Father's Day is a special occasion to honor the dedication, love, and hard work of fathers and father figures across the globe. While we celebrate the human dads in our lives, it's also a perfect time to recognize the incredible fathers in the animal kingdom, particularly among birds. Bird dads come in all shapes and sizes, each with unique and fascinating parenting roles that highlight their dedication to nurturing and protecting their offspring.

Father's Day will be celebrated on June 16, 2024. That's just 10 days away -- which means you still have time to find something for your pop. If dad likes birds, be sure to check out our Birdorable Amazon shop, where items ship fast and free with Amazon Prime. 

Father's Day Gift Ideas from Birdorable's Amazon Shop

Back in 2019, we shared some fun facts to mark the day: Fun Avian Dad Facts for Father's Day. As dad's day approaches this year, let's take a look at some more awesome facts about avian dads.

Father rheas are dedicated single dads. After constructing the nest alone, they court multiple females, who together may lay up to 60 eggs in his nest. The male incubates the eggs and raises the chicks on his own. He protects and cares for the young until they are old enough to fend for themselves​ -- at least six months.

Father Killdeer are very active in the nesting process. They participate in nest building, typically initiating the creation of the scrape. They incubate the eggs, and do most of the overnight shift. They also help to protect the nest and chicks by performing the well-known Killdeer injury-feigning display. 

Killdeer with Chicks Cute Father's Day Gift Ideas

Red-winged Blackbird dads are known for their territorial nature, especially during the breeding season. They arrive first on breeding sites and establish territory. They will fiercely defend their nesting area throughout courtship, nest-building, and chick-rearing. Part of this defense includes a predator alert system involving different call types for different threats. Though the females build the nests, males participate in "Symbolic Nest-building Display" which involves play-nest-building.

Common Loon dads are active participants in both nest-building and chick-rearing. They typically choose the nesting site and work together with the female to build the nest. They share in egg incubation, and both carry chicks on their backs to keep them warm and safe, and teach them to dive and catch fish.

Common Loon with Chick on Back Father's Day Gift Ideas

Male sandgrouse in arid regions are known for their unique method of providing water to their chicks. They soak their belly feathers in water and fly long distances back to the nest, allowing the chicks to drink from their feathers. 

Father Great Horned Owls are excellent providers. When their chicks are young, the males do all of the hunting and bring food to the female and the chicks, ensuring that the family is well-fed. They also help protect the nest from potential threats.

Bird feeder with female Painted Bunting and Northern Cardinal

It's almost time for Female Bird Day! During Memorial Day Weekend (May 25-27, 2024), birders and bird lovers celebrate the remarkable and often overlooked world of female birds. While their colors may be more subtle, and their songs more muted, female birds are obviously integral to the avian world. Whether you're an avid birdwatcher or simply a nature enthusiast, understanding the unique behaviors of our feathered female friends enriches our appreciation of biodiversity.

Female Mallard with ducklings

Mate Selection

Female birds play a crucial role in mate selection, significantly impacting species survival and evolution. They often choose mates based on physical attributes, such as bright plumage and size, which indicate a male's health and genetic quality. Courtship displays, like dances and songs, are other ways to signal a male's fitness. Additionally, females prefer males that control high-quality territories with abundant food and nesting sites, ensuring better resources for raising offspring. In species where males help with parental duties, females select mates based on their ability to provide care and protection.

This selective process is vital for species survival as it enhances survivability rates, making populations more adaptable and resilient to changing environments and emerging threats. By choosing mates with superior genetics and good health, females increase the likelihood of producing healthy offspring, who are more likely to survive and reproduce. Female preferences drive the evolution of specific traits in males, leading to the development of more pronounced and specialized characteristics that help species adapt and thrive. Overall, female mate selection ensures the health and viability of bird populations, contributing to their long-term survival and success.

Females Sing

Contrary to popular belief that male birds are the primary vocalizers, in many species, female birds sing as well, sometimes as loudly and as often as males. Reasons for singing are similar to those for males. Females may sing in duet with males as a part of courtship or pair-bonding, they may vocalize to help defend territory, or for other communication reasons.

American Robin with brood patch by VSPYCC (CC BY 2.0 Deed)

Nest Building

In many bird species, females take the lead in nest building. This task involves selecting the nest site and gathering materials such as twigs, leaves, grass, feathers, and mud. Female birds often have specialized skills and instincts for constructing secure and comfortable nests that provide protection and optimal conditions for their eggs and chicks.

