All cute bird fans grab your crayons, because we've just added three new Birdorable coloring pages! Go to Coloring Pages to download the PDFs. You can visit the meet pages for each bird to check the colors: Cockatiel, Eurasian Jay and Canada Goose.

Birdorable Coloring Pages: Cockatiel, Canada Goose and Eurasian Jay

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!

Contributing to citizen Science projects helps our collective knowledge, but it also helps us as individuals learn. We'd like to highlight some citizen science projects in which families can participate. If you know of a project that we could highlight on our blog, please YardMap is a citizen science mapping project that can help you learn more about the birds that visit your yard, and how to attract more. Participating in the project also helps scientists as they study how birds adapt to disturbed habitats.

Birdorable YardBird

YardMap is a project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Participants identify their yard and then map it out, indicating types of habitat found. Using colors and shapes, items like lawn, grass, trees, and more can be marked. Bird baths, brush piles, and other objects can also be placed, to give a very clear picture of the type of habitat found in the yard. Finally, participant bird sightings are linked in via eBird. The YardMap site is full of information on how different suburban habitats impact bird populations, and how participants can help birds by making changes or additions to their yards. YardMap is social, too, with a community forum for sharing pictures and stories.

YardMap

This is a fun and educational year-round family-friendly project that has the added benefit of helping scientists better understand bird habits in your neighborhood! Visit the YardMap site to learn more and get started!

I Love My Garden / Backyard Birds

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. Gorgeous little warblers in bright breeding plumage migrate through parts of the United States during the months of April and May. In order to see these colorful winged beauties, birdwatchers often must look high up into the trees, up in the canopy where the hungry birds are most active. Tracking a little moving bird as it forages for insects between the leaves requires patience. And it means looking up, way up, for an extended period of time. All this sky-high searching may result 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. You can help spread awareness about Warbler Neck among your birding pals with original WN Awareness gear from Birdorable. To learn more about Warbler Neck, check out the following articles: What is Warbler Neck? | Triggers for Warbler Neck and side-effects | Who is most likely to suffer from Warbler Neck?

Support Warbler Neck Awareness

The ARA Project is a conservation group working to conserve two macaw species in Costa Rica: the Scarlet Macaw and the endangered Great Green Macaw. The group has been successfully breeding macaws for almost 30 years.

Birdorable Macaws

In 2011 they became the first group in the world to reintroduce Great Green Macaws back into the wild. With a population of fewer than 4000 individuals and a declining population trend, the successful work by The ARA Project is desperately needed to help the continued survival of the Great Green Macaw. Unfortunately, The ARA Project recently received an eviction notice on their main breeding facility. The group has secured a new site but desperately needs funding to build a new breeding facility and other infrastructure to keep the organization running. If you would like to help, you can donate to their Indiegogo campaign 180 Endangered Macaws are Being Made Homeless or directly on The ARA Project website using Paypal.

Birdorable Sandhill Cranes

Contributing to citizen Science projects helps our collective knowledge, but it also helps us as individuals learn. We'd like to highlight some citizen science projects in which families can participate. If you know of a project that we could highlight on our blog, please let us know!

Each year the International Crane Foundation encourages citizen scientists to participate in the Annual Midwest Crane Count. In 2013, the count will take place on April 13.

The count covers over 100 counties in Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. County Coordinators should be the first point of contact for anyone that would like to participate. Visit the Crane Count page to learn more about participating and see past count results.

In a recent research study, it was discovered that cockatoos would exhibit self-control in order to receive a prized nut. Self-control was previously thought to be exclusively practiced by animals with larger brains.

Birdorable Goffin's Cockatoo with nuts

Researchers at the University of Vienna gave Goffin's Cockatoos pecan nuts. The birds that waited up to 80 seconds were able to trade up for a more tasty prize: a cashew nut. Here is a video of one of the Goffin's Cockatoos that participated in the study, Muppet, impatiently waiting for his cashew. To learn more about the study, read further here: These bird brains exercise some self-control.

A recent study involving Eurasian Jays found that the birds, related to Blue Jays and crows, demonstrate an aspect of intelligence previously thought only to exist in humans. Male Eurasian Jays present their mates with gifts as part of their natural pair-bonding behavior. In the study, male jays were given the option to present their mates with a gift of a mealworm larvae or a moth larvae.

The male would observe the female bird eating either moth larvae or mealworm larvae, and depending on which the female had been eating, the male would offer her the other. The idea is that a "jay that’s gorged on moths will generally prefer to eat mealworms afterwards, and vice versa, just as a [human] satiated by chocolate will next take a slice of cake." This type of awareness of the feelings of others is called "theory of mind" and it was once believed that only humans had this kind of knowledge. You can read more about the study and see a short video of the experiment here: Gift-Giving Birds May Think Much Like People.

Give quality gifts like the Eurasian Jay

Blog Bird Feeder

Contributing to citizen Science projects helps our collective knowledge, but it also helps us as individuals learn. We'd like to highlight some citizen science projects in which families can participate. If you know of a project that we could highlight on our blog, please let us know!

The 16th annual Great Backyard Bird Count will take place from Friday, Feburary 15th through Monday, February 18th. Participation is free and anyone in the world can contribute! Here is a what is involved, taken from the official GBBC website:

"The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are.

Participants tally the number of individual birds of each species they see during their count period. They enter these numbers on the GBBC website."

The annual count helps scientists understand what is happening with bird populations during a specific period of time each winter. This "snapshot" of current bird activity is monitored over time to look for population trends. Results from previous counts can be seen by participants and scientists alike. This is a great citizen science project for birdwatchers of all ages! Data entry is easily accomplished via the GBBC site; younger birdwatchers may need help with keeping and entering count information.

Learn more about this project and how you can participate by visiting the Great Backyard Bird Count website.

Have you participated in the GBBC before? Will you participate this year?

The Egyptian Plover is a beautiful species of wader that lives in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the common name, their present range does not extend to any part of Egypt. The bird is sometimes known by another name: Crocodile Bird.

During his travels to Egypt in 459 BC, the Greek historian Herodotus recorded a fascinating observation: a small bird, which he identified as the Egyptian Plover, engaging in what appeared to be a symbiotic interaction with a crocodile. According to Herodotus, this bird was seen picking out food from the open mouth of a crocodile, a behavior presumed to be mutually beneficial. The crocodile would receive a thorough cleaning of its teeth, while the bird enjoyed an effortless meal.

However, the reliability of this account has been a subject of debate. Herodotus, known as the world's first historian, was also nicknamed "The Father of Lies," suggesting that some of his observations might have been exaggerated or misinterpreted. The myth of the Crocodile Bird was later revived by explorers and naturalists in the 19th and 20th centuries, with personal eyewitness accounts from a German zoologist and a British birdwatcher. Yet, these accounts have been widely disputed and lack substantial corroborative evidence.

In fact, there is no definitive scientific record of a cleaning symbiotic relationship between any crocodilian species and any bird species. This absence of evidence casts doubt on the validity of the Egyptian Plover's role as a Crocodile Bird.

Despite the questionable authenticity of this behavior, the moniker "Crocodile Bird" undeniably adds an aura of intrigue and mystique to the Egyptian Plover. It's a nickname that captures the imagination, painting a picture of a fearless bird in a daring dance with one of nature's most formidable reptiles. Despite its questionable background, the nickname Crocodile Bird does make the Egyptian Plover sound kind of cool, don't you think?

Birdorable Crocodile Bird Gifts