Today we are concluding our 2022 Birdorable Bonanza by adding a colorful bird of the New World: the Elegant Trogon!
Elegant Trogons are native to a wide range across Mexico and Central America, where they reside in a variety of woodland habitat types. There is a summer breeding population in southeast Arizona.
The Elegant Trogon is a beautifully colored bird. Adult males have a black face and throat, iridescent green upperparts, a red belly separated by a white band, grey wings, and a finely speckled undertail.
Today's new Birdorable is a New World songbird. Look-up, over here, see me, up here, it's the Red-eyed Vireo!
That funny introduction above refers to a common mnemonic, or memory aid, to help birders remember the repetitive song of the Red-eyed Vireo. This songster is often heard before it is seen.
Besides the iconic song, Red-eyed Vireos can be recognized by the pretty red eyes they develop as adults, and their distinctive eye stripe.
Tomorrow we'll finish off our 2022 Birdorable Bonanza with one of our most requested species. It's a colorful bird with a fancy name and is found across Mexico, Central America, and southeast Arizona. Can you guess tomorrow's new bird?
This special bird is native to a small range across eastern Asia. Of all of the six species of spoonbill, the Black-faced Spoonbill has the most limited range, and is the only species to be considered Endangered (the others all have a conservation status of Least Concern). The biggest threat they face is loss of habitat.
Black-faced Spoonbills can be recognized by their long spatula-shaped bills, large white bodies, and namesake black faces. Breeding birds (like our cartoon cutie) develop a yellow band at the base of the neck. Young birds, and adults outside of breeding, lack the yellow band (like the photo example below).
Tomorrow our Birdorable Bonanza will continue when we add a North American species named for the color of its eyes. This passerine has a repetitive song and is often heard before it is seen. Do you know the bird?
Today, we're delighted to introduce a new addition to our collection: the African Firefinch, a species of finch that boasts a widespread presence across the diverse habitats of sub-Saharan Africa. This charming bird is a wonderful example of the rich avian biodiversity found in this region.
The African Firefinch is known for its striking coloration, which makes it a favorite among bird enthusiasts. It comes in various subspecies, each with its own unique shade and intensity of colors. Generally, all subspecies share common color patterns, with lovely reddish underparts that provide a stark contrast to their olive-brown upperparts. However, the exact shade of red and the balance between the red and olive-brown hues can differ significantly among the subspecies.
One of the most notable features of the African Firefinch is the distinctive white spots that males of the species display on their flanks. These spots add an extra layer of beauty to their appearance and are one of the key identifiers for distinguishing males from females in the species.
Today's new Birdorable bird is our 102nd new species of parrot! Welcome the Blue-headed Parrot to our flock!
The Blue-headed Parrot is a medium-sized parrot known for its striking appearance and vibrant lifestyle, primarily found in and around the lush Amazon basin in South America. This region, notable for its rich biodiversity, provides the perfect habitat for these colorful birds.
These parrots have a particular fondness for a variety of fruits, berries, and seeds, which they forage in the dense canopies of the rainforest. Their diet plays a crucial role not only in their nutrition but also in the ecosystem, as they contribute to seed dispersal, aiding in the propagation of various plant species.
They are cavity nesters, preferring the natural hollows found in either living trees or old tree stumps. This choice of nesting site offers protection for their young and is a testament to their adaptability and resourcefulness.
The most striking feature of the Blue-headed Parrot is, undoubtedly, its plumage. The body of these birds is predominantly bright green, providing excellent camouflage among the foliage. This green is beautifully contrasted by the vivid blue coloration on their heads, from which they derive their name. Interestingly, both males and females of the species share this striking color pattern, making them visually indistinguishable from one another.
The Northern Emerald Toucanet, a small species of toucan, is the latest addition to our Birdorable collection. This charming bird is a vibrant splash of color in the mountain forests where it resides, stretching across parts of Mexico and Central America.
Despite their small stature, Northern Emerald Toucanets are easily identifiable thanks to their striking appearance. Both males and females share a similar look, characterized by a vivid green body plumage that beautifully blends with their lush forest habitat. Adding to their distinctive appearance is their relatively large bill, a beautiful combination of yellow and black, which is not only a visual highlight but also an essential tool for their diet and lifestyle.
