2013 Bonanza Bird #10

The Long-Crested Eagle: A Striking Bird from Sub-Saharan Africa

As we continue our exciting journey towards our 500th Birdorable species, we're delighted to introduce a new bird each day. Today, we're proud to feature the Long-crested Eagle, a majestic bird of prey that adds a touch of wild elegance to our growing collection.

The Long-crested Eagle is a striking bird found in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Its preferred habitats include forested areas and the edges of forests, where it can take advantage of both open spaces and wooded cover. These eagles have also adapted to living in cultivated lands, demonstrating their versatility and ability to coexist in modified landscapes.

One of the most notable characteristics of the Long-crested Eagle is its vocal nature. These birds are not shy about making their presence known. They are known to be very vocal, emitting calls both in flight and while perched. Their calls become even more frequent and intense during the breeding season, serving as a means of communication between mates and a way to establish and defend their territory.

Long-crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)
Long-crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) by Lip Kee (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Long-crested Eagle is easily identifiable by its prominent crest, from which it gets its name. This crest, along with their striking plumage and formidable presence, makes them a fascinating species for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Tomorrow's bird is a New World warbler named for what it eats, sort of.


Cute Long-crested Eagle Gifts

2013 Bonanza Bird #9

Introducing the Blossom-Headed Parakeet: A Parrot with a Floral Diet

Our 2013 Birdorable Bonanza continues with the exciting addition of a new and enchanting parakeet species! Today, we are thrilled to introduce the Blossom-headed Parakeet to our diverse bird family.


The Blossom-headed Parakeet, a stunning species of parrot, is native to India and certain regions of Southeast Asia. Known for their sociable nature, these birds thrive in forested habitats where they can be often found roosting and feeding in groups. They exhibit a strong sense of community, living and foraging together, and even nesting in tree cavities in a communal setting. This gregarious behavior adds to their charm and makes them a fascinating subject for bird enthusiasts.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Blossom-headed Parakeet is its close relationship to the Plum-headed Parakeet, another similarly beautiful bird. However, the Blossom-headed Parakeet can be distinguished by its unique coloration. The males boast a striking pinkish head, while the females feature a more subdued blue-grey color on their heads. This distinct sexual dimorphism in plumage is a characteristic trait of these birds.

La Perruche à collier noir by François Levaillant (public domain)

Interestingly, their name reflects their diet as blossoms are an integral part of their feeding habits. These parakeets are indeed what they eat, often seen indulging in the blossoms that they favor, which not only nourishes them but also plays a role in the pollination of their habitat.

Tomorrow we'll add an African bird of prey. What do you think of this silhouette?


2013 Bonanza Bird #8

Meet the Common Goldeneye: A Global Traveler of Sea and Sky

Our Bonanza hits the water today with our 477th species, the Common Goldeneye.

Birdorable Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneyes are sea ducks with a broad global range. They breed across northern forests in Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, and China. They winter across much of North America and in parts of Europe and Asia south of their breeding range.

Knipa / Common Goldeneye
Common Goldeneye by Stefan Berndtsson (CC BY 2.0)

Common Goldeneyes nest in tree cavities. They will also use nest boxes. When it is time to fledge, the ducklings leave the cavity nest and fall to the ground. Sometimes duckling goldeneyes may be raised by unrelated adults. This can happen one of two ways. First, female goldeneyes may lay eggs in the nests of other goldeneyes. Another familial mix-up can occur when females with ducklings get into territory fights with other families. As the adult female ducks fight, the ducklings can get mixed up. Once the fight is over and each family swims away, ducklings may end up with a different brood.

Tomorrow we'll add a colorful species, named for the flower-like color of the male's head, found in India and Southeast Asia.


Cute Common Goldeneye Gifts

2013 Bonanza Bird #7

Introducing the Striated Caracara: A Raptor with Vulture-like Habits

We're adding one brand new bird species each day until we reach our 500th Birdorable at the end of July! Today's Bonanza bird is the Striated Caracara.

Birdorable Striated Caracara

The Striated Caracara is remarkable because it has the southern-most breeding population of any bird of prey in the world. These dark raptors, also known as Johnny Rooks, breed on the Falkland Islands and in some spots in Tierra del Fuego.

Striated Caracaras on Saunders Island
Striated Caracaras on Saunders Island by Liam Quinn (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Striated Caracaras are in the same family as falcons, but in some ways they behave more like vultures. They are opportunistic feeders and will scavenge on carrion or refuse or hunt weakened or very young and vulnerable prey. They are highly intelligent and have a curious nature.

