squadron of flying Gulf Coast Brown Pelicans

100% of Birdorable's profit for all purchases of these designs was donated to wildlife rescue and research organizations working on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. Click any t-shirt pictured here to see other products with the same design.


Team Gulf Coast with silhouettes of Birdorable Gulf Coast birds

If you would like to help organizations working with Gulf Coast bird and wildlife rescue, you can send donations directly to the ABA Gulf Coast Fund, the National Audubon Society, or the International Bird Rescue Research Center.


Four Color Gulf Coast birds: Brown Pelican; Dunlin; Great Blue Heron; and Black-necked Stilt

Milk-thieving tits!

Blue Tits are small passerine birds that live in parts of Europe and Asia. They are acrobatic little birds, entertaining to watch in garden feeding stations. In the United Kingdom in the 1960's, Blue Tits became known for their intelligence when they would open foil tops on milk bottles to eat the cream inside. Both Blue Tits and (European) Robins had already been stealing cream out of bottles prior to WWII, when the milk was delivered without lids. With the advent of the foil tops, Blue Tits figured out how to pull off the foil to continue stealing the creamy treat. This learned behavior was passed down from generation to generation in the Blue Tits, but the Robins never figured it out. Today the behavior is not nearly as common due to a number of factors - including a sharp decline in home milk delivery!

Milk stealing Blue Tit

The Blue Tit has been on Birdorable since August 2007. Be sure to check out our great collection of Blue Tit t-shirts & gifts!

Birdorable Kirtland's Warbler

We spent some time at the famous birding site Magee Marsh this past May. Magee Marsh is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Erie in Ohio. During migration, birds use Magee Marsh as a filling station or pitstop before crossing Lake Erie and continuing their journey. This "migrant trap" has been attracting birders for years. On Friday, May 14th, we and several hundred other birders became aware of a very rare sighting on the beach close to Magee Marsh. A Kirtland's Warbler! Our experience of seeing what was probably the most photographed Kirtland's Warbler in history (check out the camera clicks and flashes in the video below!) inspired us to make a Birdorable version of this special endangered bird.

What makes a sighting of the Kirtland's Warbler so special? According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources: The endangered Kirtland's warbler is one of the rarest members of the wood warbler (Parulidae) family. It is a bird of unusual interest for many reasons. It nests in just a few counties in Michigan's northern Lower and Upper peninsulas, in Wisconsin and the province of Ontario and, currently, nowhere else on Earth. Its nests generally are concealed in mixed vegetation of grasses and shrubs below the living branches of five to 20 year old jack pine (Pinus banksiana) forests. Kirtland's Warblers have been seen during migration at Magee Marsh before, but not every year. And the sighting is not usually shared with so many. It was wonderful to be among so many joyful birders on the Magee Marsh beach, watching that beautiful, special bird. The Kirtland's Warbler made its Birdorable debut on May 23rd.

This week's featured t-shirt design is our State Birdorable of South Dakota. The Common Pheasant stands before the state flag of South Dakota. Interestingly, the popular game bird is not a native of North America. Despite this obstacle, the Common Pheasant became the state bird of South Dakota in 1943. This is a fun gift idea for anyone who loves South Dakota and her birds!

State Birdorable of South Dakota: Common Pheasant
Birdorable Wilsons's Warbler

We recently added a few new wood-warblers to Birdorable, including the Wilson's Warbler. Wilson's Warblers are named for the noted ornithologist Alexander Wilson. Wilson's Warblers are cute little yellow and olive birds. Males are unmistakable with their black caps. Here are some photos of this beautiful little bird, shared via Flickr.

Wilson's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler by Doug Greenberg
wilson's warbler (wilsonia pusilla)
wilson's warbler (wilsonia pusilla) by revs&audy
Wilson's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler by Jerry Ting
Birdorable Mallard

The Mallard is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable of all ducks. They are dabbling ducks who breed throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas of North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, where they are invasive. The Birdorable Mallard is also one of the most 'familiar' of our cute birds - they appear in several different designs.

If you like our Birdorable Mallard you may also like our other ducks and geese.

A mnemonic device is something used to aid memory or learning. Sometimes birders 'translate' bird songs into mnemonics to help them remember which bird is singing a particular song. We've made a fun quiz showing ten of our Birdorable birds and the common mnemonics birdwatchers sometimes use to remember their songs. You can download and/or print the Bird Song Matching Quiz PDF. Try to match each bird with the popular mnemonic of its song. To get you started, we've matched the Common Yellowthroat with its song: "Witchety! Witchety! Witchety!" If you get stuck, you can check the meet pages of our birds to see who says what. Click on the picture to view the PDF.

The Yellow Warbler is a small songbird that winters in Central America and northern South America and breeds across most of the United States. This is our cute Birdorable version of the Yellow Warbler. Check out our Yellow Warbler t-shirts and gifts for birdwatchers and bird lovers.

Birdorable Yellow Warbler T-shirts