Birdorable Blog

Birdorable Superb Lyrebird

2017 Bonanza Bird #12: Superb Lyrebird

December 5th, 2017 in Birdorable Bonanza 2017 No comments

Today our 2017 Birdorable Bonanza concludes with a superb species: the Superb Lyrbird!

The Superb Lyrebird is a large species of songbird native to Australia. Several facts make this amazing bird a very interesting study.

It belongs in the passerine bird order, which makes it a songbird. But it is the size of a pheasant, and weighs in at 2lb or more, making it one of the most heavy species of songbird, rivalled only by ravens.

The Superb Lyrebird is one of two species of lyrebird. They get their common name from the shape of the spectacular tail of adult males, part of which forms the shape of a lyre (a musical instrument).

Superb Lyrebirds are known for their amazing ability to mimic a wide variety of sounds. Watch this short clip from BBC Wildlife featuring a singing male lyrebird.

Pretty amazing, right? With this awesome bird we conclude our 2017 Birdorable Bonanza! Thanks for following along.

Birdorable African Spoonbill

2017 Bonanza Bird #11: African Spoonbill

December 4th, 2017 in Birdorable Bonanza 2017, Waders 1 comment

Birdorable African Spoonbill

Our 2017 Birdorable Bonanza is winding down! Just one more bird to go after today's newbie: the African Spoonbill!

The African Spoonbill is one of six species of spoonbill found in the world. They are all long-legged wading birds with the uniquely shaped bill that gives them their name. The African Spoonbill joins the Roseate and the Eurasian here at Birdorable.

Male and female African Spoonbills look alike. As chicks, they have small and stubby beaks which gradually grow into the spoon-tipped shape.

African Spoonbills do well in captivity and are found in zoos around the world. They are abundant throughout their native range and the population is considered to be stable. They may live up to 15 years in the wild.

Tomorrow our Bonanza wraps up with our 677th bird, a species known for its ability to mimic sounds. And check out that tail! Can you guess the bird?

Birdorable White-winged Guan

2017 Bonanza Bird #10: White-winged Guan

December 3rd, 2017 in Birdorable Bonanza 2017, Grouse 1 comment
Birdorable White-winged Guan

Today's new Birdorable is the White-winged Guan!

The White-winged Guan is a critically endangered species found in a small area of Peru. They live around ravines and feed on things like seeds, fruit, leaves, and other plant matter.

White-winged Guans were thought to be extinct for about one hundred years, the time between recorded sightings of the species. When it was rediscovered in the late 1970s, a captive breeding program was introduced in an effort to save the species.

The current wild population of the White-winged Guan is very small, with a likely count of 250 individual birds or fewer. There are two distinct populations, a northern group and a southern group. Threats facing survival of the species include hunting and habitat destruction.

Tomorrow we'll add a species of spoonbill to Birdorable. There are six species of spoonbill in the world, and we already have the Roseate Spoonbill and the Eurasian Spoonbill. Our new bird does not have a black face, a yellow bill, or a royal name. That just leaves one...

Birdorable Horned Puffin

2017 Bonanza Bird #9: Horned Puffin

December 2nd, 2017 in Auks, Birdorable Bonanza 2017 No comments

Today a seabird with bold colors joins Birdorable: the Horned Puffin!

The Horned Puffin is a seabird in the auk family. They are pelagic, breeding on rocky islands but spending the rest of the year at sea. They are found in ocean waters around Alaska, British Columbia, and Siberia.

Horned Puffins are named for a small pointed fleshy "horn" that adults have over each eye. Their striking beaks actually increase in size and color intensity during courtship and breeding, developing vertical grooves.

Like many seabirds, Horned Puffins have a mostly black and white plumage. They are black above and white below. This is a camouflage strategy, helping to protect them from predators both from the air above them and the sea below.

Tomorrow an endangered bird found only in Peru will be revealed as part of our 2017 Birdorable Bonanza. It was once thought to be extinct but was rediscovered in the late 1970s. Do you know this bird?

Birdorable South Island Takahe

2017 Bonanza Bird #8: South Island Takahē

December 1st, 2017 in Rails, Birdorable Bonanza 2017 No comments
Birdorable South Island Takahē

Take a look at this beauty! Today a colorful New Zealand rail joins Birdorable! Introducing our South Island Takahe!

The South Island Takahe is a large flightless species of rail that was once thought to be extinct. A similar species, the North Island Takahe, is only known from skeletal remains.

South Island Takahes are endemic to New Zealand and are managed and protected to ensure the survival of the species.

Once a bird of wetlands and swamps, the South Island Takahe is now a species of alpine grasslands. This move is due to the impact humans have had on the landscape of the South Island -- swamps have been drained and turned into farmland, forcing the takahe to move. They are altitudinal migrants, heading down from the higher alpine habitat when snow covers the land.

Tomorrow a pelagic species joins Birdorable. Can you guess the species from the silhouette alone?

Birdorable Reddish Egret

2017 Bonanza Bird #7: Reddish Egret

November 30th, 2017 in Birdorable Bonanza 2017, Egrets No comments
Birdorable Reddish Egret

Today we continue with our 2017 Birdorable Bonanza by adding a new wading bird: the Reddish Egret!

The Reddish Egret is a medium-sized species of heron found along coastal habitats in Central America and the southeast of the United States. They are also found on many islands of the Caribbean.

Reddish Egrets are known for their active hunting antics, often found running around, spinning, and jumping in shallow salt water as they hunt little fish to eat.

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Reddish Egrets by Andrea Westmoreland (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Reddish Egret has two very different color morphs. Darker birds have grey bodies with a reddish head and neck. The light morph has a mostly white plumage.

Tomorrow we'll add a new species to our Birdorable rail family. Once thought to be extinct, this species has moved from living in wetlands to survive in alpine grasslands. Do you know this New Zealand endemic?