Today we continue our 2023 Birdorable Bonanza with the introduction of a unique species of stork found in parts of Africa. It's the African Openbill!

The African Openbill is certainly most notable for its namesake bill, which features a gap -- even when closed! This specialized beak is not merely a curious physical trait but a critical adaptation for its feeding habits. The African Openbill primarily feeds on aquatic snails and mollusks, skillfully using its gap-toothed bill to extract these creatures from their hard shells.

The African Openbill is one of about 20 (depending on the recognized taxonomy authority) species of stork in the world, and one of only two types with an open bill; the Asian Openbill is its closest relative.

African Openbill at Kruger National Park in South Africa

Cute African Openbill gifts

Guess tomorrow's bird ...

Get ready to meet our mystery bird for tomorrow! This tiny wonder is famous for its striking appearance, boasting an incredibly long and ornate tail that's truly marvelous.  Tomorrow, we'll unveil this avian gem and its mesmerizing features. Can you guess what bird it might be?

Today our Birdorable Bonanza continues with the addition of a striking species of waterfowl. We proudly welcome the Egyptian Goose to our cute bird family!

This is an intriguing and elegant bird that gracefully swims in the waterways of Africa and elsewhere. Originating from the Nile Valley, the species has extended its range to parts of Europe and other spots around the world.

This striking species, with its distinctive eye patches and chestnut-colored markings, is a great bird to find against the backdrop of rivers, lakes, and wetlands -- the freshwater habitats it prefers.

Despite its name, the Egyptian Goose is not a true goose but rather a member of the shelduck family. This adaptable bird, now found as far afield as parts of Europe, is known not only for its beauty but also for its assertive demeanor, especially when it comes to protecting its territory.

Cute Egyptian Goose gifts

Guess tomorrow's bird ...

Tomorrow's new Birdorable bird is an African resident known for its distinctive bill, specially adapted for a unique diet. It prefers wetlands, swamps, and shallow waters, where it can be spotted. Despite its monochromatic plumage, there's a certain elegance to its appearance. Tomorrow, we'll unveil this remarkable bird and its specialized bill. Can you guess what bird it might be?

Today a striking bird from southern Africa joins Birdorable. It's the Bokmakierie!

The Bokmakierie is a vibrant and charismatic bird that's as interesting as it is melodious.

Native to Southern Africa, the Bokmakierie is a bush-shrike, known for its striking yellow and green plumage and a loud, melodious call. The name 'Bokmakierie' actually mimics the sound of its song, which is a unique way nature names itself! This bird is not only a visual treat with its bright colors but also an auditory delight. Its duets, often performed in pairs with a far-carrying voice and liquid-like song in a back-and-forth pattern, are a common and cheerful presence in scrublands and open grasslands of South Africa.

Once a pair of Bokmakierie get together, both the male and female are involved in building their nest, which is a neat cup shape hidden in dense bushes. They work together from incubation to raising their young, which is a beautiful example of teamwork in the wild.

In a world that's increasingly urban, the Bokmakierie reminds us of the diverse and vibrant life that thrives in the wilderness. If you ever find yourself in the South African bushveld, listen out for the distinctive call of the Bokmakierie. It's not just a call; it's a song that narrates the story of the untamed African landscapes.

Cute Bokmakierie gifts

Bokmakierie at Aghulas National Park in South Africa

Guess tomorrow's bird ...

Get ready to meet our mystery bird for tomorrow! This bird is named after a country. Originally hailing from the wetlands and savannas of Africa, it's made a remarkable journey and can now be found in various parts of the world. Can you guess what bird it might be?

Birdorable Flammulated Owl

Welcome to our 2023 Birdorable Bonanza! For the next 10 days we'll reveal a new cute bird that will join our big Birdorable flock! Today the Flammulated Owl kicks off our celebration.

The tiny Flammulated Owl, with its unique flame-like markings, might just be one of the forest's best-kept secrets!

