Today we'd like to discuss a term that describes two related species or populations that exist in the same area: sympatry. Sympatry can refer to almost any kind of species or populations, but for this discussion we will focus on examples that include birds.

Species that are sympatric live in the same habitat, encounter each other frequently, and may share breeding or feeding locations. Interbreeding between species may occur.

Three species of flamingo in South America are sympatric. The Andean Flamingo, Chilean Flamingo, and James's Flamingo can all be found across a similar range and are known to share nesting sites.

Sympatric species do not necessarily share resources in this mutually beneficial way. The Great Spotted Cuckoo and its parasitic host species the Eurasian Magie are also considered to be sympatric. Cuckoos are brood parasites to their neighbors the magpies.

Sympatry is one of four terms used to describe how species (or populations) relate to each other. Species that exist in adjacent locations are parapatric. Species that are separated can be either peripatric or allopatric.

Birdorable flamingos

Cute Flamingo Gifts

Birdorable Yellow-bileld Cuckoo

It's Bonanza time again here at Birdorable! Today we're kicking off our 11th annual Birdorable Bonanza! For the next 10 days, we'll reveal a new Birdorable bird. Today we introduce a new species of cuckoo to Birdorable: the Yellow-billed Cuckoo!

Yellow-billed Cuckoos are migratory. They breed across much of the eastern half of the United States, as well as across the Caribbean and into parts of Central America. They spend the winter across much of South America.

While the Common Cuckoo of the Old World is known to be a brood parasite, much like the familiar Brown-headed Cowbird of the New World, Yellow-billed Cuckoos only rarely lay eggs in other birds' nests. In times of especially abundant availability of food, Yellow-billed Cuckoos have been known to lay eggs in other cuckoo nests, as well as in nests of robins, catbirds, and thrushes.

In the southern United States, where Yellow-billed Cuckoos breed, they have been known colloquially as the Rain Crow or the Storm Crow. This is because they have a reputation for calling or singing before summer thunderstorms.

The Yellow-billed Cuckoo joins our Birdorable Cuckoos and Cohorts, where we already have two species of cuckoo: the Greater Roadrunner and the Guira Cuckoo.

Photo of Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren (CC BY 2.0)
Photo of Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo with tent caterpillar by Andrew Weitzel (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tomorrow's new Birdorable is a small Asian species of nectar-feeding bird named for a female British naturalist and illustrator. Do you know the bird?

Cute Yellow-billed Cuckoo Gifts

This week's featured design is our New Mexico State Birdorable, shown here on a long sleeve raglan. The state bird of New Mexico is the Greater Roadrunner. The Roadrunner became the state bird of New Mexico in 1949. Check out our other State Birdorables.

New Mexico State Birdorable: Greater Roadrunner
Cute Birdorable Greater Roadrunner

Today's addition in our Birdorable Bonanza is the Greater Roadrunner, a long-legged bird and the largest North American cuckoo. Its breeding habitat is desert and shrubby country in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Although capable of flight, it spends most of its time on the ground where it can run at speeds of 20 miles per hour, which is an important capability when you're being chased a coyote, of course. ;)

Whaddyou Lookin' At???
Photo by Uncle Phooey (Source: Flickr)

And here's a sneak peek at tomorrow's bird in the Birdorable Bonanza. Until the 31st of July we'll be adding a new bird every day until we reach #200 at the end of this month.

Preview of Birdorable 189