Raising Young

Once the eggs are laid, female birds typically assume a significant role in incubation and caring for the young. In many species, the female incubates the eggs alone, using her body heat to keep them at the proper temperature for development. Many also develop a brood patch, an area of bare skin on the underbody, to better maintain egg temperature during incubation. This period can last from several days to a few weeks, depending on the species.  After the chicks hatch, females often take the primary role in feeding and caring for the young.

Female Birdorable Birds

Female Belted Kingfisher by Russ (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Differential Migration

In many bird species, females and males migrate at different times, distances, or routes, a phenomenon known as differential migration. The physiological and ecological demands on female birds, particularly related to reproduction, heavily influence their migratory behavior.

Females and males may travel different distances during migration. In some species, females undertake longer migrations than males. This can be due to differences in body size, with females sometimes being larger and better able to endure longer journeys. Additionally, different nutritional needs or environmental pressures can lead to varied migratory routes. 

Females often migrate later than males in the spring and earlier in the fall. For example, in some songbird species, males arrive at breeding grounds earlier to establish and defend territories, ensuring they have prime nesting sites when females arrive. Conversely, females may migrate earlier in the fall to reach wintering grounds sooner, securing the best feeding areas.

In some species, males and females tend to spend the off-season in completely different habitats, or at different elevations. Studying these differences can be important in understanding population trends. For example, if the wintering grounds of female birds is threatened by habitat destruction, the entire species may be in peril, even when the population may seem abundant due to the health of the winter habitat of male birds. So if we focus only on males, important species conservation data may be lost.

Female Birdorable Birds

Female birds not only fascinate with their behaviors and roles but also inspire with their resilience and importance to ecological balance. They pollinate plants, disperse seeds, control pests, and their nesting materials can even aid in the growth of plants, which in turn supports a larger biodiversity.

Celebrating Female Bird Day isn't just about giving these avian heroines their due recognition. It's about understanding the vital roles they play in nature and encouraging conservation efforts to see them, and protect them and their habitats. Their survival and well-being are crucial not only for their species but for ecosystems around the world.

To learn more about female birds, follow the hashtag #FemaleBirdDay during Memorial Day weekend to see how others are celebrating or visit the Female Bird Day website. You can participate in the weekend by focusing on female birds when you go out birding this weekend. If you use eBird, fill in the sex data for your list to indicate female birds you found.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Celebrate Earth Day with our feathered friends at Birdorable! We've created a collection of shareable Birdorable graphics featuring some of the world's most beloved birds. These cute and colorful images are perfect for spreading awareness and joy on social media. Whether you're an avid birder or just a nature lover, these graphics are sure to brighten your feed and inspire your friends and followers to cherish and protect our Earth. Let's tweet, post, and share our way to a more bird-friendly world this Earth Day! 🌎 πŸ’š πŸŒπŸ’šπŸŒ

This colorful image is teeming with a host of cute Birdorable birds from around the globe. From the Bald Eagle and Hoopoe to the Kakapo and Andean Condor, birds from around the world come together to celebrate Earth Day. 

Celebrate Earth Day with this huge crowd of feathered friends by sharing our "Happy Earth Day" graphic from Birdorable! Let the world know you care about our birds and the earth we all call home with this Birdorable shareable graphic celebrating Earth Day! 

The image has over 30 different Birdorable birds from around the globe, such as the friendly American Robin, the majestic Bateleur, the vibrant Spix's Macaw, and the elegant Sarus Crane. It's an ideal addition to your Facebook or Instagram feed to spread awareness and join in the global celebration of our planet.

Valentine's Day Bird Term: Billing

Love Is in the Air: Understanding Billing in Birds for Valentine's Day

Birdorable Atlantic Puffins on a cliff in Iceland

In ornithology, the term 'billing' refers to a courtship behavior displayed by certain bird species where two individuals touch, tap, or clasp each other's beaks. It is also known as beak-tapping or bill-tapping. It's called nebbing in British English.

This behavior is often seen in birds that form strong pair bonds and in some ways can be likened to kissing in humans. As today is Valentine's Day (it's always on February 14th), let's look at this interesting bonding behavior, and learn why birds engage in this activity.

Strengthening Pair Bonds
Billing is a sign of affection and helps to strengthen the bond between a mating pair. It is commonly observed in species that mate for life or have long-term partnerships Common Ravens hold each other's bills and feet as part of pair bonding. Atlantic Puffins tap bills quickly as part of their pair bonding behavior, as shown in the video below.

Mutual Grooming
In some cases, billing is part of mutual grooming (allopreening), where birds clean each other's feathers. Rock Pigeons engage in allopreening which includes mutual beak-touching.

