The Saker Falcon is one of our newest additions to Birdorable. The falcon, which is almost as large as the Gyrfalcon, breeds across parts of eastern Europe and much of central Asia. They prefer open plains and desert-type habitats and hunt by horizontal pursuit unlike the Peregrine Falcon that hovers and stoops down from great heights.
Saker Falcons are beautiful birds, with brown upperparts and contrasting grey flight feathers. The head and underparts are paler brown, with streaking from the breast down. The birds are excellent hunters and often take on prey that is larger than itself. Because they are so swift and powerful they are a popular falconry bird and have been used by humans in hunting for thousands of years.
In the Arabian Peninsula falconry is an integral part of desert life and Saker Falcons are the favorite bird of many Arab falconers. The birds are trapped in Arab countries on their migration to the Middle East or caught throughout Asia and sold to the Middle Eastern falcon market. Unfortunately this is one of the reasons the bird has been put on the endangered species list. Thousands of falcons are caught every year and sold illegally on the black market. In addition the species is facing pressure from habitat loss and destruction.
In contrast, the bird is strongly protected in Hungary, where it is the national bird. Even though Saker Falcons are relatively abundant in Hungary, numbers are still low; the estimated total European population in 2010 was just 450 pairs, with 40% of these in Hungary and Slovakia. The Middle East Falcon Research Group has a nice table with estimated breeding populations in each country.
Check out these websites for more information about the Saker Falcon:
Sakervalk by Tim Strater
Halcón Sacre by Ferran Pestaña
A Birdorable Cockatiel face is repeated in a four-square pattern on this women's American Apparel T-Shirt. The cartoon cockatiels are rotated through the design - mimicking the acrobatic stylings of this charismatic species! This original graphic tee makes a great gift for anyone that loves Cockatiels! Check out our other products with this design and fine more designs with our Birdorable Cockatiel.
You can customize this design on many different t-shirt styles and colors. Here are some examples:
Today we've added our 600th Birdorable bird: the Tawny Owl!
The Tawny Owl is the most widespread species of owl across Europe. Tawny Owls are also found in western parts of Asia and northern Africa.
Tawny Owls are recognized by their tawny brown striped body plumage, large round heads which lack ear-tufts, and oversized brown eyes.
The Tawny Owl is primarily nocturnal, hunting prey items like small mammals and large insects. They prefer wooded habitat. They have adapted well to human development and will also inhabit parks and gardens.
The Tawny Owl joins Birdorable today as our 600th species! With the Tawny Owl, we now have 127 species found in Europe and 12 total species of owl in the Birdorable family.
Today's featured t-shirt is our Birdorable Swallow-tailed Kite in flight on this Women's Jersey T-Shirt. Swallow-tailed Kites live throughout South America and migrate to Central America and the gulf states in the US. Did you know that these birds pick off insects, lizards and other small animals from treetops as they soar through the sky, then eating them on the fly? Pretty cool, he? Check out all our cute Swallow-tailed Kite gifts for birders and bird lovers and have a look at our other birds of prey from around the world.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday celebrated on May 5th in the United States and Mexico.
Do you recognize all the birds in this picture? These birds can be found in Mexico. They are from top-left: Green Kingfisher, Green Jay, Black-crested Titmouse, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Crested Caracara, Scarlet Macaw, Roadside Hawk, White-fronted Amazon and Great Kiskadee.
We recently added a couple of new coloring pages and we now have 100 different ones for your coloring pleasure. From Attwater's Prairie Chicken to White-rumped Vulture, we have birds from around the world, all cutified in the original Birdorable style. After downloading your favorites from our coloring pages section you can head over to Meet the Birds to view the original colors of each bird.
Have you used one of our coloring pages or other activity pages by yourself or at an educational event? Please let us know. We'd love to see photos of our fun downloads in action. We may even use your photos on our website if you give us permission.
Here are some pictures of our coloring pages in action at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida: