Blog Archive: 2020

Birdorable Fieldfare

2020 Bonanza Bird #10: Fieldfare

December 3rd, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Thrushes No comments
Birdorable Fieldfare

Today’s new species is the Fieldfare, a large species of thrush in the same family as the American Robin. They resemble their Yankee cousins in build and size, and in the way they hunt for worms in the soil.

Fieldfares are Old World birds, and highly migratory. They breed across forests in the north of Europe and Asia. Their winter range extends across much of Europe, down into northern Africa and parts of the Middle East.

Fieldfares can be recognized by their grey heads, ruddy brown upperparts, and spotted fronts. They also have distinctive yellow bills with a black tip.

Fieldfare photo

Tomorrow’s new species is a small macaw named for the color of one of its body parts. These gregarious birds live in forest habitat in parts of South America and have a different name when referring to the species in aviculture. Can you guess the bird?

Birdorable Tufted Coquette

2020 Bonanza Bird #9: Tufted Coquette

December 2nd, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Hummingbirds No comments
Birdorable Tufted Coquette

Today’s new Birdorable species is a tiny type of hummingbird found in northeastern parts of South America. Look at the crazy plumage of the Tufted Coquette!

There are 11 species of coquette in the genus Lophornis. All of these tiny hummingbirds are native to Central and South America. Six other types of coquette have crests like the Tufted Coquette, though their ranges don’t typically overlap, making identification of Tufted Coquettes fairly easy. In these birds, the males have the outlandish crests (and the wild neck tufts as seen in the Tufted) while the females have a typically lower profile (ie, less flashy plumage).

Tufted Coquettes feed on nectar, favoring Orange Milkweed and pigeon pea flowers, among others. Like other hummingbirds, they will also take small insects as prey as available.

Tufted Coquette
Tufted Coquette (Lophornis ornata) by Teresa Frost (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow’s new bird is closely related to the America Robin, but lives on the other side of the world. Do you know this spotted, migratory bird?

Birdorable African Jacana

2020 Bonanza Bird #8: African Jacana

December 1st, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Waders 1 comment
Birdorable African Jacana

Today’s new species is a type of wading bird found in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The African Jacana is easily recognized by its unique chestnut plumage, its blue beak and facial shield, and by those toes. Look at those crazy long toes!

African Jacanas feed on insects and other small organisms they glean from aquatic vegetation. Their long toes allow them to move across floating wetland vegetation by spreading their weight over a large area. Jacanas have precocial young, meaning chicks are able to walk around on their own shortly after hatching. You better believe they have long toes too, so they can follow dad around as he points out food to them.

Photo of a baby African Jacana
African Jacana Chick by Bernard DUPONT (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Yes, they follow dad around – African Jacanas have a sort of complete role reversal when it comes to breeding. Males care for the eggs and raise the chicks completely on their own.

Tomorrow we’ll add a tiny South American hummingbird with a crazy plumage, including tufts on the head and the neck. Do you know the species?

Birdorable Bar-headed Goose

2020 Bonanza Bird #7: Bar-headed Goose

November 30th, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Geese 1 comment
Birdorable Bar-headed Geese flying

Today we’re introducing the Bar-headed Goose to Birdorable! This mid-sized species of Anser goose is easy to recognize due to the namesake black bars found on the back of the head.

Birdorable Bar-headed Goose

Bar-headed Geese are known to be one of the highest flying species in the world. They spend the breeding season on high altitude lakes and migrate across Asia to reach their wintering grounds to the south. Using tracking data, Bar-headed Geese have been recorded at flying at altitudes of up to 21,000 feet! They have also been noted to fly over Mount Makalu at over 27,000 feet, and even over Mount Everest at over 29,000 feet! Wow!

Tomorrow we’ll introduce an African species with crazy long toes. Is this clue and the silhouette enough for you to guess the correct bird?

Birdorable Grey-hooded Parakeet

2020 Bonanza Bird #6: Grey-hooded Parakeet

November 29th, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Parakeets 1 comment
Birdorable Grey-hooded Parakeet

Today’s new species is found in scrubland habitat in parts of Argentina and Bolivia. Welcome the Birdorable Grey-hooded Parakeet!

This cute species is known by other names in aviculture: Aymara Parakeet or Sierra Parakeet. Aymara refers to people local to part of the birds’ range, in the high plateau region around Lake Titicaca. A Sierra is a chain of mountains, again referring to the type of habitat where these parakeets are found in the wild.

Grey-hooded Parakeets feed on plant material, including seeds, fruits, nuts, and berries.

Grey-hooded Parakeets
Grey-hooded Parakeets in Capilla del Monte, Córdoba, Argentina by Nes (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow we’ll introduce an extremely high-flying species of goose found in parts of Asia. This bird is named for a pattern found on the back of its head. Can you guess what it is?

Birdorable Australian Ibis

2020 Bonanza Bird #5: Australian White Ibis

November 28th, 2020 in Ibises, Birdorable Bonanza 2020 1 comment
Birdorable Australian White Ibis

Today’s new bird is an Australian wading species, native to the island nation and now widespread across a variety of habitats. Our second bird in the 2020 Birdorable Bonanza is the Australian Ibis!

This species is also known as the Australian White Ibis. Like other ibis species, this bird has a long, down-curved bill. Its white plumage is highlighted by fluffy black feathers over the tail, which are actually secondary wing feathers.

Australian Ibis feed on aquatic prey, like frogs, fish, and mussels. They also eat worms and, having adapted to living in areas near human habitation, will also feed on carrion and even food scraps found in trash.

Australian White Ibis
Australian White Ibis by James Niland (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow we will reveal a new species of parrot found in high elevation scrubland in parts of South America, including around Lake Titicaca. Can you guess the bird?