Blog Archive: New Birds

Birdorable Northern Flicker

2015 Bonanza Bird #10: Northern Flicker

Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with a New World woodpecker: the Northern Flicker!

Birdorable Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is a fairly common and widespread species across its range and can be found across North America. There are two living subspecies: the yellow-shafted and the red-shafted.

Yellow-shafted flickers show yellow under the tail and wings; these are found in the eastern part of the range. Red-shafted flickers are found in the west and show red under the tail and wings.

In the past, these subspecies have been considered completely separate full species. The closely related Gilded Flicker was formerly also considered to be the same species as the Northern Flicker.

Unusual among woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker can often be found feeding on the ground. They like to eat ants and other insects which they forage by probing the earth with their beaks.

Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted) by wplynn (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted) by Nick Varvel (CC BY 2.0)
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus cafer)
Red-shafted Northern Flicker by Dominic Sherony (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Northern Flicker is our 626th Birdorable bird. Be sure to check out our collection of apparel and gifts featuring the Birdorable Northern Flicker!

Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a small and very colorful flycatcher of South America. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

Birdorable Eastern Phoebe

2015 Bonanza Bird #9: Eastern Phoebe

December 9th, 2015 in Birdorable Bonanza 2015, New Birds 3 comments

Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with a New World species of tyrant flycatcher: the Eastern Phoebe!

Birdorable 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.

IMG_9335-189.jpg
Eastern Phoebe by David Mitchell (CC BY 2.0)
Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
Eastern Phoebe by Amy Evenstad for Birdorable
Eastern Phoebe
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?

Birdorable Bee Hummingbird

2015 Bonanza Bird #8: Bee Hummingbird

Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with the smallest species of bird in the world: the Bee Hummingbird!

Birdorable 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
Mellisuga helenae by Ekaterina Chernetsova (CC BY 2.0)

Mellisuga helenae
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?

Birdorable Fire-tufted Barbet

2015 Bonanza Bird #7: Fire-tufted Barbet

December 7th, 2015 in Barbets, Birdorable Bonanza 2015, New Birds 2 comments

Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with an Asian species of barbet: the Fire-tufted Barbet!

Birdorable 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
Fire-tufted Barbet byJason Thompson (CC BY 2.0)

Fire-tufted Barbet - Malaysia_MG_6223
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?

Birdorable Wedge-tailed Eagle

2015 Bonanza Bird #6: Wedge-tailed Eagle

Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with the largest bird of prey found in Australia, the Wedge-tailed Eagle!

Birdorable 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 (Aquila audax)
Wedge-tailed Eagle by Ron Knight (CC BY 2.0)

Wedge-tailed Eagle
Wedge-tailed Eagle by James Niland (CC BY 2.0)

Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)
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?

Birdorable Great Spotted Woodpecker

2015 Bonanza Bird #5: Great Spotted Woodpecker

Today our Birdorable Bonanza: 2015 Advent Edition continues with a fairly common Old World woodpecker species: the Great Spotted Woodpecker!

Birdorable 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.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (adult male)
Adult male Great Spotted Woodpecker by Tom Lee (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Great Spotted Woodpecker Portrait
Great Spotted Woodpecker Portrait by Andy Morffew (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Adult female and juvenile male great spotted woodpeckers
Adult female and juvenile male great spotted woodpeckers by Dave_S. (CC BY 2.0)

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is our 621st Birdorable bird and our 10th cute woodpecker species.

Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with a very large Australian bird of prey. Can you guess tomorrow's species?