Tomorrow we'll add a diving duck named for its eye color but recognized more often by the shape of its white face patch.


Cute Striated Caracara Gifts

2013 Bonanza Bird #6

The Vibrant and Eye-Catching Plumage of Africa's Bearded Barbet

We're thrilled to continue our journey towards our 500th Birdorable species by introducing a new bird each day. Today, we're excited to showcase the Bearded Barbet, a remarkable and visually striking bird native to the western regions of Africa.

Birdorable Bearded Barbet

Known for their stocky build, these birds boast a bold and vibrant plumage. The combination of deep red and black feathers, complemented by a distinctive yellow eye patch, makes the Bearded Barbet an extraordinarily beautiful and eye-catching bird.

One of the most striking features of the Bearded Barbet, as its name suggests, is the pronounced bristles around its face. These bristles, or barbs, are a characteristic trait of the barbet family, which consists of 84 species spread across South America, Africa, and Asia. The word 'barbet' is believed to be derived from the word 'barb', possibly referring to these distinctive bristles that resemble 'feather shaft branches' or 'plant hairs'. Among all its relatives, the Bearded Barbet has the most pronounced bristles, making its name a fitting description of its appearance.

Bearded Barbet (Lybius dubius)
Bearded Barbet (Lybius dubius) by Leszek.Leszczynski

Bearded Barbets are known to have a relatively long lifespan, living up to 15 years. They are also known to breed well in captivity and are a common sight in zoos and aviaries around the world. This adaptability to captive environments has made them a favorite among bird enthusiasts and conservationists.

Tomorrow's new species is a bird of prey that belongs in the falcon family but sometimes acts more like a vulture! Check out the blog tomorrow to see what our newest bird is.


Cute Bearded Barbet Gifts

2013 Bonanza Bird #5

The Rufous-bellied Kookaburra: The Solitary Rainforest Dweller

Happy Friday! Today's new Birdorable Bonanza bird is the Rufous-bellied Kookaburra.

Birdorable Rufous-bellied Kookaburra

The Rufous-bellied Kookaburra is one of four species of kookaburra in the world. Kookaburras are large "tree" kingfishers. A few traits set the Rufous-bellied Kookaburra apart from the other kookaburras.

Rufous-bellied Kookaburra Keulemans
Rufous-bellied Kookaburra by John Gerrard Keulemans (public domain)

These birds like to live in thick rainforest habitat, unlike the other kookaburras, who generally prefer an open habitat. Rufous-bellied Kookaburras are often found alone or in pairs; other species of kookaburra tend to live in larger cooperative family groups. Their light-colored bills are unique among the kookaburras. The Rufous-bellied is also the smallest of the four kookaburra species.

Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with an African species that sports a "beard"!


Cute Rufous-bellied Kookaburra Gifts

2013 Bonanza Bird #4

The American Wigeon Joins Birdorable: A Duck with a 'Bald' Look

Happy Independence Day to all our American readers! As we continue with our exciting 2013 Bonanza, we're thrilled to be adding new birds daily throughout July. Today, we celebrate by introducing the American Wigeon, a special species as we approach our 500th Birdorable bird.

Birdorable American Wigeon

The American Wigeon is a striking species, particularly noted for its stunning male breeding plumage. One of the most distinctive features of the male American Wigeon is the shiny, thick green eyestripe that graces the cheeks, coupled with a prominent white stripe that extends from the top of the bill to the crown of the head. This unique pattern gives the bird a distinguished "bald" look, which was the inspiration behind its former name, the Baldpate, with 'pate' being an old term for 'head'.

These beautiful ducks belong to the category of dabbling ducks, a group known for their unique feeding technique. Unlike diving ducks that submerge completely, dabbling ducks feed by tipping forward in the water to graze on vegetation at the bottom of shallow waters. The American Wigeon, in particular, has a diet that is almost entirely vegetarian. This preference for plant matter sets them apart from many other duck species and is a fascinating aspect of their natural history.

American Wigeon
American Wigeon by Tony Hisgett (CC BY 2.0)

Our next new Birdorable species is an over-sized kingfisher! Come back tomorrow to find out what it is!


