Today’s new species is a type of wading bird found in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The African Jacana is easily recognized by its unique chestnut plumage, its blue beak and facial shield, and by those toes. Look at those crazy long toes!
African Jacanas feed on insects and other small organisms they glean from aquatic vegetation. Their long toes allow them to move across floating wetland vegetation by spreading their weight over a large area. Jacanas have precocial young, meaning chicks are able to walk around on their own shortly after hatching. You better believe they have long toes too, so they can follow dad around as he points out food to them.
Yes, they follow dad around – African Jacanas have a sort of complete role reversal when it comes to breeding. Males care for the eggs and raise the chicks completely on their own.
Tomorrow we’ll add a tiny South American hummingbird with a crazy plumage, including tufts on the head and the neck. Do you know the species?
Our 2017 Birdorable Bonanza is winding down! Just one more bird to go after today's newbie: the African Spoonbill!
The African Spoonbill is one of six species of spoonbill found in the world. They are all long-legged wading birds with the uniquely shaped bill that gives them their name. The African Spoonbill joins the Roseate and the Eurasian here at Birdorable.
Male and female African Spoonbills look alike. As chicks, they have small and stubby beaks which gradually grow into the spoon-tipped shape.
African Spoonbills do well in captivity and are found in zoos around the world. They are abundant throughout their native range and the population is considered to be stable. They may live up to 15 years in the wild.
Tomorrow our Bonanza wraps up with our 677th bird, a species known for its ability to mimic sounds. And check out that tail! Can you guess the bird?
The Roseate Spoonbill is one of the newest birds to join the Birdorable family. Here are some fun facts about this unique species.
1. The collective noun for spoonbills is bowl. Have you ever seen a bowl of Roseate Spoonbills?
2. Roseate Spoonbills get their pink color from their food! They feed on crustaceans who in turn have fed on algae.
3. In parts of their range, especially in Florida, Roseate Spoonbills are sometimes confused with another large pink wading bird: the flamingo.
4. There are six species of spoonbill in the world; the Roseate Spoonbill is the only one with pink plumage.
5. The Roseate Spoonbill is also the only spoonbill species found in the Americas.
6. The beaks of chick spoonbills are straight; the spoon-shape grows as the chick develops.
7. Spoonbills use their specialized bills to feed. They sweep their open bills through the water, and when a prey item like a fish or insect comes between the mandibles, the bill snaps shut.
8. The oldest wild Roseate Spoonbill was discovered in the Florida Keys in 2006. The bird had been banded in 1990, and was an amazing 16 years old. The previous known longevity record for the species was seven years.
9. Roseate Spoonbills are highly social. They feed with each other and with other wading birds. They also nest in colonies and fly in flocks.
The Northern Lapwing, a bird in the plover family, is common across temperate Europe and Asia and an occasional vagrant to North America. It is migratory over most of its extensive range, wintering in the south as far as north Africa, northern India and China.
The name lapwing comes from the 'lapping' sound that its wings make, or the flapping flight. This is a vocal bird in the breeding season, with constant calling as the crazed tumbling display flight is performed by the male.
Birdorable.com welcomes the American Oystercatcher to the Birdorable family of cute birds. This unique bird is marked by its black and white body and a long, thick orange beak. They use this large and heavy beak to pry open molluscs. The American Oystercatcher is found on the Atlantic coast of North America from New England to northern Florida, where it is also found on the Gulf coast. It is very similar to the Eurasian Oystercatcher, which is very numerous around Europe and Asia.