Blog Archive: 2016

Birdorable Purple Gallinule

2016 Bonanza Bird #10: Purple Gallinule

December 4th, 2016 in Birdorable Bonanza 2016, Rails 2 comments
Birdorable Purple Gallinule

Our special 10th anniversary 10 species Birdorable Bonanza concludes today with the Purple Gallinule!

The Purple Gallinule is a duck-like species in the rail family. They are native to the southeastern United States, much of Central America, and a wide range within South America. They prefer wetland-type habitats like swamps, lakes, and marshes.

Purple Gallinules are omnivorous with a varied diet that includes both plant and animal material. They will feed on seeds, leaves, and fruit, as well as take prey items including spiders, worms, snails, and fish. They find food by swimming on the water's surface or by walking around on vegetation that is floating or at the shoreline.


Photo by Andy Morffew (CC BY 2.0)



Adult Purple Gallinules have a striking plumage and are easy to recognize. The underparts are purple-blue while the upperparts are iridescent green. The face is a palatte of colors including the yellow and red of the bill and the pale blue of the facial shield. The legs and oversized feet are bright yellow.

This concludes our 10th anniversary Birdorable Bonanza! Thank you for following along! We wish all of our followers all the best for a wonderful holiday season!

Birdorable Red-crested Cardinal

2016 Bonanza Bird #9: Red-crested Cardinal

December 3rd, 2016 in Birdorable Bonanza 2016, Cardinals 4 comments
Birdorable Red-crested Cardinal

Today's new bird, the 9th in our special 10th anniversary Birdorable Bonanza, is a bird found in South America as well as Hawaii and Puerto Rico: the Red-crested Cardinal!

Red-crested Cardinals are pretty birds native to south-central parts of South America. Because of their beauty, Red-crested Cardinals have been kept as pet birds and escaped birds have created wild populations elsewhere in the world, including Hawaii (primarily Oahu), Puerto Rico, Tawain, and Japan.

Red-crested Cardinals are named for their striking red crested heads. The red feathers extend down the front bib of the bird. The underparts are white and the upperparts are dark grey.

Red-crested Cardinal Photo
Photo by Murray Foubister (CC BY-SA 2.0)



Tomorrow's new bird will be our last new species in this year's Birdorable Bonanza! The purple species has big feet that it uses to walk across floating vegetation -- can you guess the bird?

Birdorable Painted Stork

2016 Bonanza Bird #8: Painted Stork

December 2nd, 2016 in Birdorable Bonanza 2016, Storks 2 comments
Birdorable Painted Stork

Today's new Bonanza bird is a species of stork found in parts of Asia: the Painted Stork!

Painted Storks live in wetlands across most of India, as well as coastal areas around parts of southeast Asia. Painted Storks remain on their territory all year and don't migrate seasonally.

Painted Storks are named for their plumage. Specifically, the pink tipped wing feathers (tertials) that hang over their backs and rumps gives them the name Painted Stork. These pretty birds can also be recognized by their heavy yellow beaks that curve downwards.

Painted Storks feed on small fish. They hunt by sweeping their partially opened beaks through shallow water; prey is detected by touch.

Painted Stork Photo
Photo by shankar s. (CC BY 2.0)



Tomorrow's new bird is native to parts of South America but is established in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere in the world. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Eurasian Golden Oriole

2016 Bonanza Bird #7: Eurasian Golden Oriole

December 1st, 2016 in Birdorable Bonanza 2016, Orioles 1 comment
Birdorable Eurasian Oriole

Today's new bird is a golden beauty: the Eurasian Golden Oriole!

Eurasian Golden Orioles breed across large parts of Europe and Asia. They are migratory, spending the winter across the southern half of the African continent.

During the breeding season they are usually found in forests. Although male birds are striking with their yellow and black plumage, these are shy birds and are able to blend into their environment and remain undetected. Females and juvenile birds have a duller plumage that constrasts yellowish-green with olive-brown.

The diet of the Eurasian Golden Oriole has a varied diet with an emphasis on insects like caterpillars, cicadas, and dragonflies. They also feed on fruit, berries, seeds, and even nectar. Small prey items like lizards, mice, snails, and worms may also be taken.

Eurasian Golden Oriole
Photo by m-idre31 (CC BY 2.0)



Tomorrow's bird is a species found in India and elsewhere in Asia. They are named for their pink wing feathers that hang over their rumps. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Masked Lapwing

2016 Bonanza Bird #6: Masked Lapwing

November 30th, 2016 in Birdorable Bonanza 2016, Lapwings 2 comments
Birdorable Masked Lapwing

Today's new bird in this special 10th anniversary Birdorable Bonanza is the Masked Lapwing, a species found in parts of Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea.

There are two distinct subspecies of Masked Lapwing; birds in the northern range have an all white-neck while southern-dwelling birds have a distinct black neck stripe. The size of the wattles varies between the subspecies as well.

Male and female Masked Lapwings look alike; both have greyish-brown upperparts and white underparts. Their plumage does not change seasonally. Males and females both also have yellow wing spurs that are used in defending the nest or territory. Swooping attacks against potential invaders are especially common at nest sites after chicks have hatched and are mobile.

Masked Lapwing Photo
Photo by Greg Schechter (CC BY 2.0)



Tomorrow's new bird is a shy Eurasian forest species with a striking plumage and a melodious song. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Ovenbird

2016 Bonanza Bird #5: Ovenbird

November 29th, 2016 in Birdorable Bonanza 2016, Warblers 4 comments
Birdorable Ovenbird

Today's new species is a relatively large ground-dwelling wood warbler that lives across much of North America: the Ovenbird!

Ovenbirds are relatively abundant across their range, which includes much of North America; they are not found in the far west. They are migratory, spending the winter across parts of Central America, the Caribbean, and Florida.

Because of their abundance, Ovenbirds have often been the subjects of scientific studies. The species has been the focal point of several habitat fragmentation studies.

Ovenbirds are known for their breeding song, a loud chant that sounds like the mnemonic "Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!". Their relatively drab plumage and tendency to stay close to the ground make them hard to find visually, but their conspicuous and familiar song makes them fairly easy to locate.


Photo by leppyone (CC BY 2.0)


Tomorrow's new bird is a type of plover found Down Under. It has spurs and wattles but is named for a facial feature. Can you guess the species?