Birdorable Dollarbird

Today, we're excited to introduce the final species in this year's lineup, a remarkable bird called the Dollarbird. This fascinating species is a member of the Old World family, predominantly found throughout Eastern Asia, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Australia.

The Dollarbird gets its unique name from the distinct light-colored discs visible on its underwings, which are reminiscent of silver dollars. This striking feature makes the Dollarbird easily identifiable, especially during flight. Belonging to the Roller family, the Dollarbird is also sometimes known as the Dark Roller, highlighting its connection to the broader Roller species.

Our Birdorable version of the Dollarbird captures the bird's glossy iridescent plumage, which shimmers in various colors depending on the light and angle. Adult Dollarbirds are particularly noted for their bright orange-red beaks, adding a splash of vivid color to their overall appearance. This distinctive combination of iridescent plumage and vibrant beak makes the Dollarbird not just a visual treat but also a subject of interest for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

With the addition of the Dollarbird, we conclude our 13th Annual Birdorable Bonanza. It's been a wonderful journey adding a diverse array of new birds to our collection. We hope you've enjoyed following along as much as we've enjoyed sharing these avian wonders with you. As we head into the holiday season, we wish you a time filled with joy, health, and of course, plenty of birdwatching opportunities. Here's to a bird-filled holiday season for all!

Dollarbird photo
Dollarbird by cuatrok77 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Cute Dollarbird Gifts

Birdorable Australian Brushturkey

Happy Thanksgiving! Today's new species isn't related to today's most famous bird, but the name is similar -- welcome the Australian Brushturkey to Birdorable!

Australian Brushturkeys are large, darkly plumaged birds with bare facial and neck skin. In males, the red head and yellow cowl are bright and unmistakable, especially during breeding season.

These large birds are clumsy in flight. They forage for food by scratching at the ground with their feet. Flight is used sparingly, to escape predators, or to reach safe roosting spots.

The Australian Brushturkey is known by a few other names, including Gweela, Scrub Turkey, or Bush Turkey.

Australian Brushturkey photo
Australian Brushturkey by Brisbane City Council (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow our 13th Annual Birdorable Bonanza will conclude with the addition of a species in the roller family with an appropriate name for Black Friday. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable bonanza preview #11

Cute Brushturkey Gifts

2021 Bonanza Bird #9

Snow Geese: Masters of Mass Migration

Birdorable Snow Goose

Today we're adding the Snow Goose to Birdorable! Snow Geese are not only abundant but also incredibly distinctive in appearance. Their plumage is predominantly white, earning them their name, but it's their striking black wingtips that truly set them apart. These black wingtips are a defining feature, and they create a beautiful contrast against the pure white of their bodies.

One of the most spectacular sights in the birding world is the mass migration of Snow Geese. When these geese take to the sky during migration, their large flocks form mesmerizing patterns in the sky. The synchronized flight of thousands of Snow Geese is a sight to behold and has become a popular attraction for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

Snow Geese are highly social birds, and they often gather in immense numbers, creating a cacophony of calls that can be heard from afar. During their migrations, they stop at various wetlands and agricultural fields to rest and forage. In these locations, they feed primarily on grasses, sedges, and agricultural crops, making them a vital part of the ecosystem.

These geese have a well-documented migration pattern, with some populations breeding in the Arctic tundra of North America and wintering in the southern United States and even as far south as Mexico. The annual journey of Snow Geese covers thousands of miles, and it's a remarkable feat of navigation and endurance.

Birdwatchers and nature lovers often plan trips to witness the spectacle of Snow Geese migrations, making them a beloved and iconic species in the world of birdwatching. Their abundance, striking appearance, and impressive migrations make Snow Geese a favorite subject for bird photographers and a cherished part of North America's natural heritage.There are entire birding festivals dedicated to viewing Snow Geese flocks in all their glory.

Huge flock of Snow Geese

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! We already have a Birdorable Wild Turkey, so we're adding a different bird with turkey in its name -- this one comes from Down Under. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable bonanza preview #10

Cute Snow Goose Gifts

Birdorable Ruddy Turnstone

Today we add a small, dapper shorebird to Birdorable. It's our Ruddy Turnstone!

In breeding plumage, as depicted in our Birdorable illustration, Ruddy Turnstones have white underparts, black and rufous upperparts, with black and white detailing around the face and neck. Outside of breeding, the Ruddy Turnstone's upperparts are more uniformly drab greyish brown.

Ruddy Turnstones are opportunistic feeders who search for prey in a variety of ways, including searching rocky shorelines and breakers by turning over stones (naturally!).

Ruddy Turnstones have a wide global range. They breed across the low Arctic in places like northern Alaska and the northern coast of Siberia. These impressive migrants winter along ocean shorelines nearly all over the world, including around the entire continent of Australia, both coasts of South America, and all around Africa.

Ruddy Turnstone photo

Tomorrow we'll add a species of waterfowl with a wintery name. Can you guess this bird?

Birdorable bonanza preview #9

Cute Ruddy Turnstone Gifts

Birdorable Wilson's Phalarope

Today Birdorable welcomes another bird named after the ornithologist Alexander Wilson to Birdorable, following Wilson's Warbler and Wilson's Plover. Today Wilson's Phalarope joins our flock!

Wilson's Phalaropes are the largest of all three of the world's phalarope species (the others being the Red-necked Phalarope and the Red Phalarope), but are still relatively small as wading birds go, reaching up to 24cm in length.

Wilson's Phalaropes breed across parts of the western and northern United States and western Canada. Winters are spent down across a wide range of South America, with some birds reaching the southern tip of the continent!

Phalaropes are known for their atypical sexual dimorphism attributes and parental behavior. Females are larger than males and have a more brightly developed plumage. Females also leave most parental duty to the male birds. They are also atypical by Birdorable standards, as our illustration depicts a female.

