Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with a New World species of tyrant flycatcher: the Eastern Phoebe!
Eastern Phoebes are tyrant flycatchers that are found in eastern North America. These cuties are migratory, breeding as far north as the Northern Territories of Canada and spending the winter as far south as Central America.
Eastern Phoebes are one of three species of phoebe. The Black Phoebe and Say's Phoebe are also New World birds, though their ranges are further to the west. Phoebes are named for their song, which sounds like "fee-bee".
The Eastern Phoebe has a place in ornithological history: it was the first North American species to be "banded" for science. In 1803 John James Audubon himself placed silver thread around the legs of young Eastern Phoebes, which he knew at Pewee Flycatchers at the time, at his Pennsylvania home. He hoped to track the future movements of the birds. The following season he was able to capture two returning birds that still wore the silver thread.
Eastern Phoebe by David Mitchell (CC BY 2.0)
Eastern Phoebe by Amy Evenstad for Birdorable
Eastern Phoebe by Kelly Colgan Azar (CC BY-ND 2.0)
The Eastern Phoebe is our 625th Birdorable bird. Be sure to check out our collection of apparel and gifts featuring the Birdorable Eastern Phoebe!
Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a North American woodpecker with two distinct subspecies best identified by their undersides. Can you guess tomorrow's species?
Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with the smallest species of bird in the world: the Bee Hummingbird!
An adult Bee Hummingbird weighs in at 2 grams or less, which is lighter than an American penny coin. In fact, a nickname for this tiny 2-inch long bird is the "Penny Hummingbird". It is both the smallest and the lightest species of bird in the world. The second-smallest living species of bird in the world is the Bumblebee Hummingbird.
The tiny size of the Bee Hummingbird may be attributed to competition with other hummingbirds in its habitat. Over time the species evolved to feed on smaller flowers than other hummingbird species that shared its habitat.
Bee Hummingbirds are endemic to Cuba, meaning they are found only on the islands of that country and no where else on earth. They are non-migratory but may disperse during the year depending on availability of nectar-producing flowers.
Mellisuga helenae by Ekaterina Chernetsova (CC BY 2.0)
Mellisuga helenae by Ekaterina Chernetsova (CC BY 2.0)
The Bee Hummingbird is our 624th Birdorable bird and our 7th species of hummingbird. Be sure to check out our collection of apparel and gifts featuring the Birdorable Bee Hummingbird! Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a common North American flycatcher that sings its name. Can you guess tomorrow's species?
Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with an Asian species of barbet: the Fire-tufted Barbet!
The Fire-tufted Barbet is one of 26 species of Asian barbets, which are found from Tibet to Indonesia. Birds in this family, Megalaimidae, are generally plump in appearance and large-headed. Fire-tufted Barbets are found in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Fire-tufted Barbets have a mostly green plumage, with deep green back feathers and a lime green breast. Males have a reddish or "fire" colored tuft of feathers at the top of the beak.
The Fire-tufted Barbet feeds on fruit, especially figs, as well as insects. These birds do well in captivity and are found in zoos around the world, where their diet may include other types of fruit and even small rodents.
Fire-tufted Barbet byJason Thompson (CC BY 2.0)
Fire-tufted Barbet by Francesco Veronesi (CC BY-SA 2.0)
The Fire-tufted Barbet is our 623rd Birdorable bird. Be sure to check out our collection of apparel and gifts featuring the Birdorable Fire-tufted Barbet!
Tomorrow's new Birdorable is the smallest living bird in the world! Can you guess what it will be?
Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with the largest bird of prey found in Australia, the Wedge-tailed Eagle!
Wedge-tailed Eagles are named for the unique shape of their tails. Across their range, which includes all of mainland Australia as well as Tasmania and southern New Guinea, they are fairly common. In fact, they are the most common of the world's large eagle species.
Wedge-tailed Eagle by Ron Knight (CC BY 2.0)
Wedge-tailed Eagle by James Niland (CC BY 2.0)
Wedge-tailed Eagle by Patrick_K59 (CC BY 2.0)
Wedge-tailed Eagles are non-migratory and established mated pairs will defend their territory throughout the year, even outside of breeding season. Earlier this year a territorial Wedge-tailed Eagle was captured on video taking down a drone.
The Wedge-tailed Eagle is our 622nd Birdorable bird and our 44th cute Birdorable bird of prey. Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with an unusual Asian forest species with fire in its name. Can you guess tomorrow's species?
Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with a fairly common Old World woodpecker species: the Great Spotted Woodpecker!
The Great Spotted Woodpecker is found across Europe and northern Asia. This is a resident (non-migratory) species for the most part, though birds in the coldest areas may move seasonally.
Though common across most of their range, this mid-sized woodpecker tends to be quite inconspicuous, spending most of its time well-hidden in tree foliage. They are often heard -- either drumming (tree-pecking) or calling (vocalizing) before they are seen.
Great Spotted Woodpeckers have a varied diet. The will feed on insects foraged from crevices in bark. They also eat plant material like seeds and fruit. Eggs, young chicks and even small rodents are also common food items for Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
Adult male Great Spotted Woodpecker by Tom Lee (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Great Spotted Woodpecker Portrait by Andy Morffew (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Adult female and juvenile male great spotted woodpeckers by Dave_S. (CC BY 2.0)