Birdorable White-crowned Sparrow

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.

White-crowned Sparrow
Photo by Ananda Debnath (source: Flickr)
Birdorable Common Yellowthroat

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.

Common Yellowthroat Characteristics

Check out our cute Birdorable Common Yellowthroat apparel & gifts.

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)
Photo by Frank Shufelt (source: Flickr)

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.

Birdorable Dunlin

This week's featured design is our New Mexico State Birdorable, shown here on a long sleeve raglan. The state bird of New Mexico is the Greater Roadrunner. The Roadrunner became the state bird of New Mexico in 1949. Check out our other State Birdorables.

New Mexico State Birdorable: Greater Roadrunner
Birdorable Cedar Waxwing in tree with berries

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!

This week's featured design is our Birdorable California Quail, shown here on a cool tank top. By the way, how many birds do you see on this picture? Look closely! ;)

Birdorable California Quail t-shirt

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.

Birdorable Princess Parrot

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!

Hooded Merganser

Birdorable Hooded Merganser

We recently added the Hooded Merganser to Birdorable. These little ducks are named for their large head crests. In breeding males, the crest has a large white patch. Females are quite drab overall (a recurring theme with many birds, especially ducks), but they do have the 'hood' for which the species is named. Hooded Mergansers have elongated, serrated bills which are useful when hunting and feeding on slippery fish. They will also eat frogs, crayfish, and other small aquatic animals. With legs set back on the body, Hooded Mergansers are agile underwater swimmers but awkward on land. To defend her helpless young, a female Hooded Merganser might try to distract predators by pretending to have a broken wing and leading the predator away from her ducklings.

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Mergansers are one of our favorite species of duck. Depending on the time of year, Hooded Mergansers can be found across much of North America; they do not range in the American southwest or the farthest northern reaches of Canada. Do you have Hooded Mergansers where you live? Have you seen one lately? Have you seen our cute Birdorable Hooded Merganser gifts? :) * HOME is the four-letter code bird banders (and birders) use when referring to Hooded Mergansers.

Harlequin Macaw

We recently added the Harlequin Macaw to Birdorable. The Harlequin Macaw is a relatively common hybrid macaw, a cross between a Green-winged (Red-and-green) Macaw and a Blue-and-yellow Macaw. Like other hybrid macaws, male Harlequins tend to take the coloring of the mother bird, while female Harlequins take the coloring of the father. The word Harlequin has several meanings; one refers to a comic servant character in Italian literature (similar to the court jester). Owners of these gregarious birds might find this meaning fits their avian friend. Harlequin is also a color, described as being between green and yellow. This fits well with the beautiful hybrid coloring of the Harlequin Macaw.

harlequin macaw
Harlequin Macaw by Dave Womach (source: Flickr)

Check out our Harlequin Macaw t-shirts and gifts. Besides the usual array of apparel, don't forget that Birdorable also offers goodies like magnets, keychains and postage!

This week's featured t-shirt design is our Birdorable Barred Owl shown here on a kids organic t-shirt. This will make a great gift for bird lovers, birdwatchers and owl fans.

Birdorable Barred Owl T-Shirt

You might know that Birdorable's very own Amy is a huge fan of Barred Owls. She was lucky enough to get to work with birds of prey by following a raptor course at a local rehabilitation center, Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, earlier this year. FCWR has one education Barred Owl in residence, Meepy, who was easily Amy's favorite. Isn't she gorgeous?

Meepy the Barred Owl

Meepy and me