The Flammulated Owl gets its intriguing name from its reddish-brown feathers that have flame-like patterns. This special coloring makes them experts at camouflage, blending seamlessly into the bark of pine trees. Living in the dense forest, these owls are like little guardians who watch over the trees under the cloak of night.

As night falls, these small yet mighty birds become active. Their big, round eyes are perfect for their nocturnal lifestyle. Just like a superhero with night vision, these owls can spot their prey in the dark with incredible accuracy. And what’s on their menu? Insects! Moths, beetles, and crickets are their favorites. With their silent flight, they swoop down and catch these insects mid-air, keeping the forest ecosystem balanced.

But don’t let their size fool you. Measuring only about the size of a soda can, Flammulated Owls may be small, but they play a vital role in their habitat. They're not just skilled hunters but also crucial for controlling insect populations, which is essential for a healthy forest. One of their favorite foods is butterflies; moths are also favored.

Find Birdorable Flammulated Owl apparel and gift items on Amazon:

Cute Flammulated Owl gifts

Guess tomorrow's bird ...

Get ready to meet our feathered mystery for tomorrow! This South African beauty is a visual delight with its vibrant plumage. Its unique name is derived from its distinctive call, which resonates through its habitat, which includes fynbos and scrubby vegetation. Can you guess what bird it might be?

Get ready for our 15th annual Birdorable Bonanza, starting on Monday, November 27th! We're thrilled to continue our tradition of introducing an array of new birds during this special event. Over the years, our Birdorable Bonanzas have become a cherished tradition, and you can revisit the previous years' celebrations right here: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

For 10 straight days, we'll unveil a new feathered friend each day on Birdorable. By the end of this event, we'll have an impressive collection featuring a whopping 785 different bird species on Birdorable.com! Join us as we celebrate these wonderful birds and share our love for avian diversity.

Guess the first bird ...

Here's a sneak peek at the first bird in this year's Bonanza. This elusive owl, known for its petite size and cryptic plumage, is often found in North America's dense forests. Its name hints at a fiery detail associated with its appearance. On Monday, we'll reveal the identity of this mysterious bird and its preferred nocturnal haunts. Can you guess which owl we're featuring?

In the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving today. On this special day, as we gather with loved ones to give thanks, we want to express our gratitude for the beautiful birds that grace our world. We are truly thankful for these incredible feathered friends that inspire us every day.

As we celebrate today, let's also remember to protect and preserve the habitats that these birds call home, ensuring that they continue to enrich our lives and the world with their presence.

We hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving filled with love, laughter, and delicious treats. Whether you're birdwatching, enjoying a feast, or simply relaxing, may your day be filled with warmth and happiness. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek in Nebraska by Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith (CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed)

A lek is a group of male animals, most commonly birds or insects, that gathers as part of a breeding strategy. The males perform displays in an arena-like setting in order to lure observing females into mating.

Lekking in most bird species is like a big mating party where males perform dances, sing songs, and display strange body art to entice females. Females gather around the lek to watch the performances, comparing the potential partners and then eventually accepting the invitation of a male bird to mate. But then the party is over -- males are completely uninvolved in nesting activities like incubation and brooding.

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Lek in New Mexico by Larry Lamsa (CC BY 2.0 Deed)

Although this type of mate selection might seem to indicate a lack of partner fidelity, in many bird species females only come to lekking sites when their (previous) male partner is present.

Some bird species that display lekking behavior include the Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Black Grouse, Sage Grouse, Capercaillie, Kori Bustard, Sharp-tailed Grouse, birds-of-paradise, the Kakapo, and the Greater Prairie-Chicken and Lesser Prairie-Chicken.

Other species that engage in lekking include some types of paper wasps, fruit bats, bullfrogs, and moths.

Sage Grouse Lek in Oregon by Nick Myatt, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed)

Birdorable Gifts Featuring Birds that Lek