Birdorable Eastern Screech Owl

Today we're starting our third Birdorable Bonanza! For the next 19 days we'll be adding a new Birdorable bird species every day, counting up to our 350th species! See our Meet the Birds page to see all Birdorable birds. The first bird to kick off Birdorable Bonanza 2011 is the Eastern Screech Owl!

The Eastern Screech Owl is a small species of nocturnal owl that lives across parts of Eastern North America. All birds have prominent ear tufts (laid back flat in the photo above) and a mottled and cryptic plumage, which comes in two distinct color morphs: red-phase (or rufous-phase) and gray-phase. Eastern Screech Owls are nocturnal and will roost in tree trunks or cavities during the day. Despite their name, their call is a descending, soft whinny.

Birdorable Screech Owl T-Shirts & Gifts

Every day of the Bonanza we'll give you a hint for the next day's bird and you can guess what it will be. We'll start easy: tomorrow's bird lives in Africa and has a bill the shape of a shoe. Can you guess what it will be?

Birdorable Bonanza Preview

If you're on Facebook or you know someone who is, please consider supporting our favorite wildlife rehabber, Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, with a vote in the Chase Community Giving Campaign. Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation is a private, not-for-profit organization in the Chicago area treating over 3,400 animals annually! The vote is completely free and gives Flint Creek the chance to get funding from $25,000 to $250,000, depending on where they end up in the final vote. Voting just takes a moment! Visit the Chase Community Giving application and vote for FCWR!

Vote Now

Flint Creek recently released a pair of orphaned Bald Eagles back to the wild after raising them to independence so be sure to check out their Facebook page and look for photos of that fantastic event. Some of you may know that we (Arthur and Amy) volunteered with FCWR and that this all-volunteer wildlife rescue organization means a lot to both of us. Your support would be greatly appreciated and remember, it doesn't cost anything! Please vote if you're on Facebook and share the word with your family and friends, too. Voting ends November 22nd. For more information about Flint Creek check out their website or Facebook page. Thank you!

We don't have to add too many birds to reach another milestone on Birdorable: 350 birds! That's a lot of species. We think this milestone deserves some celebration, in the form of a Bonanza! Get ready for the 3rd Birdorable Bonanza! Later this month we'll start unveiling a new bird every day for 19 days in a row -- until our 350th bird species is added to the site. Here's a teaser below. Can you guess what birds we'll be adding?

From now until November 24th, Birdorable fans can pick up one free holiday card from our shop, fulfilled by Zazzle. Pick one of the following two cards and use the code FREEBIRDCARD at checkout to complete the offer.


Three Christmas Songbirds (US) by Birdorable

Christmas Barred Owl Santa by Birdorable

While shipping is not included in this offer, Zazzle does have an unlimited shipping program called Zazzle Black. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Zazzle Black and your shipping for this card and any other Zazzle purchases will be free for the next 30 days. A year of Zazzle Black is just $9.95, so if you like the free trial, purchase Zazzle Black for the year and enjoy unlimited free shipping on all future Birdorable Zazzle purchases for the year. Limit one card per customer. Remember, the free Birdorable card offer expires on November 24.

Legal:100% of card net sale price (excluding shipping and taxes) is deducted when qualifying http://www.zazzle.com/137307935659402897 & http://www.zazzle.com/137349325222310064 greeting card is purchased from http://www.zazzle.com/birdorable and the coupon code FREEBIRDCARD is applied at checkout. Offer does not apply to create your own cards. Offer does not apply to card orders of two or more. Buyer is responsible for shipping and handling and sales tax charges. Failure to comply with promotional offer conditions may result in order cancellation. Offer is valid through November 24, 2011 at 11:59pm PT. Offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.

Audubon has a fun competition going on right now, called "Birding the Net." Participants collect birds which are found on various participating sites around the web. On a special Facebook app, contestants can tally their totals and trade for needed birds with their friends. You can even find some right here on Birdorable!


(click to enlarge)

Here are some hints to get you started. Birdorable birds like to make friends. Roseate Spoonbill is particularly friendly (see above) - but Black-crested Titmouse and Northern Saw-whet Owl also like to meet new birdie pals. We like to meet new friends too, and to hear from our fans! You can learn more about the campaign in the official Audubon press release. The contest ends November 7th. Have fun Birding the Web - we are!

Many countries have an official national bird. For example, the national bird of Belize is the Keel-billed Toucan, and the national bird of New Zealand is the Kiwi. All U.S. states also have official birds. But did you know that there are even some cities that have their own official bird? The official city bird of Seattle, Washington, is the Great Blue Heron. For a bustling oceanside metropolis known for its seafood, a fish-eating bird is a great choice for an official city bird. Of course, herons take other prey, including frogs, turtles, and even small mammals! Seattle is also known for its weather - lots of rain. A big blue-grey bird fits in there just fine! You can read more about the Great Blue Heron at the Seattle Audubon Society.