These toucans are known for their versatility in feeding. They use their uniquely shaped bills to pluck and eat a variety of fruits, which forms a major part of their diet. However, they are not strict vegetarians; their diet also includes insects, small reptiles, and bird eggs, making them opportunistic feeders.
The Northern Emerald Toucanet's habitat in mountain forests is crucial for their survival, as it provides both food and shelter. These birds are often found in higher altitude regions, where they thrive in the cooler, moist environments of the cloud forests.
Today a bird that cannot be seen in the wild joins Birdorable. While there is hard work and much hope that the Guam Kingfisher can be reintroduced into the wild, the last free flying individuals were seen in the mid-1980s.
Their population was decimated by a non-native snake, the Brown Tree Snake. The introduction of this Asian snake to Guam was devastating to many native species on the island.
With just 29 individual Guam Kingfishers remaining in 1986, in order to save the species, all of the birds were captured for captive breeding. Today the captive population is close to 140 individuals. Conservationists are hoping to reintroduce the Guam Kingfisher into the wild on a snake-free island near Guam.
Guam Kingfishers have a pretty plumage with a rufous head with black eyestripe, and blue-green wings, back, and rump. Males have rufous underparts. Our Birdorable bird has a white belly; she is a female.
Tomorrow's new Birdorable is the world's northernmost species of toucan. Do you know the name of this little bird?
The Grey Fantail, a charming and energetic little songbird from Australia and neighboring island nations, is the latest addition to our Birdorable family. These delightful birds are a joy to watch, particularly known for their acrobatic flights and lively tail movements.
As insectivores, Grey Fantails have a unique hunting strategy that involves an intricate dance of tail flashing and quick, agile movements. This not only aids them in catching their prey but also adds a touch of spectacle to their behavior, making them fascinating subjects for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
There are several recognized subspecies of the Grey Fantail, each exhibiting slight variations in plumage and native range. These differences often reflect the diverse habitats they occupy, from dense forests to open woodlands across Australia and nearby islands. The Birdorable version of the Grey Fantail is based on the nominate subspecies, Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa. This particular subspecies, with its distinctive dark tail and buffy underparts, is found breeding on Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands.
Tomorrow we'll add a special species of kingfisher that is currently extinct in the wild. Conservationists are working to bring this island bird back to the wild. Can you guess the species?
The Ruddy Shelduck, a striking and beautiful species of waterfowl, joins our Birdorable collection today. This addition marks a significant milestone as it becomes the 50th species in our duck, goose, and swan family.
The Ruddy Shelduck is known for its large size and distinctive appearance. It boasts an impressive range, with a growing population across much of Asia. These ducks are easily recognizable by their overall orange-brown (ruddy) body plumage, which is slightly lighter on the head. In flight, their black flight feathers and white coverts create a striking contrast, making them a spectacular sight.
While the Ruddy Shelduck is thriving in Asia, isolated populations found in Europe and Africa are unfortunately experiencing a decline. This highlights the importance of conservation efforts to protect these magnificent birds and their habitats.
The Ruddy Shelduck is an example of the diverse and colorful world of waterfowl. Its unique appearance and widespread distribution make it a fascinating subject for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. As we welcome the Ruddy Shelduck to our Birdorable family, we celebrate the beauty and diversity of the world's waterfowl species.
Tomorrow's new Birdorable is a native of Australia, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. This little songbird is named for its fabulous tail. Do you know the species?
Today marks the exciting start of our 14th annual Birdorable Bonanza, where we introduce 10 new birds to our collection. The celebration begins today and will continue through December 14th. Kicking off this year's bonanza is the majestic White-tailed Eagle, an impressive addition as our 766th species and the 51st bird of prey in our lineup.
The White-tailed Eagle is a magnificent bird of prey, distinguished by its brown body plumage, which varies from light brown on the upper parts to darker brown on the underparts. True to its name, this bird is easily recognized by its striking white tail, which contrasts beautifully with its overall darker plumage. Adding to its imposing presence are its large yellow beak and powerful feet, features that underscore its status as a formidable predator in the wild.
Birdorable White-tailed Eagle merchandise like this unisex sweatshirt is available on Amazon.
Tomorrow we'll add an Old World species of waterfowl named for its color. They are found across much of Asia and have isolated populations in Europe and Africa. Can you guess what our new Birdorable bird will be?