Birdorable Blog

Birdorable Galapagos Penguin

2021 Bonanza Bird #5: Galapagos Penguin

November 20th, 2021 in Birdorable Bonanza 2021, Penguins No comments
Birdorable Galapagos Penguin

Today we are adding another penguin species to Birdorable: the Galapagos Penguin!

This species of penguin has the northernmost range of all penguins, and it is the only penguin species to live north of the equator. The climate on their island home is warmer than that of most other penguins, so they have adapted methods to keep cool, which includes panting like a dog! They also jump into the water to cool off.

Galapagos Penguins are among the smaller penguin species. They are unfortunately the most endangered species of penguin, facing threats related to climate change as well as introduced predators and pollution.

Galapagos Penguins photo
Galapagos Penguins by Peter Swaine (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow we'll add a little New World wading bird named for the color of the adult plumage. Juveniles of these birds have no color at all. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Bonanza preview #6
Birdorable Abdim's Stork

2021 Bonanza Bird #4 Abdim's Stork

November 19th, 2021 in Birdorable Bonanza 2021, Storks No comments
Birdorable Abdim's Stork

Today's new Birdorable is the Abdim's Stork, the world's smallest species of stork! This cutie joins the flock at the front of the list (alphabetically speaking, at least).

Abdim's Storks have a dark, iridescent pluamge. During breeding season, the bare patch of skin on the face turns blue. These migratory birds are found across parts of sub-Saharan Africa, ranging all the way down to South Africa in the non-breeding season.

Abdim's Stork photo
Abdim's Stork by Bernard DUPONT (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Tomorrow we'll add a new species of penguin to Birdorable! This penguin is the only species found north of the equator. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Blue-gray Tanager

2021 Bonanza Bird #3: Blue-gray Tanager

November 18th, 2021 in Birdorable Bonanza 2021, Tanagers No comments
Birdorable Abdim's Stork

Today we welcome a pretty tropical species to Birdorable: the Blue-gray Tanager!

Blue-gray Tanagers are found in a variety of wooded and open habitat types from central Mexico down through the northern half of South America. There, they feed on a diet of fruits and seeds, with some insects and nectar on occasion.

These pretty blue and gray songbirds are residents throughout their range, meaning they don't take part in any seasonal migration.

Blue-gray Tanager photo
Blue-gray Tanager by Becky Matsubara (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow's new bird is the smallest species of stork in the world. Do you know the name of this bird?

Birdorable Smew

2021 Bonanza Bird #2: Smew

November 17th, 2021 in Birdorable Bonanza 2021, Ducks No comments
Birdorable Smew

Today, a striking species of duck joins Birdorable. Our second Bonanza bird of 2021 is the Smew!

Smews are Old World ducks found in northern parts of Europe and Asia. These migratory ducks are easily recognized by the striking plumage of male birds: a white body with black stripes that look like cracks across the back, and a dark spot around the eye. Females are also beautiful, with a markedly different plumage of drab dark brown with ruddy red along the top of the head and back of the neck. Our cute Birdorable Smew is a male.

Smew ducks forage for food by diving beneath the surface where they look for small prey items like insects, frogs, and fish. They also feed on some vegetation.

Smew photo
Smew by Ryan Mandelbaum (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow Birdorable will go to the tropics when we add a new species of tanager to Birdorable. This bright songbird has two colors in its name, and has at least 14 recognized subspecies. Can you guess this bird?

Birdorable Vietnam Pheasant

2021 Bonanza Bird #1: Vietnam Pheasant

November 16th, 2021 in Pheasants, Birdorable Bonanza 2021 No comments
Birdorable Vietnam Pheasant

How can a year both fly by and drag on? Can we all agree that 2021 has been an interesting one? As the weeks wind down, it's time for us here at Birdorable to share a flock of new birds in quick succession. Today marks the start of our 2021 Bonanza! For the next 11 days we'll reveal a brand new Birdorable bird species each day.

And so our 13th annual Birdorable Bonanza kicks off with a critically endangered species found in Asia. Welcome the Vietnam Pheasant to the Birdorable family!

The Vietnam Pheasant is endemic to rainforest habitat in parts of Vietnam. Rare in the wild, the species is part of a cooperative breeding and reintroduction program between several different conservation organizations.

The Vietnam Pheasant joins Birdorable today as our 755th species!

Vietnam Pheasant by cuatrok77
Vietnam Pheasant by cuatrok77 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tomorrow we'll add a black and white species of duck to Birdorable. This Old World bird has a simple four-letter name. Can you guess the duck?

Birdorable James's Flamingo

Bird Term: Sympatry

October 13th, 2021 in Bird Terms, Cuckoos, Flamingos, Magpies No comments

Today we'd like to discuss a term that describes two related species or populations that exist in the same area: sympatry. Sympatry can refer to almost any kind of species or populations, but for this discussion we will focus on examples that include birds.

Species that are sympatric live in the same habitat, encounter each other frequently, and may share breeding or feeding locations. Interbreeding between species may occur.

Three species of flamingo in South America are sympatric. The Andean Flamingo, Chilean Flamingo, and James's Flamingo can all be found across a similar range and are known to share nesting sites.

Sympatric species do not necessarily share resources in this mutually beneficial way. The Great Spotted Cuckoo and its parasitic host species the Eurasian Magie are also considered to be sympatric. Cuckoos are brood parasites to their neighbors the magpies.

Sympatry is one of four terms used to describe how species (or populations) relate to each other. Species that exist in adjacent locations are parapatric. Species that are separated can be either peripatric or allopatric.

Birdorable flamingos