Blog Archive: 2013

Big Year Excitement!

December 16th, 2013 1 comment

Do you know what all of the birds in this picture have in common?

Big Year Birds

Left to right: Rufous-necked Wood-Rail; Eurasian Wigeon; Red Knot; Barrow's Goldeneye; Anna's Hummingbird; and Bar-tailed Godwit.

You're not likely to find them all in the same spot, that's for sure! But these species were all seen in North America this year by Neil Hayward, a birder doing a North American Big Year. As of this afternoon, Hayward has seen a total 744 species in 2013, with 3 additional "provisional" species. That puts him in a very good position to break the record set by Sandy Komito, who saw 745 (+3 "provisional") species in 1998.

Komito had serious competition from two other birders during that big year. The adventures of all three became the basis for a popular book and the big screen film "The Big Year" starring Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black. Hayward is maintaining a very entertaining blog of his year at Accidental Big Year 2013.

Have a look -- the next two weeks will probably see him zipping from state to state and he could very well blow the record out of the water!

Birdorable Bateleur

The Zimbabwe Street Performer

November 27th, 2013 in Birds of Prey 1 comment

The Bateleur is a beautiful and rather colorful species of eagle found in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and Arabia.

Birdorable Bateleur

The name Bateleur means "Street Performer" in French. The bird is so named particularly after tight-rope walkers, because of its habit of rocking while soaring or gliding, as if keeping its balance. Adult Bateleurs are notable for their extremely short tails, especially when compared to other birds of prey.

It takes seven or more years for a Bateleur to reach full adult maturity; before that time their tails are actually longer than those of full-grown adults! Juvenile wing feathers are longer as well; as young birds learn to fly, they use the longer feathers to keep stable in the air. During each molt from hatching to adulthood, the wing and tail feathers grow in shorter and shorter.

The Bateleur is thought to be the species represented by stone-carved Zimbabwe Bird sculptures. The carvings, found in the ruined city of Great Zimbabwe, were created in the 11th century and later. The country is named for the ancient city and the Zimbabwe Bird is the national emblem of modern Zimbabwe.

We recently added the Bateleur to Birdorable. If you can't get enough of this very interesting and colorful bird of prey, be sure to check out our collection of cute cartoon Bateleur gifts!

Birdorable Bateleur Gifts
Birdorable Great Egret

Baby Birdorable: Great Egret

November 8th, 2013 in Baby Birds, Egrets No comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Great Egret. Great Egrets nest in a large colony group, which is known as a rookery or a heronry. In North America, the average clutch size (number of eggs laid) is about three. Incubation takes 23-27 days. Young chicks have a sort of prehistoric look to them, but they get progressively cuter as they age:

Great Egret (Ardea alba) nest with three chicks at the in the Morro Bay Heron Rookery 21 May 2009
Great Egret (Ardea alba) nest with three chicks at the in the Morro Bay Heron Rookery 21 May 2009 by mikebaird
Great Egret Chick
Great Egret Chick by Andrea Westmoreland
(4 of 9) Great Egret Chicks in Nest w/ Parent
(4 of 9) Great Egret Chicks in Nest w/ Parent by mikebaird
great egret chick pair woody
great egret chick pair woody by JKD Atlanta
2 of 3 Great Egret Nest with Adult and Two Chicks, Heron Rookery, Morro Bay, CA 27 May 2010
2 of 3 Great Egret Nest with Adult and Two Chicks, Heron Rookery, Morro Bay, CA 27 May 2010 by mikebaird
5 of 6 Great Egret (Ardea alba) nest with three chicks at the Morro Bay Heron Rookery
5 of 6 Great Egret (Ardea alba) nest with three chicks at the Morro Bay Heron Rookery by mikebaird
2 of 6 Great Egret (Ardea alba) nest with three chicks at the Morro Bay Heron Rookery
2 of 6 Great Egret (Ardea alba) nest with three chicks at the Morro Bay Heron Rookery by mikebaird
great egret chicks woody nest
great egret chicks woody nest by JKD Atlanta

Pretty cute, right? Be sure to check out our Birdorable Great Egret t-shirts and gifts!

Birdorable Barred Owl

Birdorable Owl Masks

October 28th, 2013 in Free Downloads, Fun Stuff No comments

Halloween is just a couple of days away! If you're in desperate need of a costume then we may have the solution for you. Check out these two printable Birdorable owl masks! 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 download the PDF:

Printable Barn Owl Mark
Fun Barred Owl Mask

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 Tufted Titmouse

Cute Bird Halloween Pumpkin Patterns

October 24th, 2013 in Fun Stuff, Halloween 3 comments

Get ready to dress up your pumpkins this Halloween with some cute Birdorable birds! Below you can download 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 download the PDF and get carving!

Birdorable Bird Pumpkin Patterns

  • 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 Scarlet Macaw

Eight New Birdorable Coloring Pages for Halloween

October 21st, 2013 in Coloring Pages, Free Downloads 3 comments

We've added eight brand-new coloring pages for Halloween with some of our favorite birds! That's more coloring pages than we've ever added before at one time. Among the new coloring ages are a Eurasian Eagle-Owl hiding behind a carved pumpkin, Scarlet Macaw and Cockatiel together on a "Happy Halloween" page and a cute King Vulture perched on a grave stone. Download them here:

Birdorable Halloween Coloring Pages

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!