Falconry is the sport of hunting with a trained bird of prey. Peregrine Falcons have been popular birds among falconers for thousands of years. When the species became endangered due to pesticide use in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the expertise of falconers was instrumental in the eventual recovery of the species. In 1970, the North American population was believed to be just 10 or 20 percent of its historical average. The species was added to the Endangered Species list in 1975; at that time there were just 324 known nesting pairs in the United States. Harmful pesticides like DDT were banned, but the population needed additional help in order to increase their numbers.
Because Peregrine Falcons breed successfully in captivity, falconers continued to raise and hunt with captive-reared birds during the time it became endangered in the wild. Later, captive breeding and release programs in the United States, Germany, and elsewhere were extremely successful. These were done with cooperation between government agencies, non-government conservation groups, and experienced falconers. Today, the Peregrine Falcon is no longer on the Endangered Species list and populations have rebounded across much of their near-worldwide range. Peregrines have adapted to nest in urban and suburban settings. In the United States, many urban Peregrine Falcon nests are monitored by volunteers or via remote cameras. Birdorable fans know that our favorite Peregrine Falcon camera is the Rfalconcam in Rochester, New York.
Earlier this year we were asked by quilter Kate C. if she could use our cute Scarlet Macaw illustration as an inspiration for part of a quilt she was making for her granddaughter. We kindly agreed! Kate send us this photo of the macaw in the finished quilt. Isn't that cute?!
Thank you, Kate!
International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) is coming up soon! This Saturday, September 1, people all over the world will celebrate vultures. We've launched a new vulture landing page just in time for IVAD. Here you'll find links to all of our Birdorable vultures. We've got 23, representing all of the Old World and New World vultures found in the world. We've also got free downloadable coloring pages for each of the 23 vultures. The sheets have a few fun facts about each species, plus key color tips, in case you want your vulture to be true to life! Of course, we encourage creativity in coloring, too. Check out these photos from an IVAD celebration from last year. Nice work, kids!
On our special vulture page, you'll also find six different free downloadable activity sheets. Connect the Dots to reveal vultures and complete your own coloring page image. Try to solve the Vulture Maze, or play Vulture Memory. All of the printable PDF downloads are totally free to use at IVAD activities or anywhere else! If you use any Birdorable downloads at your event, school, or at home, we'd love to see photos of your finished work! Send us photos of the pages in action, or the final result – we may showcase them on our blog!
Saturday, September 1st, will mark the fourth annual International Vulture Awareness Day, a celebration of the world's vulture species. We're marking the day by unveiling over a dozen brand new Birdorable vulture species - to complete our set of all of the world's vultures. We'll highlight the new birds in the coming days, but if you just can't wait, catch a sneak peek by heading over to our vulture "meet" pages.
International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) is a global event designed to raise awareness and promote conservation of vultures. Visit the IVAD website to see which organizations are participating. There may just be an event near you! And be sure to check out our collection of Birdorable vultures to see how you can share the vulture love in cute style!
Back in March the American Birding Association (ABA) announced that their bird of the year for 2012 would be the Evening Grosbeak. We are supporting the ABA with sales of Birdorable Evening Grosbeak merchandise. 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 throughout 2012! All Birdorable Evening Grosbeak products, including shirts, stickers, mugs, and mousepads, are completely customizable via our production partner Zazzle. One great thing about offering our products via Zazzle is that customers can add elements like text or photos to products to personalize them. We are offering some "pre-personalized" ABA-branded merchandise in our Birdorable shop. You can find them here: ABA Bird of the Year 2012.
Here is a very short tutorial showing how you can customize Birdorable products, using an ABA Evening Grosbeak shirt as an example. From the shop page linked above, click on the Value Shirt thumbnail. This brings you directly to the product page on Zazzle.com. Click on the orange Customize It button.
The page refreshes with a new customization menu available on the right side of the screen, shown below. Notice that there are two design elements - one text and one image. Click on Change text to customize the t-shirt text.
A small text box pops up on the screen. In this example I have changed the text to read I LOVE THE ABA. I used the text size tool to increase the font size on the caption. Here is what my new shirt looks like.
There are other customization options - you can change the font style or color, change the placement of both the bird and your caption, or even add your own images. You can add your name or anything else to the back of shirts, too! Customization tools like these are available on all Zazzle-provided products, and there is no obligation to buy - so feel free to play with the tools and let your creativity shine! We've had fun with this before on our blog, adding funny text to our Kakapo shirts when a particularly funny video clip was making the social media rounds. Check it out, and be sure to look at the shirts at the bottom of the post: Shagadelic Birdorable Kakapo. If you play around with the customization tools, feel free to show off your creations, either by commenting here on the blog or by posting on our Facebook page.