2011 Bonanza Bird #13

Meet the Colorful and Musical Dickcissel

Birdorable Dickcissel on a fence

Birdorable Bonanza introduces the Dickcissel, a vibrant, sparrow-like bird often found in the grasslands of the Midwest U.S. during the summer months. Named for its distinctive song, which sounds like "dick! dick! cissss cissss," the Dickcissel is easily identifiable by its unique call. Male Dickcissels boast a striking appearance with a yellow chest, black throat patch, and a robust build, especially during the breeding season.

Dickcissels breed in North America and migrate to Central and South America for the winter. They favor tall grasslands and prairie habitats, where they feed on seeds and insects. Despite their small size, they play a crucial role in their ecosystem by helping control insect populations and dispersing seeds.

Unfortunately, habitat loss has impacted Dickcissel populations. Agricultural development and the reduction of grasslands have led to declining numbers in some areas. Conservation efforts focus on preserving their natural habitats and promoting sustainable agricultural practices to ensure these charming birds continue to thrive.

Dickcissel by Andy Reago and Chrissy McLaren (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Tomorrow's bird is a bird in the Rallidae family with an almost worldwide distribution. Can you guess what it will be?

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Great Black-backed Gull

Today’s bird, and the 12th species in the Birdorable Bonanza, is the Great Black-backed Gull!

Lesser Black Backed Gull
Great Black Backed Gull by Hilary Chambers

Great Black-backed Gulls are the largest species of gull in the world, larger than the very common and oversized Herring Gull. Like many gull species, Great Black-backs will scavenge for much of their food. They will also take live prey, using a variety of techniques including drowning and vigorous physical attack. These large and sometimes predatory gulls have very few predators to fear themselves.

Tomorrow's bird is a small American bird that perched in an open field sings "dick dick ciss ciss ciss". Can you guess what it will be?

Birdorable Bonanza Preview

We just added four new Birdorable coloring pages for lots of cute coloring fun! Go to Coloring Pages to download the PDFs. You can visit the meet pages for each bird to check the colors: Eastern Screech Owl, Northern Goshawk, Barn Owl and Shoebill. Which one is your favorite bird?

Birdorable Coloring Pages for Screech Owl, Goshawk, Barn Owl and Shoebill

These downloads will be available until 15 January 2012. Check here for more coloring pages. Subscribe to the Birdorable Blog by RSS feed or by email to get notified when new downloads like this are added. Have you used our coloring pages at home, in your classroom, or at an event? We’d love to hear about it! Send us photos of the pages in action, or the final result – we may showcase them on our blog!

Birdorable Northern Bobwhite

For 19 days we're adding a new bird species to Birdorable every day. Today’s bird is the 11th species in the Birdorable Bonanza: the Northern Bobwhite!

Northern Bobwhite #1 ♂
Northern Bobwhite #1 ♂ by leppyone

Northern Bobwhites are small game birds that live across parts of the southeastern United States and into parts of Mexico. They are significant as both game birds and as research subjects, due in part to their successful reproductive abilities. There are a whopping 22 subspecies of Northern Bobwhite. The birds are named for their whistle-like call; they are also known as Virginia Quail or Bobwhite Quail.

Northern Bobwhite Products

Tomorrow's bird is the largest gull in the world. Can you guess what it will be?

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Bonanza Bird #10: Pink-footed Goose

Birdorable Pink-footed Goose

Today’s bird, and the 10th species in the Birdorable Bonanza, is the Pink-footed Goose!

Pink Footed Goose
Pink Footed Goose by Hilary Chambers

The Pink-footed Goose is a migratory species of goose that breeds in parts of Greenland, Iceland, and Norway. The species population has increased dramatically over the past 50 years, mainly due to extra hunting restrictions in their winter range. The Pink-footed Goose featured prominently in the recent birder movie The Big Year. Two of the main characters missed out on seeing the rare vagrant to the United States early in the film (and early in the big birding year). The bird appears again later in the movie as well.