Wilson's Phalarope photo

Tomorrow another shorebird joins Birdorable, one of two species in its genus. This small shorebird with a wide global range can be found wintering along ocean shores, where it might search for food by turning over stones. Can you guess this species?

Birdorable Bonanza preview #8

Cute Wilson's Phalarope Gifts

Little Blue Heron

Today we add a small wader to Birdorable: the Little Blue Heron!

Little Blue Herons are New World wading birds with a wide distribution covering parts of North and South America. They are found near wetland habitats, where they feed, roost, and breed. Some birds are year-round residents (especially in South America) while some birds in North America migrate to breed further north.

Little Blue Herons are named for the plum and blue plumage of adult birds. For the first year of life, Little Blue Herons aren't blue at all -- they are white! This gives the young birds an advantage when hunting among Snowy Egrets, who are more likely to tolerate a bird, all white like them, hunting in close proximity.

Little Blue Heron Photo

Tomorrow we'll add another wading bird to Birdorable. Our illustration will feature the female of the species! This bird is named for a famous ornithologist. Can you guess the bird based on these clues?

Birdorable Bonanza preview #7

Cute Little Blue Heron Gifts

Birdorable Galapagos Penguin

Today we are adding another penguin species to Birdorable: the Galapagos Penguin!

This species of penguin has the northernmost range of all penguins, and it is the only penguin species to live north of the equator. The climate on their island home is warmer than that of most other penguins, so they have adapted methods to keep cool, which includes panting like a dog! They also jump into the water to cool off.

Galapagos Penguins are among the smaller penguin species. They are unfortunately the most endangered species of penguin, facing threats related to climate change as well as introduced predators and pollution.

Galapagos Penguins photo
Galapagos Penguins by Peter Swaine (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow we'll add a little New World wading bird named for the color of the adult plumage. Juveniles of these birds have no color at all. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Bonanza preview #6

Cute Galapagos Penguin Gifts

Birdorable Abdim's Stork

We're excited to welcome the Abdim's Stork to the Birdorable family! This charming bird holds the title of being the world's smallest species of stork, and its diminutive size is just one of the many fascinating facts about this feathered friend.

Abdim's Storks are known for their striking appearance. Their plumage boasts a dark and iridescent sheen that sets them apart from their larger stork relatives. During the breeding season, these elegant birds undergo a captivating transformation. The bare patch of skin on their faces changes color, turning a vibrant shade of blue. It's a beautiful sight that signals their readiness for the breeding season.

These storks are not only visually appealing but also highly migratory. They embark on impressive journeys across the skies, covering vast distances during their annual migrations. While they call sub-Saharan Africa home during their breeding season, their travels take them as far south as South Africa during the non-breeding season.

Keep an eye out for these marvelous birds as they grace the African skies with their presence.

Abdim's Stork photo
Abdim's Stork by Bernard DUPONT (CC BY-SA 2.0)

We hope you enjoy getting to know the Abdim's Stork, our latest addition to the Birdorable family. Stay tuned for more captivating bird species coming your way!

Tomorrow we'll add a new species of penguin to Birdorable! This penguin is the only species found north of the equator. Can you guess the species?

Cute Abdim's Stork Gifts

Birdorable Abdim's Stork

Today, we're thrilled to introduce the vibrant and charming Blue-gray Tanager to the Birdorable family! This tropical beauty is sure to captivate bird enthusiasts with its stunning appearance and delightful personality.

Blue-gray Tanagers are native to a wide range of habitats, making them a versatile and adaptable species. You can spot these striking songbirds in various wooded and open environments, stretching from central Mexico to the northern regions of South America. With their extensive range, they have become a beloved sight for birdwatchers across the continent.

One of the remarkable characteristics of the Blue-gray Tanager is its diverse diet. These avian wonders have a palate that includes fruits, seeds, insects, and even nectar on occasion. Their ability to feed on a variety of food sources showcases their resourcefulness and adaptability in their chosen habitats.

What truly sets the Blue-gray Tanager apart is its enchanting plumage. These birds boast a captivating blend of blue and gray tones, which makes them a true tropical gem. Their vibrant colors are a testament to the beauty of the natural world, and observing them in the wild is an unforgettable experience.

Blue-gray Tanager photo
Blue-gray Tanager by Becky Matsubara (CC BY 2.0)

Unlike some migratory species, Blue-gray Tanagers are resident birds, meaning they remain in their habitats throughout the year. This makes them a reliable sight for bird enthusiasts who wish to enjoy their colorful presence whenever they venture into the great outdoors.

The Blue-gray Tanager is a perfect addition to the Birdorable collection, and we're excited to share its beauty with you. Stay tuned for more exciting additions to our Birdorable family as we continue to celebrate the wonderful world of birds.

Tomorrow's new bird is the smallest species of stork in the world. Do you know the name of this bird?

Cute Blue-gray Tanager Gifts

Birdorable Smew

Today, a striking species of duck joins Birdorable. Our second Bonanza bird of 2021 is the Smew!

Smews are Old World ducks found in northern parts of Europe and Asia. These migratory ducks are easily recognized by the striking plumage of male birds: a white body with black stripes that look like cracks across the back, and a dark spot around the eye. Females are also beautiful, with a markedly different plumage of drab dark brown with ruddy red along the top of the head and back of the neck. Our cute Birdorable Smew is a male.

Smew ducks forage for food by diving beneath the surface where they look for small prey items like insects, frogs, and fish. They also feed on some vegetation.

Smew photo
Smew by Ryan Mandelbaum (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow Birdorable will go to the tropics when we add a new species of tanager to Birdorable. This bright songbird has two colors in its name, and has at least 14 recognized subspecies. Can you guess this bird?

Cute Smew Gifts