Blog Archive: Birdorable Bonanza 2015

Birdorable Helmeted Curassow

2015 Bonanza Bird #19: Helmeted Curassow

December 19th, 2015 in Birdorable Bonanza 2015, New Birds 6 comments

Our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition rolls on today with an unusual species of grouse from South America: the Helmeted Curassow!

Birdorable Helmeted Curassow

Helmeted Curassows are large grouse found in the Venezuelan and Colombian Andes Mountains. They can be found in subtropical cloud forest habitat. Their diet primarily consists of seeds and fruits. They will also feed insects and small animals.

The Helmeted Curassow is recognized by the large blue-grey casque, or "helmet", on its forehead. This unsual feature gives the species its name. Both males and females have the casque and look alike. A rare color morph can be found in some females where the plumage is rufous with barring.

Helmeted Curassows are considered to be Endangered by the IUCN. Their current range is heavily segmented along the eastern Andes mountains in Venezuela and Colombia and the species faces major threats from habitat loss and hunting.

Northern Helmeted Curassow
Photo by Jason Wesley Upton (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Helmeted Curassow
Helmeted Curassow by Jean (CC BY 2.0)

The Helmeted Curassow joins Birdorable today as our 635th cute cartoon bird. Be sure to check out our selection of apparel and gifts featuring our Birdorable Helmeted Curassow.

Tomorrow our Bonanza will reveal a spotted species of sparrow. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

Birdorable White-bellied Sea Eagle

2015 Bonanza Bird #18: White-bellied Sea Eagle

December 18th, 2015 in Birdorable Bonanza 2015, Eagles, New Birds 2 comments

Our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition rolls on today with a large species of eagle: the White-bellied Sea Eagle!

Birdorable White-bellied Sea Eagle

White-bellied Sea Eagles are large birds of prey found across parts of Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Indian Subcontinent. It is found in both coastal and inland habitats.

The White-bellied Sea Eagle is also known as White-breasted Sea Eagle. Like many birds of prey, this species is an opportunistic carnivore. The diet is extremely varied and includes aquatic animals like fish and turtles. They take other prey items, including land animals like opossum, as well as birds. White-bellied Sea Eagles also readily consume carrion and will even steal food items from other predatory birds.

The White-bellied Sea Eagle is considered to be culturally significant across several communities within their geographic range. Some indigenous tribes in Australia thought the bird to be a guardian animal. Traditional tales from groups on the Andaman Islands and in some Malaysian communities include the White-bellied Sea Eagle in their mythology.

Photo point- white bellied sea eagle
White-bellied Sea Eagle by shankar s. (CC BY 2.0)
white bellied sea eagle 6Photo by Jim Bendon (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The White-bellied Sea Eagle joins Birdorable today as our 634th cute cartoon bird. Tomorrow's bird is from the same family as one of the birds we featured earlier this month, but this one has a helmet on. Can you guess what it will be?

Birdorable Harlequin Duck

2015 Bonanza Bird #17: Harlequin Duck

December 17th, 2015 in Birdorable Bonanza 2015, Ducks, New Birds 9 comments

Our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues today with a beautiful and colorful sea duck: the Harlequin Duck!

Birdorable Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Ducks are very beautiful sea ducks found along coastal waters across North America and eastern Asia. The species prefers fast-moving water and will frequently breed near fast-flowing streams.

The male Harlequin Duck has a striking plumage for which the species is named. Harlequin was a colorful masked character from an Italian style of improvisational comedy theater called "commedia dell'arte". Harlequin was a relatively late addition to the art form, and was popularized when the theater movement gained success in France.

The Harlequin Duck's colorful plumage gives it a lot of interesting alternative local names, including Painted Duck, Totem Pole Duck, White-eyed Diver, and Blue Streak. They have also earned the nicknames Sea Mouse and Squeaker from one of their more un-ducklike high-pitched vocalizations.

Harlequin Ducks feed by diving or by dabbling. They will take marine invertebrates, fish, and aquatic insects as prey. Algae and seeds may also be consumed.

harlclose
Harlequin Duck by peggycadigan (CC BY 2.0)
Harlequin Duck
Harlequin Duck by Matt Tillett (CC BY 2.0)

The Harlequin Duck is our 633rd Birdorable bird. Be sure to check out our collection of apparel and gifts featuring the Birdorable Harlequin Duck!

Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with the largest bird of prey of Australia. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

Birdorable American Pipit

2015 Bonanza Bird #16: American Pipit

December 16th, 2015 in Birdorable Bonanza 2015, New Birds 2 comments

Our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues today with a widespread species of songbird: the American Pipit!

Birdorable American Pipit

American Pipits are small- to medium-sized songbirds found on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Outside of North America the species is known as the Buff-bellied Pipit.

The American Pipit is a migratory species. In North America, the pipits breed in tundra and alpine habitat across Canada and Alaska. They winter as far south as Central America. Birds on the other side of the ocean, in Asia, also breed in alpine or tundra habitat, as far north as Sibera. These birds winter in southern parts of Asia, including on the Indian subcontinent.

American Pipits spend a lot of time on the ground. Nesting occurs in a shallow cup made of dried vegetation built directly on the ground. Feeding also frequently takes place on the ground, where they glean prey items from low-hanging vegetation or ground cover.

American Pipit - Olympic NP - Washington_S4E2905
American Pipit by Francesco Veronesi (CC BY-SA 2.0)
American Pipit
American Pipit by Nick Varvel (CC BY 2.0)

The American Pipit is our 632nd Birdorable bird. Be sure to check out our collection of apparel and gifts featuring the Birdorable American Pipit!

Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a wild and crazy duck. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

Birdorable Superb Parrot

2015 Bonanza Bird #15: Superb Parrot

December 15th, 2015 in Birdorable Bonanza 2015, New Birds, Parrots 3 comments

Our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues today with a parrot that lives Down Under: the Superb Parrot!

Birdorable Superb Parrot

The Superb Parrot is a medium-sized species of parrot endemic to Australia, where it is found in the southeastern states of New South Wales and Victoria. They consume a diet primarily made up of plant material, including seeds, fruits, flowers, pollen, and nectar.

Superb Parrots have a mostly green body plumage. Male birds have yellow across the forehead, face, and neck, which is outlined by red at the top of the breast. They have pretty orange or yellow-orange eyes.

Superb Parrots are found in aviculture, or the pet bird trade, where they are known to live up to 30 years. They are known by other names in aviculture, including Barraband's Parrot, Barraband's Parakeet, and Green Leek Parrot.

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii)
Superb Parrot by Ron Knight (CC BY 2.0)

The Superb Parrot is our 631st Birdorable bird. Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a songbird found on both sides of the Pacific Ocean that goes by two common names. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

Birdorable Rhinoceros Hornbill

2015 Bonanza Bird #14: Rhinoceros Hornbill

December 14th, 2015 in Birdorable Bonanza 2015, Hornbills, New Birds 4 comments

Our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues today with a bird named for its remarkable bill: the Rhinoceros Hornbill!

Birdorable Rhinoceros Hornbill

The Rhinoceros Hornbill is a large species of hornbill that lives in parts of southeast Asia, including Malaysia, where it is the national bird. They live in forest habitat and are non-migratory, though birds may move outside of breeding season if availability of food dictates.

Like all of the birds in their family, Rhinoceros Hornbills have very large bills with a large casque, or protrusion to the upper beak. The bill is horn-colored with red or orange coloration which varies in intensity from bird to bird. The sexes are similar in appearance, though male birds have larger beaks and casques and females lake the black outline between the two. They also have different colored eyes: males have red or orange eyes, while females have light, whitish eyes.

Rhinoceros Hornbills are considered to be Near Threatened by the IUCN. They face loss of habitat due to logging and agricultural land use, as well as direct threats from hunting and collecting.

Rhinoceros hornbill
Rhinoceros hornbill by Antoine Hubert (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Impressive hornbil
Rhinoceros hornbill by Tambako The Jaguar (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Rhinoceros hornbill by Jim Bowen (CC BY 2.0)

The Rhinoceros Hornbill is our 630th Birdorable bird.

Tomorrow's bird is a parrot with a superb name. Can you guess what it will be?