Birdorable Great Blue Heron with the flag of Seattle

Hey everyone, we've got some more new free Halloween downloads for you! Last week we debuted four free cute bird pumpkin carving patterns. Now we're offering two printable Birdorable owl masks for your creative Halloween fun! The faces of our cute Barred Owl and Barn Owl are here in larger-than-life full color, ready to print out and wear for Halloween or your next bird-themed fancy dress party! The masks can be made to wear, with the simple addition of some string, or made masquerade-style, stuck on a stick. Just click on a mask thumbnail to get your free downloadable mask!

The Barn Owl has several nicknames, including the Halloween-appropriate Demon Owl and Ghost Owl. Barn Owl vocalizations include blood-curdling screams, so be sure to warm up your vocal cords before donning this mask. Pair the mask with an all-white outfit and a tan cape to complete your Barn Owl costume!

Barred Owls are nocturnal birds that like deep, dark forests and swampy habitats. They are known for their distinctive "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" call. Pairs of Barred Owls perform amazing hooting vocal duets, so grab a friend and go as a pair of Barred Owls this Halloween! Tip: add some black makeup around your eyes to match the large dark eyes of the Barred Owl.

Have you used any of our free printable downloads 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!

We at Birdorable are proud to have provided use of our cute Andean Cock-of-the-rock image to The Field Museum's 24th rapid inventory team that traveled to the Kampankis mountains of Peru this summer. A few months ago, we were kindly contacted by one of the conservation biologists working on the survey. We were asked if our Andean Cock-of-the-rock could be used for the team's t-shirt, and we were happy to comply! The survey was done in northern Peru, in an area where Andean Cocks-of-the-rock are abundant. Below is a photo of some of the team members when they recently arrived in Tarapoto after the survey. If you look closely, you'll find at least five Birdorables in the photo!

These surveys are huge team efforts and entail adventure and discovery. For example, the above photograph was taken during an earthquake after a multi-day weather delay. If you'd like to learn more about the high adventure and about the fascinating work done during the rapid survey of the Kampankis mountains, check out the rapid inventories of remote regions blog.

Halloween will be here in just over a month! Shops are already offering scary decorations, spooky costumes, and piles of pumpkins. Get ready to dress up your pumpkins with some cute Birdorable birds! We're offering four different cute bird pumpkin carving patterns of varying skill levels as free downloads. Two of our patterns are simple bird cut-outs, and two are inverted designs where the area around the bird must be carved away. Just click on a pattern thumbnail to get the free downloadable print-out and get carving!

Our first free pumpkin carving pattern is a cut-out Birdorable chickadee. Chickadees love Halloween, you know! After all, they are always singing, "Trick or treat-treat-treat-treat," aren't they?!Next, our free spoonbill pumpkin pattern is another cut-out, though a bit more involved. You know, I bet that spoon-shaped bill would be very handy at cleaning out pumpkin guts this time of year!

Our cute owl pumpkin cut-away pattern has the owl looking out from inside the pumpkin, how adorable! Owls own the night - even on Halloween - and this little cutie is no exception.Finally, we have our cute Birdorable Tufted Titmouse pumpkin pattern. This is another cute-away job, and requires a steady hand to leave enough pumpkin to keep the bird afloat. Be careful carving that wing, too!

Have you used any of our free printable downloads 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 Roseate Spoonbill

The Roseate Spoonbill is one of the newest birds to join the Birdorable family. Here are some fun facts about this unique species.

1. The collective noun for spoonbills is bowl. Have you ever seen a bowl of Roseate Spoonbills?

2. Roseate Spoonbills get their pink color from their food! They feed on crustaceans who in turn have fed on algae.

3. In parts of their range, especially in Florida, Roseate Spoonbills are sometimes confused with another large pink wading bird: the flamingo.

4. There are six species of spoonbill in the world; the Roseate Spoonbill is the only one with pink plumage. Roseate Spoonbill

5. The Roseate Spoonbill is also the only spoonbill species found in the Americas.

6. The beaks of chick spoonbills are straight; the spoon-shape grows as the chick develops.

7. Spoonbills use their specialized bills to feed. They sweep their open bills through the water, and when a prey item like a fish or insect comes between the mandibles, the bill snaps shut.

8. The oldest wild Roseate Spoonbill was discovered in the Florida Keys in 2006. The bird had been banded in 1990, and was an amazing 16 years old. The previous known longevity record for the species was seven years.

9. Roseate Spoonbills are highly social. They feed with each other and with other wading birds. They also nest in colonies and fly in flocks.

10. The Roseate Spoonbill was added to Birdorable on September 6th, 2011. Be sure to check out our great collection of Roseate Spoonbill t-shirts & gifts!