Courtship Ritual
Billing is an essential part of the courtship ritual in many species. It is a display of trust and partnership, which can be critical in the mate-selection process. Courting Cedar Waxwings rub their beaks together and pass food to one another. Many albatross species engage in beak-tapping as part of their courtship, like the Waved Albatrosses in the below video.

Territorial and Social Signaling
In some instances, billing can also be a way of demonstrating a pair's territorial bond to other birds, signaling that they are a united and established couple.

Billing is a fascinating aspect of avian behavior that highlights the complex social interactions and emotional connections between birds.

Cute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas from Birdorable

Wishing You a Merry and Bird-Filled Christmas from Birdorable

It's that cozy time of year again, and we want to send our warmest wishes to you this Christmas. 🌟

During this festive season, let's remember our feathered friends who bring so much joy into our lives. Birds, with their cheerful songs and bright colors, remind us to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. If you can, put out a feeder or a fresh birdbath for the birds in your yard. It's a small way to give back to our bird friends during these chilly months.

Looking ahead, we're excited for another year full of bird-loving fun. We can't wait to share more adorable Birdorable birds with you! So, here's a big Merry Christmas πŸŽ„ from the Birdorable team! We hope your holiday is full of happiness, love, and of course, birds! ❀️

Do you recognize all the Birdorable bird species in this image? Check the Meet the Birds section on our website to find them all!

As we count down to Christmas, we’re excited to bring a little extra sparkle to your holiday season with our Birdorable Christmas Coloring Pages!

At Birdorable, we believe that the beauty of nature, especially our feathered friends, can add a special touch to your festive celebrations. That's why we've crafted a unique collection of coloring pages featuring some of our most beloved birds, all dressed up for the holidays in their Birdorable style. From the majestic California Condor to the charming Cockatiel, the historic Passenger Pigeon to the long-distance flyer Bar-tailed Godwit, the adorable Atlantic Puffin, and the ever-jolly Laughing Kookaburra – each bird brings its unique charm to your coloring experience.

Coloring isn't just for kids! It's a wonderful family activity and a perfect way to unwind and express creativity. Our Birdorable coloring pages are designed to appeal to bird lovers of all ages. They’re a great way to introduce the little ones to the fascinating world of birds while also offering a fun challenge for adults who love to color.

Cute Christmas Coloring Pages

Download for Free

Ready to start coloring? These delightful pages are available for free on our website. Simply download, print, and start coloring! Share your creations on social media using the hashtag #Birdorable and let's spread the joy and beauty of birds this holiday season.

So, grab your coloring tools, gather your family, and let the Birdorable birds add an extra dash of color and joy to your Christmas celebrations. Happy coloring and happy holidays! View all our coloring pages here.

Parent Sandhill Crane with chick

In most bird families, males and females both participate in the raising of their young. In 8% of cases, the female does everything related to care of eggs and raising offspring. And in just 1% of bird species does the male do all of the work -- after the eggs are laid, of course.

Some species are polyadrous, meaning individual birds will have different mates during the same breeding season. In the case of the Spotted Sandpiper, females will often have two clutches, the first of which she leaves after the eggs are laid. It's up to her mate to incubate the eggs and rear the chicks. She will then find a new mate and help to raise her second clutch with the new male.

Spotted Sandpiper Chick
Spotted Sandpiper Chick by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (public domain)

Emus exhibit similar behavior, though male Emus go through a more extreme experience during incubation. During the approximate 8-week period, he does not leave the nest for any reason. He may lose up to a third of his bodyweight while he forgoes eating, drinking, and even defecating, standing up only to turn the eggs. Once the chicks are hatched, father Emu will protect his young for up to seven months, which is about how long it takes for them to fully grow. The group may stay together as a family for up to two years.

Emu dad with chicks
Emu dad with chicks by patrickkavanagh (CC BY 2.0)

The paternal (father) duties of the Emperor Penguin are widely known. After the female lays the pair's one and only egg, she carefully transfers it to the male. And then she leaves him for two months. While she is out to sea, feeding, the male remains behind, incubating their egg between the brood patch on its underbelly and its feet. When the egg hatches, the male may have been fasting for over 100 days since he first arrived at the breeding colony. Once his mate returns, she cares for the chick so the male can finally go to the sea to find food.

Emperor Penguin with chick

Hornbills have an unusual breeding strategy that involves the female being practially sealed inside the nest cavity with the eggs, with only a small slit left open. This small opening allows the male to transfer food to his mate and to the chicks, once they hatch. During incubation and the hatchling phase, the family relies entirely on the male to provide food. The mother and chicks only leave the nest once they are too large to remain inside.

Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there, avian and otherwise!

Cute Birdorable Gifts with Bird Chicks

Traditionally, April Fools' Day is a time to play pranks, share hoaxes, and tell jokes. April Fool stories published by newspapers and other media outlets may trick readers into believing tall tales -- until they realize the date. Here are some bird-themed funnies that have come out on April Fools' Days in the past.

A lot of April Fool jokes involving crazy bird stories originated from photo manipulation -- an old-fahsioned version of "photoshopping". Examples of this include a German paper exposing a penguin as tall as a man in 1931; that time in 1941 when a newspaper revealed a military plan to plant bombs on crows; and the strange and silly rare human-legged ostrich that reportedly puzzled scientists in 1953 Australia.

Google is known to reveal a prank each April Fools' Day, often involving a new product or service in their technology offering. In 2002 they introduced PigeonRank to the world, exposing the truth behind their search technology. Pigeon Clusters (PCs) were the true power Google used to rank and sort web pages. The somewhat elaborate story behind PigeonRank was shared in detail, including graphs and diagrams and a FAQ.

A popular video was released by the BBC in April Fools' Day 2008 which showed Adelie Penguins taking flight. At the time it was one of the most viewed internet videos.

A mysterious physical April Fools' Day prank was played on the town of Portage, Wisconsin in 2012. Plastic lawn geese dressed in different outfits were placed around businesses, homes, and services in the city. In all, 132 geese were found. Although the perpetrators were not made known, no one who received a goose seemed to mind. Read this extremely wholesome newspaper report on the incident.

Then there was that time when we revealed a new species of crane that was discovered in South America. We even shared a colorful Birdorable image of the new species, which we dubbed the Painted Crane (Grus pictus). This April Fool prank came out just as we were celebrating Crane Week -- it was an incredible coincidence!

Birdorable Painted Crane

Watch out for more pranks and hoaxes as you go about your day and keep in mind the date! Happy April Fools' Day!

Happy Halloween with Cute Birdorable Backyard Birds

Happy Halloween from Birdorable! Do you recognize the above birds? They're the Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse and Black-capped Chickadee, all common backyard birds in the United States, hanging around two carved pumpkins. If you're still looking to do something today to celebrate Halloween, before you're going out trick-or-treating tonight, you can check out these original Halloween Birdorable coloring pages with some of our favorite birds:

Birdorable Coloring Pages

Here are direct links to the coloring pages:

Go to coloring pages to find over 100 others to download and follow us on our Blog or on Facebook to get notified when new downloads like this are added.

Have you used our coloring pages at home, in your classroom, or at an event? We'd love to hear about it! Send us photos of the pages in action, or the final result Γ’β‚¬β€œ we may showcase them on our blog!

Happy Magpie Day!

Two black-billed Magpies on a branch

Today, March 14, is traditionally celebrated as Pi Day -- because when the date is written 3/14, it represents the first three significant numbers of Pi. Pie day may be celebrated by eating pie, but since we like birds, today seems like a good day to celebrate the family of birds that has pie right in the name: Magpies!

There are three groups of true magpies. The four species of magpie in the genus Pica are the Holarctic, or black-and-white, magpies. The nine species of Oriental magpie are generally blue-green and are in the Urocissa genus and the Cissa genus. The azure-winged magpie belongs in the genus Cyanopica. Here are some fun facts about this group of intelligent and curious birds.

  • Magpies belong to the Corvid family, which makes them closely related to birds like jays, crows, and ravens.
  • The cartoon characters Heckle and Jeckle are a pair of magpies.
  • There are several collective nouns used to describe a group of magpies, including "a gulp of magpies" and "a mischief of magpies."
  • Magpies aren't the only birds with "pie" in their name. Another group in the Corvid family is the treepies. One bird in this group has a confusing name: the Black Magpie of Asia.
  • Another bird with a confusing name is the Australian Magpie. This species isn't a magpie at all! Although its black-and-white plumage is very magpie-like, this species belongs in a different genus and is closely related to the Butcherbirds of Australasia.
  • A recent taxonomical split may have added a new species of magpie to the list. The Azure-winged Magpie has an usual fragmented range with part of the population in southwestern Europe and part over in eastern Asia. Some ornithologists consider the two populations to be separate species, naming the European bird the Iberian Magpie.
  • The Javan Green Magpie is the most endangered species of magpie. Endemic to Indonesia, it is considered to be Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Other endemic species of magpie include the Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, found only in Sri Lanka, and the Yellow-billed Magpie, found only in the U.S. state of California.

Cute Mag PI Gifts by Birdorable