Today we're adding the Snow Goose to Birdorable! This large goose is the most abundant waterfowl across all of North America.
Snow Geese are known for gathering in huge flocks, during the winter and during migration. They frequently visit favorite spots year after year; there are entire birding festivals dedicated to viewing Snow Geese flocks in all their glory.
Today we’re introducing the Bar-headed Goose to Birdorable! This mid-sized species of Anser goose is easy to recognize due to the namesake black bars found on the back of the head.
Bar-headed Geese are known to be one of the highest flying species in the world. They spend the breeding season on high altitude lakes and migrate across Asia to reach their wintering grounds to the south. Using tracking data, Bar-headed Geese have been recorded at flying at altitudes of up to 21,000 feet! They have also been noted to fly over Mount Makalu at over 27,000 feet, and even over Mount Everest at over 29,000 feet! Wow!
Tomorrow we’ll introduce an African species with crazy long toes. Is this clue and the silhouette enough for you to guess the correct bird?
If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Canada Goose.
Canada Geese sometimes get a bad rap as nuisance birds and they have a reputation for being aggressive. But these North American native birds have their place in our environment. And it's hard to deny that they are handsome birds as adults, and pretty darn cute as babies.
Canada Geese start their nest with a scrape, and then build a nest out of local plant material. The inside is usually lined with soft downy feathers. The female goose will incubate the eggs herself; the process usually takes 25 to 28 days. At hatching, the chicks are fully covered with down. They are able to leave the nest within about 24 hours of hatching. They can swim upon leaving the nest; flight occurs 6 to 7 weeks later.
For 22 days we’re adding a new Birdorable bird every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza 2012. We’re counting up to our 400th species! Today we introduce the Birdorable Hawaiian Goose!
The Hawaiian Goose is the official state bird of Hawaii, where it is called the Nene (or NÄ“nÄ“). The endemic species is threatened due to over-hunting and predation by non-native species like mongooses and domestic cats. Captive breeding programs are working to reintroduce the species to the islands, and there is hope for the survival of the species.
People can help Hawaiian Geese by watching out for them when traveling through their territory, and by not feeding them. Geese that become habituated or even dependent on people for food are drawn into traffic or other man-made dangers.
Nene Pair by Makuahine Pa'i Ki'i
Tomorrow's bird is the national bird of Saint Lucia, an island in the Caribbean. Can you guess what it will be?
If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Greylag Goose. Greylag Geese typically mate for life. Nesting occurs in loose colonies with cup nests built on or near water. Typical clutch size ranges from 4 to 6 eggs; incubation takes just about four weeks. Chicks fledge about five weeks after hatching; young birds remain with their parents through the spring migration following their hatching.
Baby goose by anemoneprojectors
Greylag Goose and Goslings by Mike__Lawrence
Derick180408 046 British Birds by Mick E. Talbot
Greylag Goose Gosling, Leighton Moss RSPB, May 2009 by Gidzy
The Pink-footed Goose is a migratory species of goose that breeds in parts of Greenland, Iceland, and Norway. The species population has increased dramatically over the past 50 years, mainly due to extra hunting restrictions in their winter range. The Pink-footed Goose featured prominently in the recent birder movie The Big Year. Two of the main characters missed out on seeing the rare vagrant to the United States early in the film (and early in the big birding year). The bird appears again later in the movie as well.
Tomorrow's bird is a quail that can be found in eastern United States and is named after its characteristic whistling call. Can you guess what it will be?