Today’s new species is a large type of eagle found across parts of Africa and the Middle East. Verreaux’s Eagle joins Birdorable today!
The species, also known as the Black Eagle, was named for a French naturalist who collected the specimen used to first describe the bird for western science. Jules Verreaux visited Africa in the early 1800s on a expedition for the French Academy of Sciences.
An adult Verreaux’s Eagle can be recognized by its mostly black body plumage, white back, and very large size, all of which makes them virtually unmistakable across their range.
Verreaux’s Eagles have extremely specialized prey; they feed mostly on small mammals called hyraxes. The preferred habitat of the eagle corresponds to this prey preference; they can be found in dry and rocky environments where hyraxes thrive.
Tomorrow’s new Birdorable has ‘robin’ in its name but it is neither a thrush nor a flycatcher. Can you guess this Australian species named for the color of its breast?
Today’s new species breeds in Australia with a winter range that extends to nearby islands, including New Guinea, Fiji, and Indonesia: the Australian Pelican.
The Australian Pelican has a white body plumage, mostly black wings, and an enormous beak. At up to nearly 20” in length, Australian Pelicans have the largest beaks of any bird species. They use their beaks to grab prey items from the water. They forage by swimming on the surface and diving down to hunt for fish and other aquatic food.
The Australian Pelican joins our other species of pelican: the American White Pelican; the Brown Pelican; and the Great White Pelican.
Tomorrow’s new Birdorable is a large species of eagle that has a very specialized diet, feasting almost exclusively on small mammals known as dassies, or hyraxes. Do you know this bird of prey?
Today’s new Birdorable species is a pelagic seabird: the Bridled Tern!
Like many seabirds, the Bridled Tern has a monochromatic plumage in whites, greys, and blacks. Their plumage is countershaded, meaning they are dark above and light below. This is a type of camouflage -- the way natural light hits them helps to make them less visible to aquatic prey from below and potential predators from above.
Bridled Terns are found in tropical and subtropical waters across parts of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This cutie joins Birdorable as our 15th species of tern.
Tomorrow we’ll add a species of waterbird with the longest bill size of any species. Do you know this bird?
Today’s new Birdorable is one of eight species of Whistling-Duck in the world. The White-faced Whistling-Duck joins the family!
White-faced Whistling-Ducks have an interesting range that includes large areas on two continents. They are found around freshwater habitat in sub-Saharan Africa and throughout much of South America. Their disjointed populations are a source of speculation among experts, some of whom believe that human interference may have brought the ducks across the pond.
Other species of Whistling-Duck include the Fulvous and Black-bellied, both of which are found in North America. The family gets their name from their distinct, un-duck-like, whistling calls. Whistling-Ducks are known to be gregarious, forming large roosting flocks.
Another name for this bird family is “tree duck”, as many Whistling-Ducks nest in trees. This alternative family name doesn’t apply to the White-faced, however, as they mostly nest on the ground.
Tomorrow we’ll add a species of tern with a name that sounds like it might be ready for marriage. Or perhaps they have equestrian dreams? Can you guess the species based on our silly wordplay clue?
Today we’re adding a species of swallow to our Birdorable family. Today’s new bird is the White-rumped Swallow!
These swallows are found in parts of Brazil, Argentina, and neighboring countries in South America. Some White-rumped Swallows are migratory; northern birds are sedentary but southern birds will head north for the winter, once breeding season is over.
Speaking of non-breeding season, these usually solitary birds will form mixed swallow feeding flocks in the winter, numbering 100 or more individual birds. They feed on the wing, taking aerial prey like flying ants, dragonflies, and flies.
Tomorrow’s new Birdorable is a species of waterfowl in a family that is named for their calling sound. The species we’re adding has a range over two continents and is named for the color of its face. Can you guess what it is?
Today’s new Birdorable is a species of corvid (the family of birds that includes crows, jays, and ravens) found in parts of Asia. The Red-billed Blue-Magpie is a stunner!
Red-billed Blue-Magpies have extraordinarily long tails – among the longest of any corvid species. In addition to their long tails, they can be recognized by their sharp dark blue, black, and white plumage, and by their bright red-orange bills.
They are fairly gregarious, often found in small feeding flocks of 6-8 individuals.
Tomorrow we’ll add a species of swallow found in open habitat in South America. This cutie is named after the color of its rump! Can you guess the species from this cheeky clue?