The American Kestrel is the smallest species of falcon in North America. The plumage of male and female American Kestrels differs significantly, which is unusual among birds of prey. Kestrels like to dine on insects, small rodents, and sometimes even other birds. One method they use for hunting is to hover into the wind and look down on the ground for available prey items.

Hovering American Kestrel

We have recently updated our Birdorable American Kestrel. In addition to the perched male and hunting male, we offer a perched female American Kestrel cartoon on apparel and gifts.

Many countries have an official national bird. For example, the national bird of Israel is the Hoopoe, and the national bird of Mauritius is the Dodo. 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 Chiyoda, Japan is the Mute Swan. A popular ornamental bird, Mute Swans have been introduced to North America and New Zealand, where wild feral populations thrive. These gorgeous large white birds are native to much of Europe and Asia. Interestingly, the current population of Mute Swans in Japan, numbering about 200 birds, is also introduced! However, the bird is historically native to the country. In fact, it was revered by the Japanese in the past; it is depicted on scrolls from over a thousand years ago.


Birdorable Mute Swan with the flag of Chiyoda

The birds in the image below have a lot in common, but one of them doesn't really belong. Can you pick out the species that doesn't go with the others, and tell us what the others have in common? There can be more than one correct answer, so let us know what you think, and why! Visit the meet page if you need help identifying the birds and finding out which one doesn't belong.

Which One Doesn't Belong?

Today marks the official introduction of the Evening Grosbeak as the American Birding Association's Bird of the Year for 2012. It also marks the official introduction of our brand new Birdorable Evening Grosbeak!

Evening Grosbeaks in flight

American Birding Association (ABA) President Jeffrey A. Gordon calls Evening Grosbeaks "avian firecrackers" for their conspicuous nature, their colorful appearance, and their gregarious, noisy manner.

Evening Grosbeaks at the bird bath

Gordon continues, "the ABA Bird of the Year program is all about birders being more conspicuous, and drawing attention to the excitement of birding and the fellowship of birders." Birdorable is proud to support the ABA by offering Evening Grosbeak apparel and merchandise with 25% of sales going directly to the organization. All Birdorable Evening Grosbeak designs are participating in this promotion; soon we will offer more styles featuring the ABA Bird of the Year 2012!

Evening Grosbeak gifts

Be sure to visit the ABA's Bird of the Year page to learn how the Evening Grosbeak will be celebrated in several BOY events occurring throughout the year. And if you'd like some to have some Evening Grosbeak coloring fun, check out our new coloring page which features the ABA Bird of the Year 2012.

Evening Grosbeak coloring page

Birdorable Toco Toucan

With its massive orange-yellow bill, the Toco Toucan is one of the most recognized birds in the world. Here are some interesting facts about the Toco Toucan and its amazing bill.

  • The Toco Toucan is the largest species of toucan in the world. There are about 40 species of toucan in total.
  • The bill of the Toco Toucan is nearly 8 inches long. Its tongue is not much shorter - that's a long tongue!
  • A toucan's bill is largely hollow, with a boney structure similar to that of a sponge. It may look like a formidable weapon, but its use as a defensive aid is more psychological (intimidation) than physical.
  • Up to 50% of a Toco Toucan's total body surface area can be found in its bill.
  • Toco Toucans use their massive bills to skin fruit and to grab hard-to-reach food items.
  • Toucan bills may help the birds regulate heat; the large surface area of the bill radiates heat away from the bird's body in their warm tropical environment.
  • A Toco Toucan can live up to 20 years in the wild.
  • Toco Toucans are cavity nesters. Can you imagine this amazing bird using its bill to hollow out a tree cavity for its nest?

If you can't get enough of Toco Toucans, be sure to check out Birdorable's selection of Toco Toucan t-shirts and gifts!

Birdorable Toco Toucan gifts

World Eagle Day

Today is World Eagle Day! That makes it a very good day to formally reveal our new, updated, super-cute Birdorable Bald Eagle. Of course, it is available on a wide variety of apparel and gifts! The Bald Eagle has been a symbol of the United States since it was chosen to be part of the Great Seal of the United States in 1782.

Birdorable Bald Eagle

The species was in peril in the late 20th century in part due to the use of the pesticide DDT, which was introduced into the environment and interfered with the ability for Bald Eagles and other species to process calcium in their bodies. Eggs laid by affected birds were too thin to support incubation. When DDT was banned, the species rebounded and was eventually removed from the USFW Endangered and Threatened Wildlife list in 2007. We are so happy that Bald Eagles are once again thriving across North America, and we hope they continue to do so forever.

Birdorable Eagle Products

The birds in the image below have a lot in common, but one of them doesn't really belong. Can you pick out the species of vulture that doesn't go with the others, and tell us what the others have in common? There can be more than one correct answer, so let us know what you think, and why! Visit the meet page if you need help identifying the birds and finding out which one doesn't belong.

Which one doesn't belong?

Spanish researchers have discovered that baby European Rollers have an unconventional method of deterring potential predators. The young birds will "vomit a smelly orange liquid when scared by predators." The act serves two purposes. First, the stinky puke may disgust predators from further harassing or attacking the nestlings. Second, the smell serves as a signal to the parent birds that the nest is in danger. The parent birds approach the nest with extra caution when the babies have vomited. Not exactly cute -- but pretty neat, right? Read more about the discovery here: Bird in the hand is worth... ew, is that vomit?.

Baby European Rollers' unique defense

Many countries have an official national bird. For example, the national bird of Belgium is the Common Kestrel, and the national bird of Honduras is the Scarlet Macaw. 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 Deltona, Florida is the state-endemic Florida Scrub-Jay. Birdorable headquarters recently moved from northern Illinois to central Florida, to a community close to Deltona. We are very lucky to have seen the official Deltona bird in the city itself, at the Lyonia Preserve park.

Florida Scrub-Jays live in a very specific type of habitat that is found in and around central Florida. By choosing a state and federally threatened species as the official city bird, Deltona helps bring awareness of this charismatic bird's status.

Birdorable Florida Scrub-Jay with the Flag of Deltona, Florida
Birdorable Florida Scrub-Jay with the flag of Deltona, Florida