Blog Archive: January 2011

Birdorable Northern Shoveler

Fun facts about the Northern Shoveler

January 29th, 2011 in Ducks, Fun Facts No comments
Birdorable Northern Shoveler

1. Northern Shovelers use their uniquely-shaped bills to strain the water for crustaceans when feeding.

2. Northern Shovelers are fairly widespread, with populations living and breeding across parts of the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

3. There are three other species of shoveler in the world, all closely related to the Northern Shoveler: Cape Shoveler; Australasian Shoveler; and Red Shoveler.

4. Northern Shovelers have been known to hybridize with several other duck species, including Blue-winged Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, and Wood Duck.

5. The wings of Northern Shovelers make a rattling noise when the birds take off.

6. Northern Shovelers are somewhat territorial - at least more so that other dabbling ducks. Males will defend territory more fiercely during nesting season.

7. The Northern Shoveler is one of our cute Birdorable birds! The Northern Shoveler was added to Birdorable on December 7th, 2010.

Birdorable Caspian Tern

Ten Facts About the Caspian Tern

January 11th, 2011 in Terns, Fun Facts 1 comment
Birdorable Caspian Tern

Here are ten interesting facts about the Caspian Tern:

  1. The Caspian Tern is the world's largest tern species.
  2. The Caspian Tern's diet consists almost entirely of fish.
  3. Unlike many other tern species, the Caspian Tern retains its black cap during the winter (non-breeding plumage).
  4. The Caspian Tern occurs on all continents except Antarctica.
  5. Caspian Terns are highly vocal. Chicks vocalize while they are still in the egg!
  6. Caspian Terns are fastidious when it comes to feeding their young. Adults rinse their bills after feeding their babies. If an offered fish is accidentally dropped on the ground, the adult will rinse it off with water before re-offering it to the baby tern.
  7. Caspian Terns nest along the Gulf Coast and thus are one of the species directly threatened by the BP Oil Spill Disaster of 2010.
  8. Starting from day one, chicks are fed whole fish, which they swallow headfirst.
  9. The oldest known wild Caspian Tern lived to be 26 years old.
  10. The Caspian Tern is one of our cute Birdorable birds! The Caspian Tern was added to Birdorable on July 20, 2007.