Blog Archive: Birdorable Bonanza 2020

Birdorable White-eyed Vireo

2020 Bonanza Bird #14: White-eyed Vireo

December 7th, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Vireos No comments
Birdorable White-eyed Vireo

Today we’re adding a species found across a wide range in the eastern United States: the White-eyed Vireo!

White-eyed Vireos are found in scrubby forest habitat. They are migratory, with their winter range extending down into Central America and the Caribbean. They eat a variety of insects.

Often heard before they are seen, if they are seen at all, White-eyed Vireos have a distinctive song. Birders remember the White-eyed Vireo’s vocalization by employing some funny mnemonics, including the rude-sounding “Spit! See if I care! Spit!”

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo close-up of eye

Tomorrow’s new species is a type of corvid (crow family) with an extremely long tail. It is named for the color of its beak and the color of most of its feathers. Can you guess the bird?

Birdorable Storm's Stork

2020 Bonanza Bird #13: Storm's Stork

December 6th, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Storks No comments
Birdorable Storm's Stork

Today we introduce a rare species of stork: Storm’s Stork.

Storm’s Stork is a species found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. They live in tropical forest habitat, where they feed on fish, frogs, and other aquatic prey. Unfortunately this species is considered to be the most endangered stork on the earth. They face habitat loss due to deforestation across their range.

Storm's Storks are named after a German explorer and zoological collector named Theodor "Hugo" Storm. Captain Storm was under contract with the natural history museum in Luebeck Germany to collect wild animals and specimens. The species was first described for western science by the German ornithologist August Wilhelm Heinrich Blasius.

Tomorrow’s new species is a New World songbird named for the color of its eyes. If we tell you they are neither Dark nor Red, you should be able to guess! Do you know the bird?

Birdorable Pink-headed Fruit Dove

2020 Bonanza Bird #12: Pink-headed Fruit Dove

December 5th, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Doves 1 comment
Birdorable Pink-headed Fruite Dove

Today’s new addition to Birdorable is a colorful species in the dove family. The Pink-headed Fruit Dove joins our Birdorable Pigeons and Doves!

Pink-headed Fruit Doves are easily recognized by their pinkish purple heads and green backs. Their breasts have a spiffy white and black border stripe between the pinkish-purple above and the light grey below. Males, like our Birdorable version, have bright colors; females are similar but with duller vibrance.

They are native to Indonesia, where they live in forest habitat and feed on fruits, figs, and berries.

Pink-headed Fruit Doves are also known as Temminck’s Fruit Pigeons. Coenraad Jacob Temminck was a Dutch zoologist who had a hand in describing and naming over forty species for science, including many birds (Temminck’s Hornbill) and mammals (Temminck’s Flying Squirrel).

Tomorrow we’ll add a very rare stork to Birdorable. The species is named after an explorer, not a weather event. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Blue-winged Macaw

2020 Bonanza Bird #11: Blue-winged Macaw

December 4th, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Macaws No comments
Birdorable Blue-winged Macaw

Today’s new bird is a small species of macaw. We welcome the Blue-winged Macaw to Birdorable!

Blue-winged Macaws are found in forest habitat in parts of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. They feed on a variety of plant-powered foods, like seeds, fruits, and nuts. They can be recognized by their namesake blue wings and a small red patch at the forehead.

Blue-winged Macaws are popular in aviculture, where they are known as Illiger's Macaw. This name comes from the German Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger. As pets, they are known to enjoy interaction with their owners. They are also known for their intelligence.

Tomorrow’s new species is found in Indonesian forest habitat. Common birds in their family are typically mostly grey, but these birds are colorful, as well as cute. They are named partly for their coloration and partly for their favorite food. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Fieldfare

2020 Bonanza Bird #10: Fieldfare

December 3rd, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Thrushes No comments
Birdorable Fieldfare

Today’s new species is the Fieldfare, a large species of thrush in the same family as the American Robin. They resemble their Yankee cousins in build and size, and in the way they hunt for worms in the soil.

Fieldfares are Old World birds, and highly migratory. They breed across forests in the north of Europe and Asia. Their winter range extends across much of Europe, down into northern Africa and parts of the Middle East.

Fieldfares can be recognized by their grey heads, ruddy brown upperparts, and spotted fronts. They also have distinctive yellow bills with a black tip.

Fieldfare photo

Tomorrow’s new species is a small macaw named for the color of one of its body parts. These gregarious birds live in forest habitat in parts of South America and have a different name when referring to the species in aviculture. Can you guess the bird?

Birdorable Tufted Coquette

2020 Bonanza Bird #9: Tufted Coquette

December 2nd, 2020 in Birdorable Bonanza 2020, Hummingbirds No comments
Birdorable Tufted Coquette

Today’s new Birdorable species is a tiny type of hummingbird found in northeastern parts of South America. Look at the crazy plumage of the Tufted Coquette!

There are 11 species of coquette in the genus Lophornis. All of these tiny hummingbirds are native to Central and South America. Six other types of coquette have crests like the Tufted Coquette, though their ranges don’t typically overlap, making identification of Tufted Coquettes fairly easy. In these birds, the males have the outlandish crests (and the wild neck tufts as seen in the Tufted) while the females have a typically lower profile (ie, less flashy plumage).

Tufted Coquettes feed on nectar, favoring Orange Milkweed and pigeon pea flowers, among others. Like other hummingbirds, they will also take small insects as prey as available.

Tufted Coquette
Tufted Coquette (Lophornis ornata) by Teresa Frost (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow’s new bird is closely related to the America Robin, but lives on the other side of the world. Do you know this spotted, migratory bird?