May is Warbler Neck Awareness Month. This month we are highlighting the affliction with a series of blog posts and new WN Awareness merchandise. While all birders are liable to suffer from the pains of Warbler Neck, certain types of birders may suffer more than others. If you're a lister or a newbie, pay attention, especially during May, which is Warbler Neck Awareness Month.

The Lister: Birders who need certain species ticked off their year list, county list, state list, park list, or other list are more likely to suffer from WN on a given day. The need drives the birder to continue searching through the pain.

The Newbie: Sometimes the pain of WN aren't felt until hours or even days after the actual birding event. Blissful ignorance can lead to hours of nonstop canopy-watching, which then leads to a mountain of pain.

Help spread awareness about Warbler Neck with original WN Awareness gear from Birdorable and sister site MagnificentFrigatebird.com. Stay tuned to both sites for more information about WN.

Birdorable Warbler Neck Awareness t-shirt

Other posts in this series: What is Warbler Neck? | Triggers for Warbler Neck and side-effects | April Giveaway: Warbler Neck Awareness Swag

Warbler Neck Awareness Month begins in just over two weeks. You may be wondering, "What exactly is Warbler Neck?" Here is some background information on this unfortunate affliction. Gorgeous warblers in bright breeding plumage migrate through much of the United States during the months of April and May. Spring migration means that birders are on full alert, and birdwatching outings outnumber all other activities. In order to see these colorful little birds, birdwatchers must typically look high up into the trees, up in the canopy where the hungry migrating beauties are most active. The birds are searching for food to fuel their travels. Many are also singing, looking for potential mates and establishing territories. Birding requires patience. Finding a bird that is constantly moving around takes practice and skill. And it means looking up, way up, for an extended period of time. All this sky-high searching often results in a big pain in the neck: Warbler Neck.

Birdwatchers
Birdwatchers by Sugar Pond

The day after your next birding excursion, if you feel aches in your neck, shoulders, or upper back, you can blame the warblers. You've got Warbler Neck. Help spread awareness about Warbler Neck with original WN Awareness gear from Birdorable and sister site MagnificentFrigatebird.com. Stay tuned to both sites for more information about WN.

May is Warbler Neck Awareness Month. Warbler Neck (WN) Awareness is promoted with a cerulean blue awareness ribbon, one side of which is transformed into a feather, shown here at left. Over the next few weeks, we'll be highlighting WN and how it affects birders during migration. We'll discuss the symptoms and remedies (to stop birding altogether is not an option most sufferers choose). We'll also be sharing our new line of Warbler Neck Awareness designs with you. Our Birdorable line of WN designs feature the cerulean blue awareness ribbon-feather, and a cute Birdorable warbler or two. This awareness campaign kicks off today and will continue through the next few weeks, both here on Birdorable and at our sister site for birders, MagnificentFrigatebird.com.

Warbler Neck Awareness T-Shirts

We've just added two new Birdorable coloring pages. The Brown Pelican is a large waterbird that lives along American coasts from Virginia south to Peru. The Greylag Goose is a common goose across Europe and Asia. Go to Coloring Pages to download these two new PDFs. You can check our Meet the Birds page to get some color guidance.

Birdorable Coloring Page: Brown Pelican
Birdorable Coloring Page: Greylag Goose

These downloads will be available until 15 June 2011. 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 Orchard Oriole

1. The Orchard Oriole is the smallest species of oriole in North America. They are sometimes confused for warblers, due to their small size and bright coloration.

2. The oldest known Orchard Oriole was a captive female who lived to be nearly 17 years old. The longevity record for wild birds is 10 years, 11 months.

3. Besides insects, berries and seeds, Orchard Orioles will feed on trumpet creeper nectar. They will also visit hummingbird feeders.

4. Adult male orchard orioles are predominately chestnut in color. Females and juveniles of both sexes look very different, with olive and yellow plumage.

5. Orchard Orioles migrate at night. They are early migrants, leaving their breeding grounds as early as late July.

6. The Orchard Oriole is one of our cute Birdorable birds! The Orchard Oriole was added to Birdorable on February 19th, 2009.

Orchard Oriole
Photo by mitchmcc

We've just added two new coloring pages with Birdorables from the grebe family. The Pied-billed Grebe is a cute little diving bird that lives across the Americas. The Great Crested Grebe is a larger grebe that can be found in Europe and Asia. Go to Coloring Pages to download these two new PDFs. You can check our Meet the Birds page to get some color guidance.

Birdorable Coloring Pages: Pied-billed Grebe and Great Crested Grebe

These downloads will be available until 15 May 2011. 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!