Pink-footed Goose Products

Tomorrow's bird is a quail that can be found in eastern United States and is named after its characteristic whistling call. Can you guess what it will be?

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Birdorable Northern Goshawk

Today’s bird, and the 9th species in the Birdorable Bonanza, is the Northern Goshawk!

Northern Goshawk
Northern Goshawk by dracobotanicus

Northern Goshawks are large Accipter birds of prey that live across parts of the northern hemisphere. They are secretive birds proficient at hunting and known for their fierce defense of nest and territory. Idaho biologist Rob Miller is studying Northern Goshawks as he persues a masters degree in Raptor Biology. Follow his blog to learn more about this fascinating species. Read his study abstract and then pay attention this coming spring for the new field season to begin!

Northern Goshawk Products

Tomorrow bird is a goose with pink feet. Can you guess what it will be?

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Birdorable Little Egret

Today's bird, and the 8th species in the Birdorable Bonanza, is the Little Egret!

And Then There Were Eight
Little Egrets by goingslo

Little Egrets live across a wide area of distribution. They can be found throughout Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. They are also found in Australia and New Zealand. Little Egrets are very similar to a North American species, the Snowy Egret. Both species develop long fluffy plumes during breeding season. Like many species of heron, Little Egrets are colonial nesters. They will join other wading birds in a heronry, using platform-like nests made of sticks and twigs.

Little Egret Products

Tomorrow bird is a bird of prey that can be found across the northern hemisphere. It is the largest bird in the Accipiter family. Can you guess what it is?

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Birdorable Southern Cassowary

For 19 days we're revealing a new Birdorable every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza. Today's bird species in the Southern Cassowary!

Southern Cassowary by A.J. Haverkamp

The Southern Cassowary is a large species of flightless bird. They live in Indonesia, New Guinea, and parts of Australia. Southern Cassowaries are known to be deadly to humans. They are equipped with a sharp, dagger-like claw on each of their very powerful feet. Cassowaries will attack when provoked, so if you see one - give it some room!

Cassowary Products

Tomorrow's bird is the Old World counterpart of the New World Snowy Egret. Can you guess what it will be?

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Birdorable Blackburnian Warbler

Today's new bird species in our Birdorable Bonanza is the Blackburnian Warbler! The Blackburnian Warbler is a gorgeous little warbler and a favorite among birdwatchers. The brilliantly colored breeding male is beautiful with its bright orange throat and dark gray back. The birds spend a great deal of time in the treetops, making them a common cause of warbler neck. They utilize coniferous forests, both in the south as in their breeding ground, where they use the tree canopy. Its Genus name 'Dendroica' translates to 'tree-dwelling'.

Blackburnian warbler
Blackburnian warbler by Gary Yankech

Blackburnian Warblers are long-distance migrants that breed across parts of eastern North America, around the border of Canada, and winter as far south as the forests of the Andes in South America! The birds migrate at night and females usually lag behind the males by several days during migration. Check out our Blackburnian Warbler t-shirts and gifts and our other Birdorable warblers.

Birdorable Red Knot T-shirt & gifts

Tomorrow's bird is a large flightless bird from New Guinea that has a reputation for being dangerous to people. Can you guess what it will be?

Birdorable Bonanza Preview
Birdorable Red Knot

For 19 days we're adding a new Birdorable bird every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza 2011. We're counting up to revealing our 350th species! Today's bird is the Red Knot.

Red Knot
Red Knot by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region

Red Knots are widespread shorebirds known for their long-distance migration. They breed across tundra habitat in Canada, Europe and Russia; winters are spent along coastal Africa and South America, among others. Red Knots in the Americas are known to rely on horseshoe crab eggs as an important nutrition source during their northward migration. Excessive crab harvesting in recent decades has contributed to the rapid decline of the American Red Knot subspecies, which are currently considered endangered.

Birdorable Red Knot T-shirt & gifts

Tomorrow's bird is a small migratory bird that in summer has a yellow and black head with a bright orange throat. Can you guess what it will be?

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