Cute American Wigeon Gifts

2013 Bonanza Bird #3

Meet the European Crested Tit: A Distinctive and Charming Songbird

Today, as part of our Birdorable Bonanza 2013, we are excited to introduce a delightful small European species to our collection. Our third Bonanza bird, known for its distinctive appearance, is the Crested Tit.

Birdorable Crested Tit

The Crested Tit, a member of the tit family, is a charming little songbird that shares a close relationship with chickadees, titmice, and other types of tits. It's particularly known for its striking crest, which adds a touch of elegance to its petite frame. This small bird can be found in various forested habitats throughout Europe, where it's often referred to as the European Crested Tit.

In terms of diet, Crested Tits are quite versatile. They primarily feed on insects, which they skillfully forage from the bark and leaves of trees, and also consume a variety of seeds. During times of food abundance, these intelligent birds exhibit the remarkable behavior of caching food. This means they store away food such as seeds and nuts in various hidden spots, which they can return to during scarcer times.

Kuifmees (Crested Tit)
Kuifmees (Crested Tit) by Maarten Visser (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Crested Tits are also known to frequent feeding stations, where they can often be spotted alongside other small birds. Their playful and curious nature, combined with their distinctive appearance, makes them a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.


Tomorrow, as we celebrate Independence Day in the United States, we will introduce a bird with "American" in the name!


2013 Bonanza Bird #2

Gift-Giving Rituals of the Least Tern: A Unique Courtship Display

We're excited to continue our journey towards our 500th Birdorable species by introducing a new bird each day. Today, we're delighted to showcase the Least Tern, a remarkable and delicate bird that is part of our Birdorable Bonanza.

Birdorable Least Tern

The Least Tern is the smallest of the American terns and is easily recognized by its size, white forehead, black cap, and yellow bill. One of the most fascinating aspects of Least Tern behavior is their unique courtship ritual, which involves gift-giving. During the mating season, male terns engage in what is known as a "Fish Flight Display." In this display, a male tern carries a small fish in his bill, calls out while flying, and then performs a graceful gliding maneuver as he lands. This ritual often culminates in the male presenting the fish to a prospective female mate, a gesture that plays a crucial role in pair formation.

In the United States, the Least Tern is considered a species of concern in many states. This status is primarily due to habitat loss and disturbance at their traditional nesting sites. Least Terns typically nest on sandy beaches, but with the increasing loss of these natural habitats, they have adapted to use alternative nesting sites such as gravel-surfaced rooftops or man-made nesting platforms. Conservationists have been actively involved in providing these additional nesting habitats to help preserve the species. These efforts include creating safe and suitable environments for Least Terns to breed and raise their young, thus aiding in the conservation of this charming species.

Least Tern courtship 2-20120419
Least Tern courtship by Kenneth Cole Schneider (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Tomorrow our 2013 Bonanza continues with the addition of a small European songbird with a big personality.


Cute Least Tern Gifts

2013 Bonanza Bird #1

Booming Calls and Long Eyelashes: The Fascinating World of Ground Hornbills

Our 2013 Birdorable Bonanza is off to an exciting start with the introduction of the Southern Ground Hornbill. These striking birds are native to parts of southern Africa, where they have carved out a unique niche in the avian world.

Birdorable Southern Ground Hornbill

Southern Ground Hornbills are known for their complex social structure. They live in groups consisting of a breeding pair and several helper birds. These helpers are typically related to the breeding pair and play a crucial role in raising offspring. Unlike many bird species where only the parents care for the young, Southern Ground Hornbills have a cooperative breeding system. This means that young hornbills, often from previous years' broods, assist in rearing the chicks.

One distinctive feature of Southern Ground Hornbills is their bare facial skin, which stands out in stark contrast to their dark feathers. This exposed skin serves a practical purpose. During the dry spells in the African savannah, dust can be a significant issue. To combat this, Southern Ground Hornbills have evolved specially adapted feathers around their eyes that function like long eyelashes. These "eyelash feathers" help keep dust and debris away from their sensitive eyes, ensuring clear vision even in dusty conditions.

Southern Ground Hornbills are large and impressive birds, known for their deep, booming calls that resonate across the savannah. Their unique appearance and fascinating behavior make them a captivating addition to the Birdorable family.

Southern Ground-Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri)
Southern Ground-Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) by Lip Kee (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Stay tuned for more exciting bird additions as our 2013 Birdorable Bonanza continues throughout the month of July!

Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a small beach-nesting species. Tune in tomorrow to see what it is!


Cute Southern Ground Hornbill Gifts