Thrush Rush

We've recently added three members of the Thrush family to Birdorable: the Gray-cheeked Thrush, the Swainson's Thrush, and the Hermit Thrush. These three species, along with the related Wood Thrush and Veery, belong to a group of brown spotted thrushes that breed in North America and present an identification challenge to many birders. Besides their rather similar plumage, these three thrushes share another trait: they are "notable as world-class singers," according to Bill Thompson III's Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Birding Identification Challenges. "Their flutelike songs are produced by a complex system of syringeal muscles that are able to create multiple notes simultaneously. These rich vocalizations [...] have evolved to be heard in the thick vegetation of the woodland habitats where these thrushes breed." Hear their beautiful songs for yourself! Do you have a favorite?

These three cute Birdorable thrushes are available on a variety of novelties, t-shirts, and gifts, including neckties (shown with the Swainson's); postage (Gray-cheeked); necklace (Hermit); and iPhone cases (Swainson's).

Florida Scrub-Jay Fun Facts

Birdorable Scrub-Jay

1. The Florida Scrub-Jay is the only species of bird endemic to the state of Florida.

2. The Florida Scrub-Jay is a federally threatened species. Loss of their specific breeding habitat and their sedentary lifestyle contribute to their threatened status.

3. Florida Scrub-Jays are cooperative breeders. Offspring remain with their parents for subsequent broods, helping with feeding and defending territory.

Florida Scrub Jay
Florida Scrub-Jay by Amy Evenstad

4. Both male and female Florida Scrub-Jays are active during nesting, but with a strong division of labor. Males guard the territory and provide food for the family; females incubate the eggs and brood the chicks.

5. Florida Scrub-Jays have been observed perching on the backs of deer and feral pigs.

6. Florida Scrub-Jays are known to be extremely tame. They will take food from the hand or perch on humans who are providing them with treats. Feeding wild Scrub-Jays is not recommended, though, as it may endanger them by making them drop their guard around dangerous traffic situations and by triggering early breeding which may lead chicks to starve when natural food is not available.

7. The oldest known wild Florida Scrub-Jay lived to be 15.5 years of age.

8. The Florida Scrub-Jay is one of our cute Birdorable birds! The Florida Scrub-Jay was added to Birdorable on August 2nd, 2010.

Florida Scrub-Jay
Florida Scrub-Jay by Amy Evenstad

Cute Florida Scrub-Jay Gifts

Birdorable Black-crested Titmouse

1. The Black-crested Titmouse is closely related to the Tufted Titmouse. They hybridize where their ranges overlap (in Central Texas) and they used to be considered the same species.

2. The bird's DNA suggests that the Black-crested Titmouse diverged from the Tufted TItmouse about 250,000 years ago.

3. It's 'peter, peter, peter' call is similar to that of the Tufted Titmouse, but shorter.

4. Their diet consists of seeds, berries, nuts, insects and insect eggs.

5. The crest of a female Black-crested Titmouse is actually dark gray.

6. Another name for the Black-crested Titmouse is the Mexican Titmouse.

7. Black-crested Titmice are considered residents throughout their range, which covers much of central Texas, and parts of Oklahoma and Mexico. They do not migrate.

8. Black-crested Titmice are cavity nesters, and have been known to line their nests with horse hair, feathers, onion skins, and even tissue paper.

9. The Black-crested Titmouse is one of our cute Birdorable birds! The Black-crested Titmouse was added to Birdorable on November 10th, 2010. Check out our other cute tits and chickadees.

Huey was glad to finally get his little gnome cap.
Photo by martytdx (source: Flickr)

1. Unique Feeding Technique

Northern Shovelers utilize their uniquely-shaped bills to sift through the water for crustaceans, making feeding an efficient endeavor.

2. Widespread Distribution

The Northern Shoveler boasts a widespread distribution, with populations found in parts of the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, illustrating their adaptability to various habitats.

3. Shoveler Species Family

The Northern Shoveler shares its unique bill shape with three other closely related species: the Cape Shoveler, the Australasian Shoveler, and the Red Shoveler.

4. Hybridization Habits

This species is known for its ability to hybridize with several other ducks, including the Blue-winged Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, and Wood Duck, showcasing its diverse genetic compatibility.

5. Distinctive Wing Sound

A distinctive rattling noise can be heard from the wings of Northern Shovelers as they take flight, a unique auditory characteristic of the species.

6. Territorial Behavior

Northern Shovelers display a somewhat territorial nature, especially during the nesting season. Males are known to defend their territory more vigorously than other dabbling ducks.

7. Birdorable Bird

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